DTM

Paffett on pole in Shanghai

Paffett sets his first DTM Pole Position in Shanghai Gary Paffett once again underlined his potential as one of Europe's rising stars by claiming pole position for Sunday's Shanghai DTM race in sweltering conditions. Paffett, pleased with his ...

Paffett sets his first DTM Pole Position in Shanghai

Gary Paffett once again underlined his potential as one of Europe's rising stars by claiming pole position for Sunday's Shanghai DTM race in sweltering conditions. Paffett, pleased with his performance although admitting his super pole lap was not perfect, ousted fellow Mercedes Benz driver Jean Alesi by a mere 0.024 seconds - only 0.280 seconds seperating the top three qualifiers in Super Pole qualifying.

Ex-F1 driver Heinz Harald Frentzen drove on the limit and in spite of a slight braking problem at the chicane leading on to the start and finish straight, was able to claim 7th position in the Opel Vectra GTS V8.

Gary Paffett (1st place, Mercedes-Benz):

"I had a very good qualifying - the track got quicker from this morning and the circuit is great fun to drive. The track this morning was actually like driving in the wet also the white lines were very slippery. However I was fastest in qualifying and in Super Pole although I did not do a perfect lap, it was just good enough for first."

Jean Alesi (2nd place, Mercedes-Benz):

"This is a very tough course and it will be difficult to overtake. It's very important to be on the first two rows of the grid for the race. It is fantastic to have this race at the Shanghai circuit, although it is very low grip so it will be important to keep on the racing line."

Tom Kristensen (3rd place, Audi):

"I was very happy to be fastest in the two free practices. But qualifying was very close and I ended up 3rd for the race - I will do my best from this position. After the excitement today, I expect the spectators that attended will go and tell their friends how exciting it was and hopefully we will have an even bigger attendance tomorrow."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (7th place, Opel):

"Street circuits are always a special challenge - this is not an easy track but is very exciting to drive. I was trying to learn the track this morning, to set-up the car and to stay cool and drive as quickly as possible without damaging the car. The race course is just fascinating & the temperatures were not a problem."

Norbert Haug (Mercedes Benz Motorsport Director):

"This was special qualifying. Albers hit the wall on the 4th lap of qualifying and another mistake in Super Pole ended up with 10th position. My congratulations to Jean and Gary, they did a perfect job. It was very close at the front - Audi could so very nearly have got Pole."

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Audi Motorsport Director):

"We were lucky that none of our cars touched the walls. The performance of the Audi team was very good. But it was very close in qualifying and Tom Kristensen missed the Pole by just two hundredths of a second I am convinced, that the closeness of the field should lead to a thrilling race on Sunday."

Volker Strycek (Opel Motorsport Director):

"This has not been a good day - Scheider and Fassler both crashing in the first practice session. Unfortunately, this meant they had to miss the second session and we had to concentrate on Frentzen, 7th being a good result."

-dtm-

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