DTM

Adria: Mercedes qualifying report

Marcel Fässler on Pole Position Bernd Schneider second with a gap of 0.006sec, Christijan Albers fourth Four AMG Mercedes-Benz CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and four Opel Astra V8 Coupés among top-ten Marcel Fässler (AMG-Mercedes) will start ...

Marcel Fässler on Pole Position
Bernd Schneider second with a gap of 0.006sec, Christijan Albers fourth
Four AMG Mercedes-Benz CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and four Opel Astra V8 Coupés among top-ten

Marcel Fässler (AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's second round of the 2003 DTM at the Adria International Raceway near Venice, Italy, from pole position. In Saturday's exciting single-lap qualifying for the Super Pole, Marcel posted a time of 1:12.173 and edged out Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) by the extremely narrow margin of six thousandths of a second. Schneider will start second from the first row on the grid, whilst Christijan Albers (ExpressService AMG-Mercedes) qualified fourth fastest (1:12.512) and will start from the second row.

Also in the 20-minute qualifying, Marcel was fastest, and with 1:11.944 he was the only driver to set a time under 1:12 minutes. In his 39th DTM race, the Swiss will start from pole position for the third time. Seventh fastest Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) had a gearbox problem which could not be solved in the short time before Super Pole, therefore the Frenchman did not take part in the single-lap qualifying and will start Sunday’s race tenth on the grid.

Four AMG Mercedes-Benz CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and three Opel Astra V8 Coupés qualified among the top-ten and took part in the Super Pole single-lap qualifying.

Marcel Fässler, AMG-Mercedes, Pole Position (1:12.173):

"I'm very happy about my third DTM pole position. This was really close and it is something special for me to beat Bernd here. I found a good rhythm during qualifying and on my Super Pole lap I could drive my car precisely on the limit."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, second (1:12.179):

"Congratulations to Marcel. This was closer than ever before and therefore I'm not disappointed. At this difficult track everything has to fall into place if you want to end up at the front."

Christijan Albers, ExpressService AMG-Mercedes, fourth (1:12.512):

"My lap was very good until the second-to-last corner when I made a small mistake which cost me some time. However, I'm satisfied with my grid position, because we had to change the set-up several times due to the changeable weather conditions."

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, AMG-Mercedes, tenth (no time):

"I suffered from a gearbox problem in qualifying. It is almost impossible to change the gearbox within the short time until Super Pole, but my team tried it anyway. They worked like hell and almost made it. Tomorrow I will start tenth on the grid. We saved a set of tyres and in the race everything is possible."

Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 13th (1:13.198):

"I am happy to be the fastest driver with a 2002 model again. It could have been even better as I missed the participation in the Super Pole by only one and a half tenths of a second."

Patrick Huisman, Service 24h AMG-Mercedes, 14th (1:13.209):

"I missed the test days on this track in spring. Therefore it was quite difficult for me to find the right set-up in wet conditions. This was not the team's fault, but the driver's. Qualifying was better and I'm satisfied to be in the first row of the Mercedes-Benz drivers with last year's model."

Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 19th (1:13.730):

"I'm disappointed, because we have been much better in Free Practice. I had a problem with the brakes, but we have to look at the data first to explain why I did not drive faster."

Katsutomo Kaneishi, ARTA AMG-Mercedes, 20th (1:13.779):

"I was able to improve with every run, but the track was quite dirty and I did not go to the limit."

Bernd Mayländer, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 21st (1:13.930):

"At the moment I have no idea how to explain this result. We have to look at the data first to understand why I couldn't go faster."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"A great performance by our team and by Marcel and Bernd. This qualifying was one of the most thrilling sessions ever which is also reflected by the narrow margin of six thousandths of a second between Marcel and Bernd. The new format has proved to be a success. I'm sorry for Jean Alesi - a gearbox failure prevented him from qualifying better than tenth."

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Marcel Fassler , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Patrick Huisman , Thomas Jäger , Kaneishi Katsutomo , Stefan Mücke