DTM makes history: Bruno Spengler on front row, just one thousandth of a second off pole.
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) qualified on the front row for the fifth time in eight races this season. Over a lap distance of 3.696 kilometres, one thousandth of a second, equivalent to just 5.6 centimetres, lay between Spengler and pole position.
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start the eighth race of the 2011 DTM season at Oschersleben on Sunday (start: 13:00 BST, live on ARD television from 13:45 BST onwards) as the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver from second position on the grid. Spengler set a time of 1:22.372 minutes in the shoot-out at the end of qualifying – he was only one thousandth of a second behind polesetter Miguel Molina (Audi) at the 3.696 km Oschersleben circuit.
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) posted the sixth-fastest lap time of 1:22.111 minutes in the third part of qualifying and will start from sixth place on the grid on Sunday. Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:22.149 minutes) will be start from seventh position for race eight of the season.
Qualifying Session 1: Bruno Spengler was the fastest C-Class driver, posting a time of 1:22.408 minutes. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:23.257 minutes) finished 16th, Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) was unable to set a lap time owing to technical problems.
Qualifying Session 2: Spengler secured the fastest time – 1:22.026 minutes – in the second qualifying section. Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:22.333 minutes) finished P9. David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:22.426 minutes), Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class /1:22.507 minutes) and Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:22.518 minutes) finished in P12, 13 and 14.
Comments on qualifying:
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) – second (1:22.372):
“What an exciting qualifying session! Although I missed out on pole position by a fraction here in Oschersleben, just one thousandth of a second, I’m happy – qualifying today was a lot of fun. My C-Class ran brilliantly – many thanks to my team for preparing the car so well. I made a small mistake on the penultimate corner that probably cost me pole. Nevertheless, I’m satisfied. I start on the inside, which is not a disadvantage in Oschersleben. Tomorrow, I want to get off the line quickly and then we see how the race develops.”
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) – sixth (1:22.111):
“Compared to my performance in free practice, qualifying was a real step forward. Of course, I would have liked to make it through into Q4, but all the drivers’ times are very close here, and even a small mistake can cost you a place in the final shoot-out. If I can drive a perfect race tomorrow, then a podium place is definitely possible.”
Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) – seventh (1:22.149):
“My goal was to progress through to the fourth session in qualifying. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite manage it. It would have been quite possible to make Q4, but my fastest lap wasn’t perfect. It is likely to rain tomorrow for the race, so anything can happen.”
Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) – ninth (1:22.333):
“Ninth on the grid is a good position to start the race from. The team have done an excellent job today, and we hope that we’ve gone for the right strategy for tomorrow’s race. Starting from ninth place on the grid, my goal is, of course, to finish in the points.”
David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 12th (1:22.426):
“This track is very tough on the cars. The kerbs are very hard and high, but you have to use them aggressively if you want to post a fast lap. It’s crucial not to make any errors. I tried, but it wasn’t so easy.”
Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 13th (1:22.518):
“In the first qualifying session, my time still put me in fourth place. I damaged the front of my car in the second session, so a quicker lap time was no longer possible. Now I’m aiming to go on the attack in the race – and with a good start, perhaps move up the field.”
Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 15th (1:23.275):
“The car went well in qualifying today, but I still couldn’t manage a perfect lap. I don’t know what the problem was. The speed just wasn’t there. I’m very disappointed.”
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Cass) – 17th (no timed lap):
“Qualifying was very disappointing. The car didn’t sound like it was running normally as soon as I left the pits. Unfortunately, these problems cannot be quickly solved during the session. I hope now that the race will be fine because I still want to achieve good results this season – maybe we can improve our position a bit here with a good strategy.”
Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 18th (1:22.507):
“We knew that we were facing the threat of a place penalty from the last race, so we planned our strategy accordingly. We saved our tyres for the race, so now we have more fresh sets available than our competitors. Tomorrow we’ll go on the attack – and perhaps I’ll make it into the Top Ten.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“At this circuit, a thousandth of a second equates to 5.6 centimetres – over a total lap distance of 3.696 km. It can’t get any closer, otherwise the timing system wouldn’t be able to separate the two drivers. But starting from second place on the grid, Bruno has got a very good opportunity to score a strong result tomorrow. DTM has certainly got spectators talking as a result of this extremely tight finish to the battle for pole position – never before in the history of this great racing series have first and second places on the grid been separated by just one thousandth of a second.”
Source: Daimler AG