At the Lausitzring, Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) starts from pole position for the third time in four races of the current DTM season and for the tenth time in his career and the 108th pole position for Mercedes-Benz in DTM.
Three C-Class drivers in the Top 5: Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green on the front row, Gary Paffett in fifth Mercedes claim eleventh pole in 13 DTM races at Lausitzring
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start from pole in the fourth 2011 DTM race at the Lausitzring on. The Canadian driver posted a time of 1:19.119 in the individual time trial at the end of qualifying. It’s his tenth DTM pole and his second at this track since 2007. For the 108th time, a Mercedes-Benz driver is on pole position in DTM - it’s the eleventh Mercedes pole at the EuroSpeedway track since its debut in 2000.
Mercedes-Benz team-mate Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start alongside Spengler on the front row. The British driver posted the second fastest qualifying time in the fourth segment – 1:19.524.
With a time of 1:19.151, Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) missed out on the top four in qualifying by just 0.079 seconds. The two-time Lausitz winner starts the race from fifth on the grid.
In the first part of qualifying, Gary Paffett posted the fastest C-class time - 1:19.395. David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C- Class / 1:19.737), Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class /1:19.785) and Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:19.818) finished in positions 15 to 17. The gap between best time and 17th was just half a second in this highly competitive first qualifying session.
With a time of 1:19.044, Gary Paffett secured the second fastest time of the second part of qualifying. Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished in P10 in 1:19.234. Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:19.502) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:19.577) will start the race from P13 and P14. The gap between P1 and P14 again amounted to just over half a second.
Comments on qualifying:
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) - pole position (1:19.119):
“That was a great qualifying session! I’m very satisfied with my performance, especially as we had a difficult day yesterday and not everything went to plan. We improved steadily in qualifying, and Q4 was really good. My C-Class was just great. I must say a big thank to my team for their strategy of only posting one flying lap in Q3, meaning we had fresher tyres in Q4. I now hope to secure my second win of the season tomorrow.”
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) - second (1:19.524):
“Second on the grid is a good result. I made mistakes in the last two sectors, and that cost me time. Even so, starting from the front row means I have a great chance of winning the race tomorrow. This track seems to suit the C-Class perfectly, and I’m really satisfied with my car.”
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Cass) - fifth (1:19.151):
“I could have done more in qualifying, but unfortunately I made a mistake on the first turn and lost time. I'm expecting a very close race, because the times in qualifying were very close. A lot will depend on getting the right strategy.”
Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) - tenth (1:19.234):
“I'm happy with my qualifying result - as the best driver of a one-year old car, I've reached my minimum target. However, it’a a bit annoying because I missed going into the third qualifying segment by only two tenths of a second. Now I would like to secure my first points in the race.”
Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 13th (1:19.502):
“Qualifying was okay, though I was struggling with my car to some extent. I would ideally have liked to be closer to the front, but when I was on my hot lap, the track was a bit dirty in the final sector. That affected my time and I was unable to finish it off.”
Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 14th (1:19.577):
“I’ve reached my goal in qualifying and made it into the second session - so I'm happy with my performance. In the race I would be happy to finish in the points like last year.”
David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 15th (1:19.737):
“15th place is not what I was hoping for. We had a few problems with tyres and balance that we unfortunately could not solve immediately. I hope things go better in the race.”
Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 16th (1:19.785):
“Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found the necessary grip. After second practice, I was hoping for more than 16th place on the grid, but you only score points on Sunday - so I will not give up.”
Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 17th (1:19.818):
“Things didn’t go right today. I haven’t yet got the feeling for the track. The C-Class is definitely good for more, as my team-mates have shown. it won't be easy from P17 on the grid, but is possible in the race, particularly if it rains.”
DTM has never been this close and this exciting
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“A really strong pole lap by Bruno, just under half a second ahead of Mattias Ekström in P3 in the best-placed Audi. Previously, it had been much, much closer – in Q1, there was a gap of just 0.365 seconds between P1 and Susie in P14. In Q2, the top eight drivers were separated by exactly 0.2 seconds, and the top six – three Audis and three Mercedes C-Class cars – were less than a tenth apart.
DTM has never been this close and this exciting. That makes Bruno’s pole today even more valuable and Jamie Green’s second place gives us a front row lockout. Fifth-placed Gary Paffett on the third row of the grid is also in a good position. A big thanks to everyone in our teams – they’ve done a brilliant job here today at the Lausitzring, and we are extremely pleased. Tomorrow, we will focus on what we hope will be a strong race that would give us six wins in a row, and hopefully, our twelfth victory in the fourteenth race at this circuit.”