On Sunday in the eighth DTM race of the season at Oschersleben (live at 13.45pm on ARD television), Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) is in second place on the grid in the 140th race since 2000 of the ‘new’ DTM.
In the time trial at the end of the qualifying session, the British driver posted a 1:21.002 – just 0.086 seconds down on Bruno Spengler’s pole time (BMW / 1:20.916). Sunday at Oschersleben marks the championship leader’s 90th race in the most popular touring car series in the world.
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), placed second in the championship, posted a 1:21.226, the third best time in Q4 and will be directly behind team-mate Paffett on the second row of the grid.
The new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé will be on the front row of the grid for the seventh time in the eighth race of the 2012 season. At Brands Hatch and Nuremberg, Paffett and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), and Paffett and Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) achieved a double pole each. In 351 DTM races, Mercedes-Benz drivers have been in first or second place on the grid a total of 222 times.
Qualifying Part 1: Jamie Green secured the second fastest time – 1:21.042 minutes – in the first qualifying segment. Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:22.026), David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:22.169) and Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished in P19, 21 and 22 respectively. Just seven tenths of a second covered the top 16 drivers.
Qualifying Part 2: Jamie Green again posted the second fastest time in the second part of qualifying. Gary Paffett was third. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) secured a 1:21.157, exactly the same lap time as Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), who, however, posted his lap time before Schumacher and so progressed into the third part of qualifying. Schumacher will start from eleventh place on the grid in Sunday’s race. Robert Wickens (stern AMG Mercedes C-Coupé / 1:21.176) finished in P13 and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé / 1:21.583) came home in P16.
Comments on qualifying:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Second (1:21.002):
„That was a superb, exciting qualifying, and after a tough race weekend at Zandvoort, I’m very pleased to be on the front row tomorrow in my 90th DTM race. Many thanks to the team – the guys did a great job with the setup and preparation of my THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. I missed pole position by barely a tenth of a second. We have a very fast car, and I am highly motivated and will do everything tomorrow to secure my third win in Oschersleben and extend my lead in the championship.“
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Third (1:21.226):
„We had a hard-fought qualifying session today. My lap times in Q2 and Q3 were very good, but unfortunately, I was unable to post a perfect lap in the final part of qualifying. The track in Oschersleben is very demanding on cars, but our Mercedes AMG C-Coupé is absolutely brilliant here. With grid positions two and three, Gary and I have an excellent platform for tomorrow’s race.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Eleventh (1:21.157):
„I posted the same lap time as Mike Rockenfeller in the second part of qualifying, but unfortunately, he secured his time a little before me and so he progressed into Q3. That’s obviously maddening for me, but tomorrow’s race is long and all is not lost from eleventh position on the grid and there’s still plenty to play for.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 13th (1:21.176):
„It was nice, to see my name so far up the time sheets in the first part of qualifying. In Q2, though, the other drivers upped their game and were able to post faster times. Unfortunately, my improvement was not sufficient to move on into Q3. Consequently, 13th position on the grid was the maximum for me in this tough qualifying session.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), 16th (1:21.583):
„A fair to middling qualifying for me. My C-Coupé felt very good in practice, but the speed somehow disappeared in between second practice and qualifying. I hope that I can find my pace again before the race, and then I can still move up the field, even from 16th place on the grid.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 19th (1:22.026):
„Unfortunately, qualifying was disappointing for me. I ended up collecting some bits just as I was leaving the pit lane for the first time right at the start of Q1 – my mechanics were brilliant but we lost valuable time. After that, I was unable to achieve a good lap time, but tomorrow is another day and I will be going all out to mount an attack from 19th position on the grid.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 21st (1:22.169):
„Practice here at Oschersleben went pretty well, and I did my best in qualifying to secure a good position on the grid for the race. Unfortunately, it was not to be. As usual in the DTM, we were very tightly bunched since the gaps between drivers are generally small and I only missed progressing into the second part of qualifying by four tenths. Now in the race, I’ll push hard to move up the field, which I managed quite well in the very first lap at the last race in Zandvoort.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 22nd (1:22.422):
„I had intended doing more in qualifying at Oschersleben. Unfortunately, we were not quick enough today. I posted six laps in a row in qualifying, which did not pay off in the end. We can expect a tough race tomorrow, but I will do my level best to improve my position as much as possible.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„Second place for Gary and third position for Jamie constitute a good platform for us. Championship leader Paffett was just 0.086 seconds off securing pole, which shows just how tight racing is in the DTM. Previously, in Q2, 0.019 seconds covered the four cars in the drop zone, from P10 to P13 – it just does not get any closer. In the third-to-last race tomorrow, the top three in the championship are in grid positions one, two and three – a proper showdown, the likes of which you can only dream about. Well, that’s what I think.“
Pictures: MBpassion.de / Text: Mercedes AMG