Brands Hatch: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Paul Di Resta on the Front Row Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's eighth round of the 2008 DTM in Brands Hatch from the front row of the grid. In Saturday's qualifying on the shortest track of the championship with a length...

Paul Di Resta on the Front Row

Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's eighth round of the 2008 DTM in Brands Hatch from the front row of the grid. In Saturday's qualifying on the shortest track of the championship with a length of 1.929 kms, Di Resta set a time of 42.174sec and was 0.090sec behind the pole position time of Timo Scheider (Audi/42.084sec) -- almost exactly one tenth of a second is here in Brands Hatch the time handicap for the 10 kilograms additional weight the 2008 C-Class cars have on board after the fourth win in the seventh round of the season at the Nuerburgring.

Four AMG Mercedes C-Class cars will start among the top-eight: Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) qualified third fastest with a 42.256sec whilst Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), second overall, ended up fifth with a 42.342sec. Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified last year's C-Class eighth with a 42.824sec. Nuerburgring winner Bernd Schneider will start ninth -- he missed a top eight position and the third part of qualifying by just 0.007sec.

Qualifying, part 1: The qualifying was red-flagged after three minutes after Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) went off and hit the tyre barrier. Therefore, all drivers drove in the second part which was extended to 21 minutes.

Qualifying, part 2: Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) was fastest with a 42.169sec. Last year's winner Bernd Schneider, and winner of the Nuerburgring race (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) was ninth with a 42.581sec and missed part three of the top eight by seven thousandths of a second. Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 14th with a 42.803sec; Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class) was 16th with a 43.090sec ahead of Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 43.186sec and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 43.284sec.

Paul Di Resta (2008 AMG Mercedes C-Class) second (42.174): "It is great to start my home race from the front row of the grid and I thank my team for their superb job. We have a great car and a strong technical package and I am confident for tomorrow's race. I also hope for a good team result."

Bruno Spengler (2008 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) third (42.256): "Brands Hatch is not my favourite track, but I made the best out of it and I think, third place is still ok. The car was perfect and my team always sent me out when there was no traffic. That was great -- thanks for this to everybody."

Jamie Green (2008 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) fifth (42.342): "I am a bit disappointed; after my best time in the second part I was not able to improve further in the third part when it counted -- in the end, my Q2 time would have been good for second place. However, from fifth place I am among the front runners. It will be a long and demanding race -- wait and see."

Gary Paffett (2007 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) eighth (42.824): "I am sorry for my guys, that they had some extra work after my off at the beginning and I thank them for fixing the car so quickly. It was a great job -- afterwards with a new front spoiler the car was even faster than before. The qualifying was great fun and I look forward to tomorrow."

Bernd Schneider (2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) ninth (42.581): "This was close and I don't know yet why I was not fast enough. The car was great and therefore I'm sure it was my fault. Tomorrow I will be better."

Maro Engel (2007 JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th (42.803): "The interruptions with red and yellow flags disturbed my rhythm. I didn't manage what was possible -- see Gary."

Mathias Lauda (2007 Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class) 16th (43.049): "I didn't manage to put an optimum lap together and I also made a mistake at the last corner."

Ralf Schumacher (2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) 17th (43.186): "This circuit looks easy but in fact it's difficult to find the best line here. In addition I lacked grip. However, tomorrow there will be 82 laps for me to move up."

Susie Stoddart (2007 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 18th (43.284): "It was difficult qualifying due to the many interruptions and a better result than 18th place was possible, but after my off short before the end, unfortunately my qualifying was over."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Two C-Class cars in the top three and three in the top five - Paul missed pole by less than a tenths which is altogether a solid basis for tomorrow. Gary's performance to qualify eighth with the 2007 C-Class after his off in the first part of qualifying was special. Thank you to all drivers and our teams. They were not slowed down by the 10-kilo weight difference compared to the 2008 cars of the competition. It will be a long and demanding race tomorrow and due to the predicted rain and thunderstorms with possibly quite different conditions from today. Lewis Hamilton and many of our friends and colleagues from McLaren and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines and their families will come to Brands Hatch to support our drivers. Lewis looks forward to the DTM and to meet again old friends. This is a great gesture from him and with his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car he will do a couple of laps for his British fans here in Brands Hatch."

-credit: daimler.com

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green