Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start from pole in the fourth 2011 DTM race at the Lausitzring on Sunday (race start: 14:00 – broadcast from 13:45 onwards on ARD TV). The Canadian driver posted a time of 1:19.119 in the individual time trial at the end of qualifying. It’s his tenth DTM pole and his second at this track since 2007. For the 108th time, a Mercedes-Benz driver is on pole position in DTM – it’s the eleventh Mercedes pole at the EuroSpeedway track since its debut in 2000.
Mercedes-Benz team-mate Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start alongside Spengler on the front row. The British driver posted the second fastest qualifying time in the fourth segment – 1:19.524.
With a time of 1:19.151, Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) missed out on the top four in qualifying by just 0.079 seconds. The two-time Lausitz winner starts the race from fifth on the grid.
Qualifying 1: In the first part of qualifying, Gary Paffett posted the fastest C-class time – 1:19.395. David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:19.737), Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class /1:19.785) and Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:19.818) finished in positions 15 to 17.
The gap between best time and 17th was just half a second in this highly competitive first qualifying session.
Qualifying 2: With a time of 1:19.044, Gary Paffett secured the second fastest time of the second part of qualifying. Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished in P10 in 1:19.234. Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:19.502) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:19.577) will start the race from P13 and P14. The gap between P1 and P14 again amounted to just over half a second.
Comments on qualifying:
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) – pole position (1:19.119):
“That was a great qualifying session! I’m very satisfied with my performance, especially as we had a difficult day yesterday and not everything went to plan. We improved steadily in qualifying, and Q4 was really good. My C-Class was just great. I must say a big thank to my team for their strategy of only posting one flying lap in Q3, meaning we had fresher tyres in Q4. I now hope to secure my second win of the season tomorrow.”
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) – second (1:19.524):
“Second on the grid is a good result. I made mistakes in the last two sectors, and that cost me time. Even so, starting from the front row means I have a great chance of winning the race tomorrow. This track seems to suit the C-Class perfectly, and I’m really satisfied with my car.”
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Cass) – fifth (1:19.151):
“I could have done more in qualifying, but unfortunately I made a mistake on the first turn and lost time. I’m expecting a very close race, because the times in qualifying were very close. A lot will depend on getting the right strategy.”
Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) – tenth (1:19.234):
“I’m happy with my qualifying result – as the best driver of a one-year old car, I’ve reached my minimum target. However, it’a a bit annoying because I missed going into the third qualifying segment by only two tenths of a second. Now I would like to secure my first points in the race.”
Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 13th (1:19.502):
“Qualifying was okay, though I was struggling with my car to some extent. I would ideally have liked to be closer to the front, but when I was on my hot lap, the track was a bit dirty in the final sector. That affected my time and I was unable to finish it off.”
Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 14th (1:19.577):
“I’ve reached my goal in qualifying and made it into the second session – so I’m happy with my performance. In the race I would be happy to finish in the points like last year.”
David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 15th (1:19.737):
“15th place is not what I was hoping for. We had a few problems with tyres and balance that we unfortunately could not solve immediately. I hope things go better in the race.”
Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 16th (1:19.785):
“Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found the necessary grip. After second practice, I was hoping for more than 16th place on the grid, but you only score points on Sunday – so I will not give up.”
Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 17th (1:19.818):
“Things didn’t go right today. I haven’t yet got the feeling for the track. The C-Class is definitely good for more, as my team-mates have shown. it won’t be easy from P17 on the grid, but is possible in the race, particularly if it rains.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“A really strong pole lap by Bruno, just under half a second ahead of Mattias Ekström in P3 in the best-placed Audi. Previously, it had been much, much closer – in Q1, there was a gap of just 0.365 seconds between P1 and Susie in P14. In Q2, the top eight drivers were separated by exactly 0.2 seconds, and the top six – three Audis and three Mercedes C-Class cars – were less than a tenth apart. DTM has never been this close and this exciting. That makes Bruno’s pole today even more valuable and Jamie Green’s second place gives us a front row lockout. Fifth-placed Gary Paffett on the third row of the grid is also in a good position. A big thanks to everyone in our teams – they’ve done a brilliant job here today at the Lausitzring, and we are extremely pleased. Tomorrow, we will focus on what we hope will be a strong race that would give us six wins in a row, and hopefully, our twelfth victory in the fourteenth race at this circuit.”
Source: Daimler AG