Row One for Gary Paffett
Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's 10th and final round of the 2009 DTM at Hockenheim from the front row. Gary who is second overall after three race wins this season, more than any other driver achieved this year, set a qualifying time of 1m32.591. He was 66 thousandths of a second behind Mattias Ekstrom's (Audi) pole time, but 22 thousandths ahead of Timo Scheider (Audi), the only other title contender and overall leader with a gap of seven points.
Paul Di Resta ended up fourth (1:32.787). Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified his 2008 C-Class eighth on the grid (1m32.774). Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) suffered from vibrations during Q2 and ended up 11th (1m32.779) whilst Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), pole sitter in the previous race at Dijon two weeks ago, retired during the first part of qualifying (1m33.568) and will start 15th on the gird.
Qualifying, part 1: In the closing stages, Jamie Green improved from 15th to second and was the best C-Class driver with a 1m32.829. Bruno Spengler ended up 15th with a 1m33.568 and missed Q2 by 0.143sec. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m33.831) and Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m33.915) came home 16th and 17th respectively.
Qualifying, part 2: This time, Paul Di Resta (1m32.159) was second. Jamie Green (1m32.612) ended up ninth and missed the third part as well as Ralf Schumacher (1m32.779) in 11th place.
Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) second (1:32.591): "My C-Class was great and the 10-kilo weight handicap were not a problem for me. I have to finish first or second tomorrow to keep my title hopes alive and second on the grid is a good basis to achieve this. However, my chances to make up Timo's advantage of seven points are not really big."
Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class) fourth (1:32.787): "I am happy with the second row and I thank my team for a perfect C-Class. We want to show the spectators an exciting race tomorrow."
Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class), eighth (1:32.774): "I am satisfied to make it to the top eight in this year's last qualifying. The 2009 cars are really fast, but we managed to beat some of the them."
Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) ninth (1:32.612): "Ninth on the grid is not bad, although I might have been possible to drive a little faster. However, after Katherine Legge's off I backed off for a moment and wasn't able to improve afterwards."
Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) 11th (1:32.779): "Not a bad qualifying for me. My C-Class ran perfectly and Q3 didn't seem to be a problem; however, my car then suffered from vibrations and wasn't able to improve. I will give it my all tomorrow and try to make up."
Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) 15th (1m33.568): "My lap wasn't really good and there was room for improvement. We thought it would be enough for Q2 anyway; unfortunately, we were wrong. Now I will push throughout tomorrow and try to make the best out the situation."
Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 16th (1:33.831): "I am disappointed, because I had expected more for the last qualifying of the 2009 season. Now I will try to make the best out of my 16th grid position tomorrow."
Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 17th (1m33.915): "That was close. My lap was really good; however, I crossed the line a little bit too late so it didn't count anymore. It's a shame, Q2 was easily possible today."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Our guys sold themselves dearly -- Gary is only 0.066sec behind the pole time and our weight handicap after five wins out of nine races sums up to significantly more. This was great class by Gary and Paul. I didn't expect that these positions would be possible here. And Gary even said, that he missed pole after sliding at the last corner."