Abt-Audi-driver Ekström claims pole position in successful night premiere
Fans and drivers were equally excited -- the first Super-Pole qualifying at night in the history of the DTM was a huge success. Flying sparks, glowing brake discs and flames coming out of the exhaust pipes, spectators at the Super-Pole for the seventh round of the DTM at the Nürburgring got plenty to see.
The fastest driver and therefore on the first grid position today was Mattias Ekström. The Abt-Audi-driver lapped the 3.629 kilometres long track in 1.25.095 minutes. This made the Swede 0.099 seconds faster than his team-mate, DTM-champion Laurent Aiello, who will also be starting from the front row of the grid. Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz) in third place was separated by only twelve hundredths of a second from Martin Tomczyk (Abt-Audi) in fourth and Peter Dumbreck (Opel) in fifth position.
"With their single lap qualifying at night, the DTM has come up with another great thing. I am happy that it is me who is the fastest driver," beamed Mattias Ekström. "Now you are looking, Norbert" was the message on a sign shown by Abt-Audi team principal Hans-Jürgen Abt to Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug, as Ekström had claimed pole position.
The Mercedes motorsport boss was happy with youngster Christijan Albers, who will be starting from third place as the best-placed driver of an AMG-Mercedes CLK. Team-mate and points leader Bernd Schneider is in sixth place after a slight error on his flying lap.
Next to Peter Dumbreck, fellow Opel-driver Alain Menu is starting from seventh place and Manuel Reuter from ninth. "After warm-up was already excellent for me with the fastest time, I was optimistic going into the Super-Pole," Dumbreck said. "Unfortunately, I couldn't do a second lap just as perfectly. But fifth place is a good position to start from."
The many spectators can look forward to an exciting seventh DTM-round with the drivers of Abt-Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Opel. In yesterday's qualifying, the four fastest drivers were within two tenths of a second, the first twelve being separated by one second only.