DTM

Hockenheim: Mercedes qualifying report

Pole for Bruno Spengler at the Premiere of the new AMG Mercedes C-Class Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes) with 2005 C-Class on the second row Reigning Champion Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) ninth Great debut for the...

Pole for Bruno Spengler at the Premiere of the new AMG Mercedes C-Class
Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes) with 2005 C-Class on the second row
Reigning Champion Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) ninth

Great debut for the new AMG Mercedes C-Class in the DTM season opener: In the first DTM race of the new C-Class, Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes) will start from pole position, three weeks after the market launch of the street version. In a thrilling qualifying, Spengler, the 2006 runner-up, posted a time of 1:34.369 minutes and was 0.077sec faster than Martin Tomczyk (Audi A4 DTM) in second place. In Sunday's race, Bruno will start from first spot on the grid for the third time in his DTM career.

Rookie Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start from the second row. The 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series Champion set a time of 1:34.449 with the 2005 C-Class and missed the front row by three thousandths of a second. Mika Häkkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified seventh (1:34.774). Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class) was among the top-eight qualifiers for the second time after the 2006 season finale; however, due to a problem with the power steering he was not able to complete a timed lap. Bruno Spengler's pole position time and Mika Häkkinen's time in seventh place were within 0.405sec.

Bruno Spengler: "I thank my team, which has done a fantastic job. We did our best and it was an extremely difficult qualifying. The season's first race is always something special, because we know only here how strong we really are. This pole position is a great reward for the entire HWA team. With the new C-Class, they have prepared a beautiful and fast car."

Paul di Resta: "A DTM debut like in a dream. I had never expected to start my first DTM race from the second row on the grid. We have worked extremely hard all winter and this paid off today. I am very happy and thank everybody in my team; they made my two-year-old used car really competitive. Tomorrow I want to score as many points as possible."

Mika Häkkinen: "We tried different options; however, we did not manage to find the optimum balance. The result is seventh place on the grid and this is not what would have been possible. We will now focus on the race and will offer the fans a great show. Let's wait for tomorrow and C for yourself."

Daniel la Rosa: "It's a shame. I made it to the final part of qualifying for the second time after the 2006 season finale; however, problems with the power steering prevented me from completing a timed lap. Anyway, eighth on the gird is not bad and I want to score points tomorrow."

Bernd Schneider: "When I was out with my first set of tyres, the track was dirty at the last sector. With my second set, I made a mistake under braking, and that was it with my qualifying. However, ninth on the grid is not too bad and with his pole position Bruno has demonstrated the potential of the new C-Class."

Alexandros Margaritis: "This was even closer than expected. I missed the final part by 26 thousandths of a second and therefore I'm a bit disappointed. Tomorrow we will be better, I'm sure."

Susie Stoddart: "I am really happy. Maybe I could have been even a little faster, but on my second run I made a small mistake. The team did a good job and I have a good basis for the race. Tomorrow I want to score my first DTM points."

Jamie Green: "A difficult qualifying. I didn't manage to get the optimum out of the car. The car is not the reason, otherwise Bruno would not be on pole."

Gary Paffett: "The car's balance could have been better and I suffered from understeer. It's going to be a tough race tomorrow, however, I am confident."

Mathias Lauda: "I am very disappointed; after positions five and ten in yesterday's tests I had hoped for more. However, my front splitter was damaged, therefore I lacked downforce at the front and suffered from strong understeer."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "I am really happy about the first pole position of the new C-Class in its racing premiere and about the great performance of Bruno and his team. A big thank you to the HWA team headed by Hans-Jürgen Mattheis and Gerhard Ungar for their good job developing the new DTM C-Class."

"The qualifying was exciting and the lead changed again and again in all three parts. Audi was in front in the first two qualifying sessions while we were first in the third part, what I prefer, to be honest. Qualifying third on his DTM debut with the two-year-old C-Class, Paul di Resta caused a surprise and missed the front row by only three thousandths of a second."

"Bruno, Mika, Paul and Daniel la Rosa qualified two new and two used C-Class cars each among the top-eight. Daniel suffered from a problem with the power steering and was not able to complete a timed lap in the last part of qualifying. Susie Stoddart's 12th place is remarkable. The spectators here in Hockenheim and in front of the TV sets can look forward to a great race tomorrow."

Bruno Spengler
DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class
Pole Position, 1:34.369

Paul di Resta
JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class
Third, 1:34.449

Mika Häkkinen
AMG Mercedes C-Class
Seventh, 1:34.774

Daniel la Rosa
TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class
Eighth, no time

Bernd Schneider
Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class
Ninth, 1.34.877

Alexandros Margaritis
stern AMG Mercedes C-Class
10th, 1:34.895

Susie Stoddart
TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class
12th, 1:35.107

Jamie Green
Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class
13th, 1:35.180

Gary Paffett
Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class
14th, 1:35.369

Gary Paffett
Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class
14th, 1:35.369

Mathias Lauda
Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class
16th, 1:35.411

-credit: mercedes

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green