DTM

Lausitz II: Qualifying report

FIRST POLE FOR JAMIE GREEN - TWO OPELS MAKE IT TO THE TOP THREE Klettwitz - Due to the changeable conditions, the qualifying session and the Super Pole at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz turned out to be a true gamble. At the end of the day, British ...

FIRST POLE FOR JAMIE GREEN - TWO OPELS MAKE IT TO THE TOP THREE

Klettwitz - Due to the changeable conditions, the qualifying session and the Super Pole at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz turned out to be a true gamble. At the end of the day, British Mercedes-Benz driver Jamie Green won the battle for the top position on the grid for tomorrow's race.

"I'm very proud of having secured my maiden DTM pole," beamed last year's Formula 3 Euro Series Champion. On the way to his pole, the 23-year old lapped the drying circuit in 1:17.489 minutes. Just as it was the case in the previous DTM round, at Zandvoort, the top three on the grid were once again completed by two Opel drivers.

In his Opel Vectra GTS V8, former Formula One ace Heinz-Harald Frentzen qualified second by setting a Super Pole lap time that was just 19 hundredth of a second slower than the one of the pole-sitter, while his team-mate, Manuel Reuter, will be third on the grid for tomorrow's 48-lap race, the ninth round of the DTM season that will start at 14:00hrs CET.

Two-time Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen qualified fourth, on the 3.442-kilometre track, while the third and fourth row grid positions will make for a particularly thrilling situation, with the two title-favourites, Audi's Mattias Ekström and Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) being fifth and seventh on the grid.

Ekström qualified fifth and will share the third row with his team-mate Tom Kristensen while seventh placed Gary Paffett will start the race next to Martin Tomczyk (Audi A4 DTM). Prior to tomorrow's race, AMG-Mercedes C-Class driver Paffett holds a one-point lead over Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline). Paffett won this year's first DTM race at the EuroSpeedway, yet, in 2004, Ekström was the winner at the Lausitz.

Jamie Green (Pole position, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes):

"I'm very proud of having secured my maiden DTM pole. The track conditions were anything but easy. You had to opt for a very controlled style of driving to not lose time on the wet spots. To secure pole following eighth place in the qualifying session represents a major surprise."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: (2nd grid position, Stern Team OPC):

"Second position on the grid is a surprise. My lap wasn't perfect, hence, I wasn't sure if it would be good enough for a top-five position. Yet, other than expected, the drying track didn't allow for clearly faster lap times. We've got a promising initial position for tomorrow's race and a podium finish seems possible."

Manuel Reuter (3rd grid position, Team OPC):

"To improve from tenth to third position is a nice result. Everybody expected the grip level to improve but it didn't happen. Second and third grid positions represent a promising initial position for us. Today, Opel proved that the recent weeks' upward trend continues."

Mattias Ekström (5th grid position, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):

"Fifth grid position represents a disappointment as I had expected to secure a front-row position. But my Super Pole lap just wasn't fast enough. There's only one positive factor: Gary Paffett will be even further back on the grid for tomorrow's race."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director:

"Jamie Green didn't enjoy the best conditions, yet, he succeeded in securing pole position. He drove a truly fantastic lap. Today's Super Pole was one of the most thrilling ever and Opel made a perfect job. The competitiveness is back! Gary Paffett went slightly of the line already in turn one. Usually his qualifying and Super pole Performances resemble Swiss clockworks."

Volker Strycek, Opel Motorsport Director:

"To have three cars that made it to the Super Pole is a great result. Today, everything went just marvellously. The team worked hard and today's result is the reward for this effort. Now we look forward to tomorrow's race. Heinz-Harald delivered in fine style throughout the entire weekend. Altogether we can be happy with our good team result."

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi Motorsport Director:

"With four cars in the Super Pole, satisfaction is the dominating feeling, quite obviously. Yet, once again we didn't secure an absolute top position. Currently we just don't succeed in making the cars work in the Super Pole as well as they do in the qualifying session. Mattias made the best of the situation - just as he uses to do."

-dtm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Martin Tomczyk , Manuel Reuter , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Volker Strycek , Gary Paffett , Jamie Green
Teams Team Abt