DTM

N?rburgring: Mercedes qualifying report

Marcel Fässler Scores Second Pole Position in a Row Exciting qualifying: Fässler 0.021sec faster than fellow AMG-Mercedes CLK driver Christijan Albers - Four AMG Mercedes CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and three Opel Astra V8 Coupés on the first...

Marcel Fässler Scores Second Pole Position in a Row

Exciting qualifying: Fässler 0.021sec faster than fellow AMG-Mercedes CLK driver Christijan Albers - Four AMG Mercedes CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and three Opel Astra V8 Coupés on the first five rows of the grid

Marcel Fässler (AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's third round of the 2003 DTM at the Nürburgring from pole position. For the AMG-Mercedes CLK driver, it's the fourth pole position of his DTM career and the second consecutive this season after starting from the front two weeks ago in Italy.

In the single-lap qualifying, Fässler started fourth and set a time of 1:24.963. He was the first driver this weekend to clock a lap under 1:25. None of the six following drivers was faster than the Swiss. Christijan Albers (ExpressService AMG-Mercedes), who was fastest in the previous qualifying and therefore the last to start in the single-lap qualifying, was 21 thousandths of a second behind Fässler and will start Sunday’s race from second place on the grid.

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) was sixth fastest with a time of 1:25.323 whilst Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) made a mistake under braking into the righthander after the front straight and was tenth with a 1:25.828. The first 15 cars in qualifying were within one second. Four AMG Mercedes CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and three Opel Astra V8 Coupés are on the first five rows of the grid.

Marcel Fässler, AMG-Mercedes, Pole Position (1:24.963):

"In the first part of qualifying I was not able to achieve a clean lap, but when I started the single-lap qualifying I was fully concentrated and had a really good run. However, I didn't expect it was good enough for pole position and I waited nervously watching the time monitors."

Christijan Albers, ExpressService AMG-Mercedes, second (1:24.984):

"Yesterday I had a problem to achieve a good time in the first sector, but today, I particularly focussed on this part of the track. However, in the other two sectors I didn’t quite reach the limit, so I could have gone faster there. Although I missed pole position by a small margin, I'm happy about starting a DTM race from the first row for the first time."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, sixth (1:25.323):

"The car was perfect and my lap in the single-lap qualifying was good. Right now I really don’t know where I lost time. Obviously I’m not satisfied with sixth place.”

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, AMG-Mercedes, tenth (1:25.828):

"I'm sorry for the team. Everybody did a great job and the car worked very well. However I didn't make use of that because I made a mistake. I will now concentrate on tomorrow and hope to do better in the race."

Gary Paffett, Service 24h AMG-Mercedes, 16th (1:26.218):

"I adapted to the AMG-Mercedes CLK pretty quickly, although the car feels quite different from a single seater particularly under braking or when accelerating. I used our set-up from Friday's test which we modified a bit into the direction of Stefan Mücke's car. I'm satisfied with my result and I'm happy to be a part of the DTM now."

Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 17th (1:26.284):

"My third run was my fastest, but I made a small mistake which prevented me from qualifying further up the grid."

Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 18th (1:26.440):

"I'm disappointed about my 18th place, because I had expected a better result after this morning's Free Practice. I will now concentrate on the race. If I drive consistently and without mistakes a better result should be possible."

Bernd Mayländer, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 19th (1:26.506):

"We modified the car since yesterday's test and I was able to improve slightly. Unfortunately I'm still behind my team mate, although I was able to narrow the gap."

Katsutomo Kaneishi, ARTA AMG-Mercedes, 21st (1:27.056):

"This is my first time at the Nürburgring and I don't know the track as well as the other drivers. However, I was able to improve in qualifying lap by lap."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"It was an exciting qualifying with 15 cars within one second and the first ten cars within 0.7sec. This reflects how difficult it is to end up among the top-ten for the single-lap qualifying. Our two youngsters Marcel and Christijan proved their talent today. Their fight for pole was thrilling particularly for the TV spectators. Gary Paffett performed well in his DTM debut."

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Marcel Fassler , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Thomas Jäger , Gary Paffett , Kaneishi Katsutomo , Stefan Mücke