Bernd Schneider and Uwe Alzen: Same Time, Second Row 20 cars within 0.940 seconds - Four Abt-Audi, four Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM and two Opel among top ten; all four 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM within 0.077sec Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM drivers Bernd...
Bernd Schneider and Uwe Alzen: Same Time, Second Row
20 cars within 0.940 seconds - Four Abt-Audi, four Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM and two Opel among top ten; all four 2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM within 0.077sec
Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM drivers Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) and Uwe Alzen (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes) will start tomorrow's fifth round of the 2002 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring from the second row of the grid. In Saturday's Qualifying, both posted a time of 49.379sec - Bernd is third because he set his time earlier than Uwe who is fourth. Seven thousandths of a second behind them Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) qualified fifth fastest. Pole position went to Mattias Ekström (Abt-Audi TT-R) with a 49.239.
The 45-minute Qualifying had been interrupted after ten minutes when Abt-Audi TT-R driver Martin Tomczyk crashed into the tyre barrier at the Grundig hairpin. After 20 minutes, the safety devices had been re-installed and Qualifying resumed. At the end of the session, the 20 remaining drivers were within 0.940sec whilst Tomczyk's car couldn't be repaired during Qualifying. 16 drivers posted lap times under 50sec - Bernd Schneider's 2001 pole position time was 50.246sec.
Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, third (49.379): "Under these circumstances I'm really happy with my Qualifying time which I had expected after this morning's Free Practice. Maybe second position would have been possible if I hadn't misjudged a bump on my fastest lap and lost time. The narrow time gaps are incredible and show how hard the competition in the DTM is. I expect an exciting race tomorrow."
Uwe Alzen, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, fourth (49.379): "Having achieved exactly the same time as Bernd and starting from the second row tomorrow is very satisfying. I hope my streak of bad luck will end tomorrow."
Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, fifth (49.386): "This was my best qualifying this year as I have achieved my second position in Donington in wet conditions, and I'm very happy. This is my first time at this circuit which is a real challenge. We are very competitive and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race."
Marcel Fässler, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, eighth (49.456): "After Free Practice things looked bad but obviously I was able to improve. With an optimum lap I might have closed the gap behind my team mates but eighth position is a good base for Sunday's race."
Bernd Mayländer, Oase AMG-Mercedes, twelfth (49.800): "Twelfth position reflects our performance during the whole weekend so far. I'm the fastest driver of a 2001 model which is also a result of the good job of our team. On my first run I made a little mistake, but then I was able to improve throughout."
Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 13th (49.878): "Although I couldn't manage to find a clear lap I'm quite satisfied with my qualifying result. However I'm optimistic for Sunday's race."
Patrick Huisman, CEB AMG-Mercedes, 15th (49.948): "After this morning's Free Practice I was pessimistic but then we used the data of Bernd Mayländer's car which helped me a lot for Qualifying. Now I'm confident for tomorrow's race."
Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 16th (49.998): "So far I was not able to find the perfect line in the third sector, therefore I will have a close look at it when I walk there this evening."
Christijan Albers, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 17th (50.108): "We had a couple of problems this weekend, therefore we dropped a little bit behind the other teams. I hope we will be able to catch up in Sunday's warm-up session."
Peter Dumbreck, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 20th (50.179):"I'm very disappointed. No matter what I tried I wasn't able to improve my time. Obviously we had a problem to deal with the tyres today. I drove my fastest lap on my final run during which I made three fast laps with used tyres."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "The whole field within nine tenths of a second and less than one tenth of a second between second and eighth positions demonstrate how competitive the DTM is. Four Mercedes-Benz between third and eighth places show a good performance of our team. We are well prepared for tomorrow's race - there have often been better starts from the second row than from the first."