DTM

Nurburgring: Qualifying report

45 minutes of gambling full of drama: Alzen fastest from Aiello Strong nerves, the right strategy, and a little bit of luck. That is what the drivers needed in qualifying fort he seventh round of the DTM at the Nürburgring. At the end of 45 ...

45 minutes of gambling full of drama: Alzen fastest from Aiello

Strong nerves, the right strategy, and a little bit of luck. That is what the drivers needed in qualifying fort he seventh round of the DTM at the Nürburgring. At the end of 45 exciting minutes on a drying track and with the record number of 15 lead changes, Uwe Alzen managed to establish the fastest time for the first time this season. The runner-up of last season will be starting into the qualifying race (live from 13.45 on ARD) from first place on the grid with his Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM, followed by Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R), Bernd Schneider and Marcel Fässler (both Mercedes-Benz). Alain Menu completed the front runners with fifth place in his Opel Astra V8 Coupé. This year, the DTM is racing on the 3.625 km long short version of the Grand Prix-track again. Like last year, the places on the grand stands are nearly sold out.

With a perfect strategy at his home round: Alzen from the Westerwald

"Double happy" was Uwe Alzen, who only scored four points in the first six races of the season. "The Nürburgring is my home track, with many friends visiting, and what's more, my team hasn't had a lot of luck with me so far this year." Alzen praised: "Our strategy of saving six laps for the end of the session proved to be perfect. Thus, I could go out on fresh tyres and do all the laps in a row on a track that got dryer and dryer." Like in Formula 1, the number of qualifying laps has been limited to twelve. Mercedes-motorsport director Norbert Haug spoke about "one of the most exciting qualifying sessions in history of the DTM. The sporting value doesn't have to hide behind Formula 1."

Battle of the giants continues - Aiello and Schneider second and third

Behind the leader, there is an already familiar situation: the two DTM top stars and rivals for the championship title, points leader Laurent Aiello and reigning champion Bernd Schneider occupied second and third place. Both were unisono "very satisfied" with their positions: "Would it suddenly have started to rain again, I would easily have remained in 19th place like in Donington," said Schneider. Aiello answered: "It was a nerve-wrecking poker game. I had the same vision as Bernd, as in England, we were both at the back of the grid." Indeed, three drivers who already won races or started from pole, had to make to make do with the unloved places at the back of the field: Jean Alesi (Mercedes-Benz), Mattias Ekström and Martin Tomczyk (both Abt-Audi).

Opel-star Reuter gambled and lost chances on an oil patch

"Personally, I am quite satisfied with my fifth place", said Swiss Alain Menu (Opel Astra V8 Coupé). "But as a team, we are disappointed, as our Astra Coupés were much better than the current result shows." Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek agreed: "When you have a car that is capable of setting the fastest time in a practice session, and then you are only fifth and seventh, you obviously can't be satisfied." During the session, Manuel Reuter had set the fastest time and towards the end of the session was on course for fastest time once more, but then spun on an oil patch and thus lost all chances of improving his time. "Tomorrow, we will attack", said Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek. His motto: "Now more than ever."

-dtm-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Uwe Alzen , Manuel Reuter , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Volker Strycek , Alain Menu