Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday’s first round of the 2010 DTM at Hockenheim from pole position. In the single-lap qualifying, Gary posted a lap time of 1m33.214. It is his seventh pole in his 60th DTM race and the 50th pole for Mercedes-Benz since the DTM’s relaunch in 2000.

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) and Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) share the second row of the grid; Bruno came home third with a 1m33.319 ahead of Jamie with a 1m33.389 – they were separated by only seven hundredths of a second. Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified sixth with a 1m33.193. The return to motor racing of 13-times grand prix winner and former McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended in the first round of qualifying. David came home 17th with a 1m34.791 behind Ralf Schumacher (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m34.361). Qualifying, part 1: Bruno Spengler was the fastest C-Class driver in second place (1m33.484). Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 15th with a 1m34.118 and missed the second round by six thousandths of a second. Ralf Schumacher (1m34.361) came home 16th ahead of David Coulthard (1m34.791). Qualifying, part 2: This time, Paul Di Resta was the best Mercedes-Benz driver; he ended up second with a 1m32.708. Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Klasse) qualified 10th with a 1m33.160 and DTM rookie CongFu Cheng ended up 14th with a 1m33.738.

Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) pole position (1:33.214): “I am really happy to start the new season with pole position. I thank my team – the guys did a great job. We have a very good technical package and I look forward to Sunday’s race.” Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) third (1:33.319): “A good qualifying for me; in third place I will start right behind Gary on the clean side of the track. At turn two, there was dirt on the surface and at the hairpin I made a mistake under braking; therefore, I was not able to set a better time.” Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) fourth (1:33.389): “I am happy to have finished among the top four. Our team did a great job and I am confident for tomorrow’s race.” Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) sixth (1:33.193): “I am disappointed. There was a lot of dirt on the track from a car ahead of me – that was it.”

Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) 10th (1:33.160): “The team showed what they are capable of. However, I had expected a better result and tomorrow I want to score points.” CongFu Cheng (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th (1:33.738): “14th on the grid is not too bad for my first DTM race. I like the track and I didn’t have any technical problem; I just need some time to adjust.” Susie Stoddart (TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 15th (1:34.118): “I am disappointed because I missed the second round by only six thousandths of a second.” Ralf Schumacher (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class) 16th (1:34.361): “My first set of tyres didn’t work as well as I had expected and with the second set, I just ran out of time. I will put this behind me and focus on tomorrow’s race when I will push hard.” David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) 17th (1:34.791): “It was a lot more difficult than I had expected after the tests. Moreover, I had a problem with the balance of the car and suffered from understeer so I was not able to push harder. But Mücke Motorsport is an experienced team and supports me very well. With a good start, I should be able to achieve a better result tomorrow.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Pole like Paffett – that fits; congratulations to Gary and the HWA team under Gerhard Ungar, everybody did a great job. It is the 50th pole since the start of the new DTM in 2000 and the 99th since Mercedes-Benz entered the DTM as a works team. Last Tuesday, Gary was stranded in China, like myself, and today on Saturday he is on pole, that shows his world-class. The season starts well for us with this first performance check. Three Mercedes on the first two rows and four C-Class cars among the first three rows are a great result – well done, guys. CongFu Cheng has a good debut with 14th on the grid; compliments. As expected, David first learned it the hard way today, but – don’t worry – he is a strong racer. That Ralf was out with his second set of tyres too late was our mistake – sorry for that. In tomorrow’s race we want to achieve a similar result like in today’s qualifying.”

Source: Daimler AG