DTM

Zandvoort: Opel qualifying report

Opel works driver Timo Scheider (OPC Team Phoenix) conquered pole position at the ninth race of the DTM 2003 at Zandvoort. It is the first pole position for Opel since Donington last year (Manuel Reuter) and the first pole for the twenty-four year...

Opel works driver Timo Scheider (OPC Team Phoenix) conquered pole position at the ninth race of the DTM 2003 at Zandvoort. It is the first pole position for Opel since Donington last year (Manuel Reuter) and the first pole for the twenty-four year old Opel junior in four years of DTM.

Scheider was out sixth in the individual timed laps, beating the previous best of Christijan Albers (Mercedes) by about nine thousandths of a second. Afterwards, Martin Tomczyk (Audi) missed the best of Scheider, who drove a perfect lap of the circuit in the dunes, by five thousandths, and Mattias Ekström (Audi) by about 0.018.

Four drivers from three different manufacturers were within eighteen thousandths -- it was one of the most exciting fights for pole position in DTM history at Zandvoort. Five Astra V8 Coupés on the first five rows of the grid shows the strength of Opel: Alain Menu (OPC Team Holzer) starts on Sunday from fifth position, his teammate Manuel Reuter from seventh. Directly behind him is Peter Dumbreck (OPC Team Phoenix) and the 21 year old local hero Jeroen Bleekemolen.

It's the first time Opel has five cars in the super-pole competition of the best ten. In the first qualifying session Alain Menu had obtained the best time and on Friday, Peter Dumbreck was fastest in the second practice session.

Volker Strycek, Opel motor sport director:

"This result for Opel is simply terrific. The first pole position for Timo Scheider is great for us, and with five Opels in the top ten we have a very good starting situation for the race. Already on Friday it was going well for us. We came to Zandvoort well prepared and worked consistently. Now we will prepare intensively for Sunday's race, in order to reap the rewards of our performance today. Many compliments to Timo, who held a perfect lap together."

Timo Scheider (OPC Team Phoenix) 1st, 1:35.336

"Madness! I am overjoyed, for Opel, for Phoenix and for me. In first qualifying I drove my best time on my second try, but the third lap I had to break off because of the yellow flags. My lap in the super-pole was perfect and the waiting afterwards was hard. I can hardly believe it, I have waited for this for so long. No-one with Opel ever gave up."

Alain Menu (OPC Team Holzer) 5th, 1:35.464

"In qualifying I had a really good lap but in the individual timed laps I was a little too careful. I am happy with the lap nonetheless. A fantastic result for Opel."

Manuel Reuter (OPC Team Holzer) 7th, 1:35.764

"I had to abort a lap in the first qualifying (due to the red flag) which cost me, so fourth place was okay. In the super-pole it wasn't possible to do better."

Peter Dumbreck (OPC Team Phoenix) 8th, 1:36.311

"On my third try in first qualifying I had to back off because of the yellow flags. In the individual timed laps I gave everything but unfortunately the wheels locked in the first corner."

Jeroen Bleekemolen (OPC Euroteam) 9th, 1:36.695

"Great! Getting into the super-pole with the top ten in front of my home crowd I've achieved the first of my two goals. In the race I want to drive to a points finish."

Joachim Winkelhock (OPC Euroteam) 18th, 1:36.863

"We checked the shock absorbers again since free training, the gearbox, and tried a stiffer front suspension but I couldn't get a good time."

-opel- (translated from German)

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Series DTM
Drivers Peter Dumbreck , Martin Tomczyk , Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Christijan Albers , Timo Scheider , Volker Strycek , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Alain Menu