DTM

Norisring: Qualifying report

Schneider and Alesi to start from first row The first two rows are locked out by Mercedes-Benz for the fifth round of the DTM at the Norisring in Nuremberg. In the "Super-Pole" single-lap qualifying, Bernd Schneider claimed pole-position with ...

Schneider and Alesi to start from first row

The first two rows are locked out by Mercedes-Benz for the fifth round of the DTM at the Norisring in Nuremberg. In the "Super-Pole" single-lap qualifying, Bernd Schneider claimed pole-position with 48.991 seconds. Team-mate Jean Alesi put his AMG-Mercedes CLK in second place, only 0.09 seconds down. Christijan Albers and Marcel Fässler completed the good result of the team.

The third row on the starting grid is being occupied by Mattias Ekström and last year's winner Laurent Aiello (both Abt-Audi), while the two Opel-drivers Peter Dumbreck and Joachim Winkelhock are on the fourth row of the grid. The race on the 2.3 kilometres short street circuit will be covering a distance of 72 laps (previously 44), because of the new race format, and will have even more excitement with at least two pit stops per car with tyre change and refuelling. On Saturday already, more than 30,000 fans enjoyed the DTM-atmosphere in the paddock of the "German Monaco" around the stone grand stand and the Dutzendteich lake.

Schneider: "I suppose that it will be a hot race"

"Getting a perfect lap done at this track is incredibly difficult," Bernd Schneider said. "Therefore, I am all the more happy that I managed. The secret is that you may not push too much with your car, otherwise, you lose some tenths and many places all at once. I suppose that it will be a hot race -- and not just because of the temperatures."

Former F1-star Jean Alesi qualified on the front row for the first time this season. "Such a result is important for anyone who is pushing and working professionally," the participant of 201 Grands Prix said. "After all, I am racing in the DTM to achieve good results and because I like motorsport, and not, for instance, because it would be boring for me at home."

Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug was happy: "The team has achieved the maximum, this is an excellent result. Apparently, we have found a good compromise between the speed that one is needing on the long straights and good handling in the corners."

Ekström: "Tomorrow, we will give everything to make the race exciting"

"The car was good, I didn't make any mistakes either, but I was just too slow," the best-placed driver of an Abt-Audi TT-R, Mattias Ekström, analysed. "But tomorrow's race is by no means decided already. We will give everything to make it as exciting as possible. Who knows, at the hot Adria-circuit, we had some fine overtaking manoeuvres as well."

Abt Sportsline's team principal Hans-Jürgen Abt also said: "This was all we could do today, there was no way for us to beat the Mercedes." And added, just like Ekström: "Now, we have to make something special of the race. We are promising our fans at our home race. After all, Laurent is in a good position with sixth place, and the race is very, very long with 72 laps." Christian Abt encountered bad luck after getting stuck on his flying lap because of a technical problem.

Dumbreck: "I could have done better, I am angry with myself"

Peter Dumbreck may be once again the best placed Opel-driver with his Opel Astra V8 Coupé, but after his third place on the grid at the Lausitzring, he is only seventh this time. "I really am totally angry with myself, because I could have done better," the Scot fumed. "Basically, I wanted to gain something under braking, but that went wrong massively. I locked up big time twice, and thus, I couldn't get any better result."

Opel's motorsport director Volker Strycek provided some consolation: "Initially, we had three drivers in the top ten for the single-lap qualifying. The fact that all three, next to Peter also Manuel Reuter and Joachim Winkelhock, prevented any better results because of driving errors, is just a thing that has happened. All the others have been there, too. The crowd and the excitement at the grand stands today already are an additional motivation for the race."

-dtm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Volker Strycek , Hans-Jurgen Abt