DTM

Zandvoort: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Bruno Spengler Sixth on the Grid Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's seventh round of the 2007 DTM in Zandvoort as the best driver with a Mercedes-Benz C-Class sixth on the grid. In Saturday's...

Bruno Spengler Sixth on the Grid

Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's seventh round of the 2007 DTM in Zandvoort as the best driver with a Mercedes-Benz C-Class sixth on the grid. In Saturday's qualifying, Bruno set a time of 1min33.162 and was 0.339sec behind Timo Scheider's pole position time of 1min32.823. The second C-Class driver to qualify for the top-eight was Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005); he will start seventh on the grid with a time of 1min33.400. Because of the Tour de France, the race will be started already at 13:00 h.

Following four consecutive victories for the new C-Class, the drivers of the 2007 generation start with a weight handicap of 20 kilograms compared to the 07 Audis. The 2006 C-Class is 25 kilograms heavier than the respective Audis and the 2005 C-Class has a weight handicap of 20 kilograms.

Qualifying, part 1: Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) was sixth fastest (1min33.700) and the best C-Class driver when this part of qualifying was red-flagged following an accident of Vanina Ickx (Audi). According to the rules, all drivers moved up to part two, which was extended by two minutes.

Qualifying, part 2: Spengler was again the fastest Mercedes-Benz driver; his time of 1:32.928 was 0.103sec behind the best time of Alexandre Premat (Audi). The following drivers missed the top-eight: 9, Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class 1min33.562), he was 24 thousandths of a second behind Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) in eighth position;13, Mika Hakkinen (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min33.905); 14, Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min34.026); 15, Alexandros Margaritis (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min34.200); 16, Daniel la Rosa (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min34.240); 17, Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min34.409); 18, Jamie Green (2007 Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class/1min34.548); 19, Susie Stoddart (2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min34.670).

Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class), sixth (1min33.162): "Not a bad qualifying, but of course I am not happy with sixth place. A gap of less than three and a half tenths of a second from pole is OK considering our 20 kilograms handicap weight. In the end I again gave it my all and pushed as hard as I could; however, a better time was not possible. Our long runs on Friday were good, so I am optimistic for tomorrow's race."

Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class), seventh (1min33.400): "A difficult qualifying. The car ran well, but a better time was just not possible. I hope for a wet race tomorrow which should improve our chances."

Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), ninth (1min33.562): "With respect to our ballast weight, ninth position is not bad and the gap behind the top-eight is very small. We had a problem with the tyre heaters; therefore, I started with cold front tyres and lost a lot of time in the beginning."

Mika Hakkinen (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class), 13th (1min33.905): "I am very disappointed. Bruno showed that a better result was possible today; however, we have to investigate the poor result in today's qualifying. Tomorrow I will attack."

Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), 14th (1min34.026): "The car was OK and in the beginning I was quite confident. However, after the break I got stuck in traffic and did not manage to set a better time."

Alexandros Margaritis (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 15th (1min34.200): "Like at Gary's car my tyre heaters did not work and I suffered from severe understeer. It's a shame, because I felt very comfortable with the car."

Daniel la Rosa (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class), 16th (1min34.240): "Unfortunately I made a small mistake and lost about two tenths of a second. When I tried to improve in the end, I first hit dirt and then was blocked by another driver, therefore I couldn't go faster."

Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 17th (1min34.409): "I am very disappointed, because after my tenth place in this morning's free practice I had hoped for more. But in qualifying I suffered from understeer which prevented a better time."

Jamie Green (2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), 18th (1min34.548): "I was on a "uick lap and the first two sectors were fine. Then I had a short off and picked up some dirt with the tyres. I pitted to have them changed, but afterwards I got stuck in traffic and this was it."

Susie Stoddart (2005 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 19th (1min34.670): "I had expected a better result; however, I got stuck in traffic again and again, and I didn't manage a really good lap. Tomorrow it will be a tough race starting on the last row, but nevertheless I aim for a significantly better result."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Qualifying sixth with less than three and a half tenths from pole position, Bruno showed a first-class performance, because the 20 kilograms ballast definitely convert to a bigger time handicap. Paul was also strong with 20 kilograms ballast in the two-year-old C-Class in seventh place. The three generations of our C-Class appeared here with 20 kilograms additional weight each in the 2005 and 2007 models; the 2006 C-Class is 25 kilograms heavier than the respective Audi. After five wins in a row, it has therefore been clear from the beginning that we will have to cope with a difficult task here. Congratulations to Audi on a good qualifying performance with a five-pack up front. Two weeks ago in Mugello, Mika won from 15th place on the grid and then our best placed car started sixth -- who knows, maybe we will find the replay button tomorrow."

-credit: mercedes-benz

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Vanina Ickx , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mike Rockenfeller , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green