The colour of hope - fourth season pole for Green
For the fourth time this season and for the sixth time in his DTM career, Mercedes-Benz works driver Jamie Green will be starting from pole-position for a DTM-race. In an action-packed three-heat shoot out qualifying session at the circuit of Zandvoort in The Netherlands, the 24-year old Brit outpaced Audi-drivers Tom Kristensen, Martin Tomczyk and Mattias Ekström. A lap time of 1.32.189 was enough for Green to claim the most favourable grid position for tomorrow's seventh season round of the DTM, which will start at 14.00 h
After having trouble in free practice, where he was only 14th, Green eventually came good in qualifying, where he posted the fastest time in both the second and the third session. Competition was as close as ever in the DTM, with the eight cars taking part in the third and final heat separated by only 0.668 seconds. Green's fastest time in the second heat (1.32.038 minutes) was the fastest lap ever driven by a DTM car at Zandvoort. With his pole-position time, the Brit was 0.541 seconds faster than Bernd Schneider's fastest qualifying time at the same venue last year.
Tom Kristensen, equal on points with championship runner-up Bruno Spengler, will be starting from the front row again for tomorrow's race, just like he did at the Nürburgring a fortnight ago. The second grid row will be locked-out by Audi, with Martin Tomczyk third and Mattias Ekström fourth. The two are followed by Canadian Bruno Spengler, who won the two most recent DTM races at the Norisring and the Nürburgring and is currently second in the points together with Tom Kristensen. Points leader Bernd Schneider, who could only do five timed laps in free practice on Saturday morning due to a technical problem, qualified in seventh place with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class behind Audi's Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
Pierre Kaffer (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) was the best-placed driver with a year-old car in eighth place, while Austrian Mathias Lauda claimed a remarkable 13th position on the grid as the fastest driver with a 2004-spec car. Danish ex-Formula 1-driver Nicolas Kiesa failed to match his performance from free practice on Saturday morning, when he was an excellent seventh with his two-year old Audi A4 DTM of Audi's customer team Futurecom TME. Im qualifying, Kiesa came out 18th. He is followed by lady racers Vanina Ickx (Original Zubehör-Audi A4) and Susie Stoddart (AutoScout24 AMG-Mercedes C-Class).
Jamie Green (1st place, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes): "I am very happy with my pole-position, especially as we have 20 kg more than the Audis. My team and I have been working hard to achieve this result. Hopefully, we can be equally strong in the race."
Tom Kristensen (2nd place, Audi Sport Team Abt): "It looks good for us tomorrow. With four cars in the top six, we have a good team result. Unfortunately, it didn't work out with pole-position, but I am sure we will be well prepared for the race."
Martin Tomczyk (3rd place, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "I had a good qualifying. We expected that the Mercedes-Benz would be stronger than in free practice this morning. But anyway, we are happy. We just have one Mercedes-Benz-driver in front of us and I am sure that we can deal with him as well!"
Mercedes-Benz motor sport director Norbert Haug: "One has to acknowledge that Jamie Green is a pole man. Unfortunately, his first victory has yet to come. He has shown an excellent performance. Given the overall situation for us here at Zandvoort, I didn't think a lap time like that would be possible. But all in all, it will be difficult, Bruno Spengler is quite a long way down. At this circuit, Jamie has already been strong in the Formula 3 Euro Series and I hope that this is a good omen for tomorrow."
"For Bernd Schneider and Bruno Spengler, it will surely be difficult to break the Audi-phalanx between them and Jamie Green. Therefore, we have to see what we can do with the strategy tomorrow. I also want to underline the performance by Mathias Lauda with a 2004-spec car. 13th place is a great performance, congratulations for that!"
Audi motor sport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: "The team has shown a great performance here, the lap times are very close together. Jamie Green did an excellent lap, the only thing I can do is congratulate. However, Tom Kristensen was blocked on his flying lap. We can't say how much time this cost him, but from my point of view, it didn't look good. Nevertheless, I am satisfied with the overall performance and we are in a good position for tomorrow's race. We will try to make the best out of it!"