Sixth pole position for Audi A4 DTM Ingolstadt/Brands Hatch -- At Brands Hatch Audi managed setting their sixth best qualifying time in eight races: Timo Scheider secured the pole position with a lead of nine hundreths of a second. This means...
Sixth pole position for Audi A4 DTM
Ingolstadt/Brands Hatch -- At Brands Hatch Audi managed setting their sixth best qualifying time in eight races: Timo Scheider secured the pole position with a lead of nine hundreths of a second. This means that the Audi factory driver and leader of the standings starts from the top grid position for the fourth time this year. A total of four Audi A4 DTM cars will start to the race from the first four rows of the grid on Sunday.
Timo Scheider did not lose his cool even when the qualifying was interrupted early on: after a vehicle had to be pulled out of the gravel trap the first qualifying segment on the 1.929-kilometre circuit in Great Britain was stopped by a red flag. As a result, all 19 drivers started to the second segment, in which a number of excursions off the track at first would not allow anyone setting a fast lap again.
In the end, Timo Scheider -- after being clocked with a lap time of 42.084 seconds -- not only celebrated the sixth pole position in his entire DTM career, but a new record as well: the previous qualifying best mark at Brands Hatch, achieved by Tom Kristensen in 2006 (42.406 seconds), was beaten by Scheider by more than three tenths of a second.
The second-best Audi driver on the starting grid is Martin Tomczyk. Setting a time of 42.301 seconds, he managed the leap onto position four. Oliver Jarvis at his home round was only one tenth of a second slower. The Brit secured sixth place and, for the fifth time in his maiden season, was the best driver of a year-old car in qualifying. Audi was the front runner in this vehicle category for as much as the seventh time this year.
Mattias Ekstrom, currently in third place of the standings, had to settle for seventh position. Due to a gearbox defect the Swede was not able to use third gear.
For race day, the weather forecast has predicted heavily changing weather conditions, which should add further suspense to the race. Due to the 60-minute time difference the race will start at 13:02 local time. ARD will air live coverage starting at 13:50 (CEST). Background reports are available on the Internet at Audi.tv.
Quotes after qualifying
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "I'm extremely pleased about Timo's (Scheider) pole position, which he clinched with a superb performance. The team and he have shown their outstanding form yet again. You can't wish for a better starting position than the one at the very front of the grid on this narrow circuit."
Timo Scheider (GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #10): "This is a perfect day for me today. I was facing this weekend with a certain amount of awe because I didn't get along with the track here at Brands Hatch terribly well in the past two years. So now I'm even happier about having clinched my fourth pole this year on this particular circuit. Grid positions mean a lot at Brands Hatch because overtaking is difficult. In other words, we've got ideal prerequisites for the race."
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #2): "The team result wasn't the way we'd expected it to be. At least, we clinched pole after a strong showing by Timo. I'm starting in the middle of several Mercedes drivers. Unfortunately, Mattias lost out somewhat. Still, last year I recovered from eleventh to second place. So there's still quite a bit of potential for Sunday."
Oliver Jarvis (Best Buddies Audi A4 DTM #15): "Of course I'm extremely satisfied with grid position six. This morning, things weren't going perfectly for us yet, but for the qualifying we got it all right on the dot. I'd like to thank and congratulate the team."
Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #1): "My A4 would have definitely been good enough for a place on the first two rows of the grid today. But at the end of the second qualifying session I had gearbox problems and wasn't able to shift into third anymore. I went out anyhow and fought as best I could -- but with only five gears, seventh place was the best I could do. Now I've got an 82-lap recovery ahead of me tomorrow."
Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #18): "I was just lacking one hundredth to make it into the final qualifying. That's why I'm not completely satisfied, even though my time is actually good. The qualifying was chaotic due to the excursions in turn 2. I was only able to use one of my four sets of tyres. Now we need to try and finish the race in the points."
Markus Winkelhock (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #19): "I'd really been looking forward to the qualifying because things had been going so well on Friday as well as in free practice. Unfortunately, due to the many interruptions, I only had one free lap and that lap wasn't perfect. Actually, a place among the top ten would have been possible."
Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM #9): "This was a poor qualifying for me. The car was good, as third place in free practice this morning showed. Unfortunately, there were many interruptions, so the track was full of traffic once it was opened again. I only had one free lap and on that lap I was a bit too optimistic in turn 2."
Christijan Albers (Audi A4 DTM #21): "We had been hoping for tenth place but, unfortunately, didn't quite make it. Nevertheless, the qualifying went well. We always drove the same time, which reflects the car's maximum. Our time of 42.7 seconds wasn't bad, but not quick enough."
Alexandre Premat (Audi Bank/Shell Helix Audi A4 DTM #14): "That was a difficult qualifying. It started with my setting a good time on the first laps. In the second turn my right front wheel locked when I started braking, and I slipped into the gravel. Too bad we didn't get another chance later because the car wasn't put back on the track."
Katherine Legge (Audi A4 DTM #20): "This was not a good qualifying for me. Apparently, my brakes weren't hot enough when I braked into turn 2. The wheels locked. Unfortunately, when this happens at that particular place there's no stopping the car any more. Too bad."
Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "Very fair to middling qualifying. Congratulations to Timo Scheider, he did a superb job. I feel sorry for Mattias because of the defect. But on the whole we've got a good starting base for the race."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "We look back on the qualifying with mixed emotions. On the positive side, of course, is Oliver, who -- finishing sixth -- achieved a very strong result. I think Alex could have done similarly well because his car was very quick too. Unfortunately he went off the track."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "The qualifying was a like a game of roulette. Every time we went out we had a yellow period. We'd been hoping for more but first we had no luck in this lottery and than we were struck by misfortune on top. Now we need to see to it that tomorrow will be better."