DTM

Zandvoort: Qualifying quotes

Joy at Opel: youngster Timo Scheider claims first pole-position At the most spectacular race track on the DTM-calendar, Opel broke its duck: Timo Scheider claimed the first pole-position of the year for Opel with the Astra V8 Coupé and also the...

Joy at Opel: youngster Timo Scheider claims first pole-position

At the most spectacular race track on the DTM-calendar, Opel broke its duck: Timo Scheider claimed the first pole-position of the year for Opel with the Astra V8 Coupé and also the maiden DTM-pole for himself.

24-year old Timo Scheider was overjoyed with his success: "Being on pole position with the Opel is a great feeling. Manuel Reuter was the last driver to do so at Donington in 2002. We have been working hard for it and we have never given up. In testing yesterday, we have seen already that our entire team is strong and that our Astra Coupé is better than ever before. I want to thank my Phoenix-team, they have been doing a great job."

Also with Opel, Alain Menu is fifth, Manuel Reuter is seventh, Peter Dumbreck is eighth and 21-year old Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen was ninth. "I am incredibly proud of my team," Opel's motorsport director Volker Strycek said. "Having five cars in the top ten and claiming pole is the best that could happen to us. Congratulations to Timo, but also to Jeroen, who is showing a strong performance in his first year in DTM. We have started this season with a new structure and today, we could see that it is working better and better."

Abt-Audi-junior Tomczyk: "It will be an incredibly tough race"

21-year old Martin Tomczyk, who was only 0.005 seconds slower than Scheider with the Abt-Audi TT-R, is certain: "It will be an incredibly tough race tomorrow, with three makes on the first two grid rows and this immensely close competition." Fellow-Abt-Audi-driver Mattias Ekström is confident in fourth place: "Last year, I have won the race after starting from fourth place, so I just would like to repeat that."

Champion Laurent Aiello wasn't satisfied with 14th place, but he is also confident before the race: "At Zandvoort, anything can happen, because this is one of this old, real race tracks where you have great opportunities for overtaking." Abt team principal Hans-Jürgen Abt said: "Martin has done a great job, because getting second place on the grid with this hard competition is an excellent performance. I am happy having three of our cars in the top ten. Our goal for tomorrow is: maximum attack!"

Christijan Albers: "I am coping well with the pressure"

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport-director Norbert Haug also congratulated his counterpart Strycek: "A big hand to Volker. Opel has shown today that they have to be reckoned with." Haug commented: "It was one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the DTM, if not the most exciting ever. The race track is great, fast and demanding, and the drivers have shown great sport at this track." Haug's best-placed driver at Zandvoort, Christijan Albers, got himself a slight advantage in the battle for the championship with his third place on the grid.

Points leader Bernd Schneider will be starting only from 13th place on the grid after a mistake in timed practice. Currently, Albers is three points down on Schneider. Another six points down is fellow-Mercedes-Benz-driver Marcel Fässler, who claimed sixth place in the Super-Pole. "Today, it was a hard job for us as Mercedes-Benz-drivers", Dutchman Albers said. "We have tried everything on the set-up, but it was really difficult. From that point of view, I am really satisfied with my grid position and my lap time." Asked whether he is under particular pressure in his home country with thousands of Albers-fans, the winner of three races this year remained cool: "As it shows, I have coped with it quite well today, haven't I?"

ITR-board re-elected

During the regular election of the five-men board of the DTM-organisation ITR e.V. (Internationale Tourenwagen-Rennen e.V.), Hans Werner Aufrecht was re-elected as chairman. Deputy chairman is Dr. Thomas Betzler, who will remain responsible for financial and legal affairs. Hans-Jürgen Abt, team principal of Abt Sportsline, was re-elected as responsible for sporting matters and special duties, just like Walter Mertes (sponsoring). Newly elected was Jörg Schrott as a board member for public relations. As a representative of Opel, Schrott is replacing Michael Bernard as a board member, who had been deputy chairman thus far.

-dtm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Manuel Reuter , Christijan Albers , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Volker Strycek , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Alain Menu