Bernd Schneider on Pole Position
35 thousandths of a second ahead of Laurent Aiello The 13 fastest cars within one second
Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) will start tomorrow's tenth and final round of the 2002 DTM at Hockenheim from pole position. In Saturday's Qualifying, Bernd set fastest laps with each of his runs and marked the best time of the day with a 1:35.803. Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT- R) who had secured the 2002 DTM championship title last weekend followed in second position with a gap of 35 thousandths of a second. Uwe Alzen (fifth with a 1:36.096) and Marcel Fässler (sixth with a 1:36.154, both Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes) will both start from the third row on the grid.
Bernd Schneider was the second-to-last of the 21 drivers to take up Qualifying, followed by Laurent Aiello. Whilst the Frenchman spoilt his run by a short off, Bernd Schneider started with a best time of 1:35.987 which he improved twice to secure his 18th DTM career pole position and his first this year. The first 13 cars were within less then 0.9sec.
Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, Pole Position (1:35.803):
"Today my car was perfect and I was able to improve run by run. I could have gone even faster, but on my fastest lap I had a slide in the Sachs corner. However it was not easy to achieve this pole position as the narrow time gaps show. I'm really happy about my first pole of the year, particularly because a lot of Mercedes-Benz employees are here to support us."
Uwe Alzen, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, fifth (1:36.096):
"I'm satisfied with my result. On my third run I achieved the best time in the first sector, but I made a mistake afterwards and aborted this lap. On my final run, I again made some small mistakes and therefore wasn't able to improve. The third row on the grid isn't bad, but it will be difficult to get past the three Abt-Audi in front of me."
Marcel Fässler, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, sixth (1:36.154):
"My car ran well the whole weekend so far. Unfortunately I made a small mistake on my fastest lap, otherwise a better position would have been possible."
Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, eighth (1:36.318):
"I had a difficult Qualifying. Unfortunately we didn't manage to get the optimum out of the car. In this morning's Free Practice, the balance of the car was better than in Qualifying. Tomorrow I will try to finish the season with a good result."
Christijan Albers, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 16th (1:37.241):
"At the beginning we tried different tyre pressures. Afterwards Qualifying went well and I'm satisfied to be fastest driver in a 2001 Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM."
Bernd Mayländer, Oase AMG-Mercedes, 17th (1:37.316):
"We had a problem with my last set of tyres which we have to analyse. However I'm quite happy with my Qualifying result."
Patrick Huisman, CEB AMG-Mercedes, 18th (1:37.403):
"On my third run I had a short off, on my fourth and final run I pushed a bit too hard because I wanted to beat my team mate Bernd Mayländer, therefore I wasn't able to improve. Our race performance so far this year was always better than in Qualifying, therefore I hope for a better result tomorrow. "
Peter Dumbreck, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 19th (1:37.537):
"Today I didn't manage to get the optimum out of the car. I aborted my third run after I ran wide entering the Motodrom which was a shame as at that time I had been three seconds faster than on my fastest lap before."
Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 20th (1:37.815):
"Grip conditions in Qualifying were different from those in Free Practice, therefore we first worked into the wrong direction. I'll try to make up some positions in the qualification race to have a better basis for the main event."
Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 21st (1:37.919):
"In this morning's Free Practice the right rear suspension broke, therefore we were not able to test and work on the car sufficiently. Without a good set-up I wasn't able to achieve a better result, hopefully we will be able to improve tomorrow."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"A great performance by Bernd and an exciting Qualifying which is also shown by the time gaps with the 13 fastest cars within less than nine tenths of a second. The DTM's balance of the season prior to the final race is positive throughout. The series offers great events for fans and spectators. 12,000 Mercedes-Benz employees proved that by buying tickets for Hockenheim in advance to attend the final race of the season live. Everybody working on the new DTM since 2000 can be satisfied after 28 races so far. What we achieved up to now is an incentive to further improve the DTM."