Martin Tomczyk has had a DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) season to forget, languishing in sixteenth place in the points. However, the DTM veteran jumped back into the spotlight today by clinching the pole position for tomorrow's race start at...
Martin Tomczyk has had a DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) season to forget, languishing in sixteenth place in the points. However, the DTM veteran jumped back into the spotlight today by clinching the pole position for tomorrow's race start at the Nurburgring circuit.
"It's been quite a while that I've been on pole," Tomczyk smiled. "That makes my joy even greater! The constellation with Bruno (Spengler) and myself at the front existed once before at the Nurburgring, in 2007, and I won that race. Of course I'm hoping for the same result tomorrow too, but in the DTM you should never rejoice too early."
Tomczyk was fastest in three of the four qualifying segments, and critically so in the last four-car shootout, comfortably claiming the pole position, his first since the 2007 season.
It was another strong qualifying performance for Audi, which took five out of the six top grid positions, with only Spengler intervening in his Mercedes-Benz. The Ingolstadt marque has been stellar in qualifying in 2009, taking every pole position so far in the six races, but has not always succeeded in translating qualifying positions into race wins.
"The balance of my C-Class was perfect," said Spengler, who finished with a time of 1:23.684, two tenths behind Tomczyk. "I look forward to Sunday's race. I know I can rely on my team's pit stops and strategy."
Mattias Ekstrom was close on the heels of Tomczyk throughout the session, and set the fastest time in the third segment, but a small mistake in the final shhotout cost him the second front-row spot, giving it to Spengler by mere nine hundredths of a second.
"Today was one of those days on which my car was better than I," Esktrom mused. "I made a mistake on the crucial lap, that's why I wasn't able to achieve more than third place. My feelings are somewhere in between. But tomorrow's a new day: A fast car, a perfect strategy and a good start - and the picture will look completely different."
Timo Scheider, the championship co-leader with Mercedes's Gary Paffett, took fourth for Audi, effectively cruising around the circuit in the final segment once it became clear to him that there wasn't enough rubber left inthe tires for another hot lap.
Fifth on the grid will be Oliver Jarvis, in another impressive performance in his 2008-spec Audi. Two thousandths ahead of the second three-pointed star -- Paul di Resta -- Jarvis will start the race in front of three current-model cars.
Notably the Paffett suffered from an engine misfire in his Mercedes, and in spite of the mechanics' furious efforts to cure the problem, the Briton was able to only go out for a single hot lap, and that was not enough to make it into the second segment.
"My car suffered from misfire from the beginning and I had only one run which unfortunately was marginally not good enough for Q2," he recollected. "We tried to fix the problem, but we ran out of time."
Paffett's 16th starting position, behind nine Audis, gives Ekstrom and Scheider the opportunity to move into the points lead tomorrow. With only Spengler in a position to mix it up with the top Audi pilots at the start of the race, Mercedes will again have to use pit stop strategy to try to leapfrog the mid-field and move Paffett into a points-scoring position.