Brno: Audi qualifying report

All four new Audi A4 DTM cars in the top ten Audi squad delivers strong Qualifying performance Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekström on second row at Brno Rinaldo Capello quickest driver of a 2004-spec car For the first time in the current DTM ...

All four new Audi A4 DTM cars in the top ten

Audi squad delivers strong Qualifying performance Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekström on second row at Brno Rinaldo Capello quickest driver of a 2004-spec car For the first time in the current DTM season, all four of the new Audi A4 DTM cars have qualified for the Super Pole session of the quickest ten.

Tom Kristensen and title defender Mattias Ekström will start from the second row at Brno (Czech Republic) on Sunday. Former Formula 1 driver Allan McNish finished seventh, thus making it into the top ten for the first time in a DTM Qualifying session.

Martin Tomczyk had the misfortune of being the first driver to contest the Super Pole when the track was still partially wet after a rain shower. The Bavarian will start from position ten.

A solid team performance was not only shown by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline with the new Audi A4 DTM cars but by Audi Sport Team Joest with their four cars from last year as well. Only two minutes before the end of the Qualifying session, Rinaldo Capello lost his chance of being among the top ten.

As the best driver of a 2004-spec car, the Italian secured twelfth place on the starting grid. Christian Abt, Pierre Kaffer and Frank Stipler will start the race from positions 13, 15 and 16 respectively.

Quotes after Qualifying

Tom Kristensen:

"I'm very satisfied with my Super Pole lap because it was almost my fastest lap during the entire weekend. Track conditions after the brief shower today were very difficult to judge. My thanks go to the team, who made the right decisions, and to my team-mates. We're pushing each other, and that makes me, as well as the entire team, even stronger."

Mattias Ekström:

"The Qualifying went quite well, but we didn't make the best of the Super Pole. On this set of tyres the car felt a little strange. Being fourth, despite the fact that things weren't one hundred per cent perfect, isn't all that bad, really. In the race we have good chances. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, because it's certainly possible to fight for victory from the second row."

Allan McNish:

"I'm pretty happy because this has been my best performance in a DTM practice session so far. The Qualifying went quite well, although I was slowed down in one of my three trials. In my Super Pole run, the track was still a little wet in the lower section. Afterwards, conditions kept improving so that starting from position seven is okay. I'm very optimistic for the race."

Martin Tomczyk:

"In the Qualifying session, only the first set of tyres worked well. Things didn't go as well with the other two sets, and I wasn't able to improve any further. That's why I had to be the first to go out in the Super Pole and that proved to be a real disadvantage today. In the second sector the track was still really wet. That's why my lap time was rather poor."

Rinaldo Capello:

"Despite having missed the Super Pole by such a narrow margin, I'm satisfied. Yesterday we solved the problem with understeer, which we've had since the beginning of the season. Now, driving the A4 is really fun - and we've got the speed, too. This makes me feel confident for the race and, what's more, for the remainder of the season."

Christian Abt:

"The field is incredibly tight here. Still, I'd been hoping to make it into the Super Pole today. But I barely missed it. I believe that we are at the limit with our cars from last year. In the race we can probably make up some ground with a good strategy and low tyre wear. Nevertheless, it'll be difficult to score points."

Pierre Kaffer:

"The closeness of the field is amazing - if 16 cars are within one second of each other on this long circuit, I'm really wondering what it'll be like at the Norisring. It's definitely a tough situation: all it takes is a few thousandths of a second and you're a few positions ahead. But that promises a great thrill for tomorrow. Everyone will be fighting - myself included!"

Frank Stippler:

"I really can't be satisfied. The car's not handling here the way it normally does. I don't know if I need to adjust my driving style or whether we have a bug in the set-up. Before the warm-up we need to come up with something."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):

"We can be satisfied. Our work was flawless. Congratulations to Opel, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and, of course, to Gary Paffett - his lap was simply perfect. The prerequisites for the race are good. We've got the speed and our long runs were very good as well. Now we need to try and apply this tomorrow."

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest):

"We knew that it would be extremely difficult to make it into the Super Pole here. Nevertheless, we had every reason to be hopeful up to shortly before the end, because 'Dindo' Capello was maintaining tenth place. We couldn't do any better than that in the Qualifying. We have put a clear gap between ourselves and the other cars from last year. Our goal is to score a couple of points in the race."

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

"We managed to get all four new cars into the top ten - that's a strong team performance. The Super Pole was particularly tough on Martin Tomczyk because he had to go out first. Afterwards, things got incredibly tight. Although we came close but didn't quite make it onto the first row, we've got two Audi A4 DTM cars on the second row, and that's a good starting base as well - especially considering the long runs we saw yesterday."

Tom Kristensen
Audi Sport Team Abt #5
3rd place Super Pole, 1m 52.442s

Mattias Ekström
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #1
4th place Super Pole, 1m 52.564s

Allan McNish
Audi Sport Team Abt #6
7th place Super Pole, 1m 53.016s

Martin Tomczyk
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #2
10th place Super Pole, 1m 54.748s

Rinaldo Capello
Audi Sport Team Joest #18
12th place, 1m 52.909s

Christian Abt
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #14
13th place, 1m 52.942s

Pierre Kaffer
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #15
15th place, 1m 53.095s

Frank Stippler
Audi Sport Team Joest #19
16th place, 1m 53.208s


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Martin Tomczyk , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Gary Paffett , Pierre Kaffer , Frank Stippler , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Ralf Juttner
Teams Team Joest , Team Abt