DTM

Adria: Mercedes qualifying report

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's third round of the 2004 DTM at Adria, Italy second on the grid. In the exciting single-lap qualifying on Saturday, the Frenchman set a time of 1:11.373 and missed pole position by 31 thousandths of a...

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's third round of the 2004 DTM at Adria, Italy second on the grid. In the exciting single-lap qualifying on Saturday, the Frenchman set a time of 1:11.373 and missed pole position by 31 thousandths of a second. Fastest in qualifying was Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM/1:11.342).

Christijan Albers (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes/1:11.386 ended up third whilst Gary Paffett (C-Klasse AMG-Mercedes/1:11.345) was fourth. Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes/1:11.702) qualified eighth fastest.

Starting the single-lap qualifying second, Martin Tomczyk (Audi A4 DTM) set the provisional fastest lap. Paffett, seventh in the order, was the first to be faster, followed by Albers and Alesi. Ekström was the last driver and secured pole position only on the last sector.

After Qualifying the four HWA drivers were in positions two to five within 0.051sec. Alesi was second fastest with a 1:11.322 ahead of Albers (1:11.336), who improved by seven tenths of a second on his third fast lap, followed by Paffett (1:11,345) and Schneider (1:11,373).

Stefan Mücke (CLK AMG-Mercedes/1:11.789) and Markus Winkelhock (Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes/1:11.794) were the best drivers with last year's cars. Mücke was 11th in qualifying and missed the single-lap qualifying by two thousandths of a second. Winkelhock was 12th with another five thousandths behind Mücke. Bernd Mayländer (CLK AMG-Mercedes/1:11.952) and Jarek Janis (Sonax Dark Dog AMG-Mercedes/1:11.966) qualified 15th and 18th respectively. At the end of the first qualifying, 20 cars were within 0.906sec.

Jean Alesi:

"On the first sector I was a bit too careful, but afterwards I pushed really hard and I'm happy starting second on the grid. A gap of 31 thousandths behind pole is a good basis for the race. I want to contribute to a good and exciting race for the spectators and my fans here in Italy."

Christijan Albers:

"The first sector was perfect, however, on the second sector I made a small mistake under braking which cost me some time. After tenth place in Hockenheim and sixth at Estoril this is my best starting position so far this year, and I want to further improve my qualifying performance."

Gary Paffett:

"I'm happy to start the race fourth on the grid. On the third sector I made a small mistake when I hit the curbs too early and the car therefore had understeer. So I lost some time, but the basis for the race is still OK."

Bernd Schneider:

"The first qualifying was not bad, however, in the single-lap qualifying I was more than three tenths of a second slower. I didn't manage a better lap and have to be satisfied with eighth position."

Stefan Mücke:

"11th on the grid is a satisfying starting position, but after missing the single-lap qualifying by two thousandths I'm still a bit angry. We have a good set-up and I hope to end up within the points positions. In this competitive field this will be a hard fight."

Markus Winkelhock:

"My third run was good, but I still lack experience with the touring car. Unfortunately I missed the single-lap qualifying, but I hope for points in the race."

Bernd Mayländer:

"I'm satisfied with our qualifying performance. Our team did a good job and we improved continuously throughout the weekend. There is still more to come and I'm confident for the race."

Jarek Janis:

"I had a small problem with my third set of tyres, moreover, I got stuck in traffic on my third run. Therefore I was not able to improve."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"A thrilling qualifying, particularly for the TV spectators. The first three drivers are within 44 thousandths of a second. After his Hockenheim pole position, Jean will start from the front row for the second time this year. The gap between him and his Mercedes team mates Christijan Albers and Gary Paffett is 0.121sec. Congratulations to Mattias Ekström and the Abt Audi team. 20 cars within 0.7sec after both qualifyings prove how competitive the DTM is."

-mercedes-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Gary Paffett , Markus Winkelhock , Stefan Mücke , Jarek Janis