For the thirteenth time in all, the historic circuit in the dunes of Zandvoort will be the venue this weekend for the ninth DTM race of the season. Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett (1:31.414 minutes) will start the penultimate race of the DTM season from twelfth position on the grid.

Still in his rookie season, Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished his ninth qualifying session in the world’s most popular international touring car series in P14. He posted a 1:31.445 on his fastest lap during Q2.

Placed third in the championship, Christian Vietoris (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) posted a 1:32.055 to finish in P17. He missed progressing to the second qualifying session by just 0.036 seconds. Bruno Spengler (BMW) has been handed a grid penalty, and so Vietoris moves up to P16 on the grid in Sunday’s race. Fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Daniel Juncadella (stern AMG Mercedes C-Coupé / 1:32.145 minutes), Robert Wickens (STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupe / 1:32.241 minutes) and Roberto Merhi (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:32.357 minutes) will be in grid positions 20, 21 and 22 respectively for the start of the penultimate race of the season at Zandvoort.

Looking ahead to the race: The ninth race of the 2013 DTM season starts on Sunday at 1:30pm. The race at the Circuit Park Zandvoort will be staged over 44 laps, covering a total distance of 189.508 kilometres. Marco Wittmann (BMW / 1:30.894 minutes) on pole for start of race.

Gary Paffett after the qualifying: “It was a difficult qualifying with unsatisfactory results for us. We ran into some problems in this morning’s practice session, so we made some more changes to the car before qualifying began. I was fifth in Q1, and things were looking much better. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much grip on my second run in Q2 and lost time on the first sector. When racing is as competitive as it is in DTM, then just a few tenths of a second can make all the difference in grid positions. Twelfth isn’t a great position, but I managed to push forward to sixth at Oschersleben from the same position and even made the podium at Brands Hatch, so it’s not all over yet. We can still achieve a really good result in tomorrow’s race.”

Wolfgang Schattling, Head of DTM Management:
„Unfortunately, that was a disappointing qualifying for us, no doubt about it. Now we must analyse the causes, and then go into the race full of fighting spirit. Our long runs in practice were good, but moving up the field is difficult at this circuit. However, our drivers have already shown several times this season that they can gain quite a few positions out on track with good race pace and clever strategy. We certainly do not intend to give up but will aim instead to finish this season with some positive results, both here in Zandvoort and at the finale in Hockenheim especially.”

Source: Mercedes DTM