Following an excellent team effort in qualifying, Audi is in a good position for the two DTM invitation races at Shanghai (China). During Saturday's qualifying, held in gruelling heat, five Audi A4 DTM cars made the cut to "Super Pole" qualifying,...
Following an excellent team effort in qualifying, Audi is in a good position for the two DTM invitation races at Shanghai (China). During Saturday's qualifying, held in gruelling heat, five Audi A4 DTM cars made the cut to "Super Pole" qualifying, which is reserved for the ten fastest drivers.
After Tom Kristensen had recorded the fastest time on the 2.840-km street circuit in the morning's two free practice sessions, the Dane missed pole in single car qualifying by just 28 thousands of a second. As best placed Audi driver, Kristensen will start the first of the two 30-minute races from third position on the grid.
Martin Tomczyk will be on the same row with another Audi A4 DTM from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. Emanuele Pirro gave Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest its best DTM qualifying result so far. Rinaldo Capello impressed in his first race with the Audi A4 DTM: At his DTM debut, the Italian qualified immediately for the top ten.
The first of the two 30-minute races will start on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. local time. Chinese stations Shanghai TV und CCTV 5 will cover the DTM guest event live.
Quotes after Qualifying
Tom Kristensen: 3rd
"My A4 has worked perfectly here right from the beginning. We have not changed anything except tyres. I like the car, I like the track. Being fastest in the two free practice session I was hoping for pole. We tried used tyres in the 'Super Pole' which I believe was the right decision. But I missed pole narrowly."
Martin Tomczyk: 4th
"I like the track, it's big fun to drive. I just hope that my car will not be damaged, because you are really on the edge here. I had a little mistake in my 'Super Pole' lap, but I don't think I'm alone with this. That's why I am really happy with my position on the second row."
Emanuele Pirro: 5th
"I am really happy for the team because our beginning of the season was difficult. After the Adria test we worked well on the car and I feel really good on this race track. It was good to be in the Top Ten in qualifying and it is even better to be fifth. That's a good start for tomorrow which will be a survival race."
Rinaldo Capello: 8th
"I am glad because obviously it does not happen so often that rookie qualifies for the Top Ten in the DTM. In the 'Super Pole' qualifying, however, I realised that I lack of experience, particularly with the tyres."
Mattias Ekström: 9th
"Qualifying was very hard for me because we were not sorted out very well after free practice. After this, qualifying for 'Super Pole' was not so bad. Of course it will be a difficult race because overtaking is almost impossible. I'll try to make up some places at the start."
Christian Abt : 11th
"I'm a little bit confused. During free practice, my car was simply superb. In qualifying, instead, I suddenly did not have any grip on the rear wheels. For tomorrow, I now can just try to do a faultless race hoping to make up some positions."
Frank Biela: 14th
"Of course I am not happy with this qualifying result. I should have been faster. Obviously I'm entering the corners a bit to quickly. I have to look at the data of my team-mates and try to learn from that."
Peter Terting: 17th
"I'm very disappointed as I was much faster in free practice than in qualifying. I believe we made a mistake with the tyres because the grip came only after three laps."
Hans-Jürgen Abt: (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"We expected a little bit more from qualifying, but having two cars on the second row of the grid is okay. In this heat, the fitness of the driver will play an important role, that's why I will put my money on Tom (Kristensen)."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest):
"We managed to get two cars into the top ten and Emanuele in fifth place - that's a good position to start the race. I am proud of our team. It has done a great job under this especially tough conditions we are facing here."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
"We've seen a good team effort. Unfortunately, it just was not enough for the front row. It is very tight at the front of the grid. It's difficult to predict what this will mean for the race. Various Audi drivers have the possibility to race at the front. We'll try to make the best out of it."