Pole for Paul
Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's fourth round of the 2008 DTM at the Lausitzring from pole position, his first pole position in his 14th DTM race. In an exciting qualifying, the Scotsman took first place with a 1m17.628; Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) completed an all Mercedes-Benz front row with a 1m17.892.
Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), winner of the previous DTM race in Mugello two weeks ago, qualified fifth fastest with a 1m18.163; two tenths behind the first car of the competition which was 0.326sec behind pole setter Di Resta - more than twice as much as the 0.15sec that is caused by the 10-kilo weight difference between our competitor and us. Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start eighth with a 1m18.477 from the fourth row. Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) showed a good performance and achieved 13th position on the grid for the third time in a row; he was the best driver in a 2007 Mercedes-Benz with a 1m19.003.
Qualifying, part 1: Bruno Spengler was the fastest C-Class driver with a 1m18.508 in third place whilst the top five were within less than 0.1sec, exactly within 99 thousandths of a second. Ralf Schumacher qualified for part two 13 second from the end of the first round with a 1m19.310 in 13th place. Four drivers did not make it to the next part: Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class), 15th with a 1m19.339, he missed the next part by 11 thousandths; Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), 16th with a 1m19.401; Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 17th with a 1m19.454; Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 18th with a 1m19.664.
Qualifying, part 2: Paul Di Resta was fastest with a 1m17.976 and posted the first lap under 1m18 this weekend. Ralf Schumacher qualified 13th with a 1m19.003; with this time he would have been sixth on the grid in 2007, as sixth out of then six C-Class drivers who were in positions one to five last year.
Paul Di Resta (2008 AMG Mercedes C-Class) pole position (1:17.628): "I am really happy about my first DTM pole position. Everything so far has been perfect. My long runs yesterday were fast and consistent. I thank my team for a great job. Tomorrow I will try to repeat today's place and if that should not be possible, I want to score as many points as possible."
Bruno Spengler (2008 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) second (1:17.892): "Second place is a good result, although would have preferred to be on pole. But I will try make a good start and take the lead and then to win the race."
Jamie Green (2008 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) fifth (1:18.163): "I had hoped for a better grid position than fifth and wanted to be closer to the front row with Paul and Bruno. Congratulations to Paul on his first DTM pole - I have good memories here of my first pole in September 2005. "
Bernd Schneider (2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) eighth (1:18.477): "The first two parts of qualifying were ok, the car was great and I had a good grip. Therefore, I am disappointed that I was not able to move up in the third part. Unfortunately, we don't know the reason yet. Together we will analyse the data and see how I can improve tomorrow."
Ralf Schumacher (2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) 13th (1:19.003): "13th on the grid is not too bad, particularly because I have not raced at the Lausitzring before and after three races -- or better, two races and three laps, I am still an apprentice in the DTM."
Mathias Lauda (2007 Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class) 15th (1:19.339): "The car was great and from this morning's Free Practice until qualifying I improved by one and a half seconds. This was a big step into the right direction, but unfortunately I missed the second part by 11 thousandths. It's a shame that due to my yellow flag penalty yesterday I will be relegated by five places and have to start from the back of the grid."
Maro Engel (2007 JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) 16th (1:19.401): "I had no problems; however I was not able to find the perfect lap. Anyway, I should be able to move up in the race as everything was really close in qualifying and I want to gain some positions tomorrow."
Gary Paffett (2007 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) 17th (1:19.454): "I am disappointed. I like driving at the Lausitzring, but in this morning's Free Practice I suffered from a steering problem and drove only seven laps. Therefore, my set-up was not yet perfect for qualifying."
Susie Stoddart (2007 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 18th (1:19.664): "The car has been great from the beginning and I didn't make any mistakes. We will now look at the data and analyse how I will be able to improve tomorrow."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Following our 1-2 victory with Jamie and Paul in Mugello two weeks ago, Paul and Bruno now achieved the double pole. Pauls performance was not accidental. He was the 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series Champion like Jamie Green in 2004 and Lewis Hamilton in 2005. In Hockenheim, he posted the fastest lap of the race, in Mugello he ended up second in the race. A year ago, he qualified his two-year-old C-Class third and finished a remarkable second in the race. Thank you to the HWA team headed by Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Juergen Mattheis; since the season opener in Hockenheim everybody worked concentrated and determined. I hope we will continue our trend tomorrow. With Paul and Bruno, who also did a great job, on the front row of the grid, with Jamie in fifth place and Bernd in eighth, four new C-Class cars will start from the first four rows tomorrow. We all look forward to an exciting race."