Catalunya: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Five C-Class Cars in Rows One to Three Mika Hakkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start tomorrow's ninth and penultimate round of the 2007 DTM in Barcelona second on the grid. In Saturday's qualifying on a drying track, Hakkinen set a time ...

Five C-Class Cars in Rows One to Three

Mika Hakkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start tomorrow's ninth and penultimate round of the 2007 DTM in Barcelona second on the grid. In Saturday's qualifying on a drying track, Hakkinen set a time of 1min18.868 and was 0.179sec behind Audi driver Martin Tomczyk's pole position time of 1min18.689.

It is Mika Hakkinen's fifth front row position in the ninth race of the season after he had achieved two poles and two second places earlier this year; no other driver has achieved more and so Mika is the top qualifier of the season. Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified third with 1min19.483.

Four more C-Class cars finished among the top-eight: Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min19.498) in fourth place ahead of Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class/ 1min19.540). Gary Paffett (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min19.617) and Alexandros Margaritis (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min20.061) qualified their 2006 cars sixth and eighth respectively.

Qualifying, part 1: On a wet track and in a light drizzle, Bernd Schneider was third fastest (1min19.315) and best C-Class driver. Bruno Spengler (1min19.406), Mika Hakkinen (1min19.482) and Jamie Green (1min19.610) followed in positions four to six. Mathias Lauda (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), who is living in Barcelona, qualified 18th for his home race with 1min20.518 ahead of Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min20.604).

Qualifying, part 2: Jamie Green was fastest with 1min18.961, Mika Hakkinen improved to seventh and thus to the final part of qualifying just when the chequered flag came out (1min19.603). Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min20.207) was 12th whilst Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min20.687) qualified 14th.

Mika Hakkinen (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class), second (1min18.868): "Five of my team mates are among the top eight and the front row for me is a great achievement considering the circumstances. It shows again the potential of the C-Class. We all will work hard tomorrow to keep the championship open until Hockenheim."

Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class), third (1min19.483): "I am glad to start from the clean side of the track tomorrow. It was not an easy qualifying, because the grip level was pretty low. Third place therefore is OK. I expect a positive result in the race."

Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), fourth (1min19.498): "I am quite satisfied starting from the second row. It was difficult to keep the car on the track during my last turn, because I was sliding several times with the rain tyres on the drying surface. We are well prepared for the race and I am confident."

Jamie Green (2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), fifth (1min19.540): "Not a bad qualifying for me, but on the drying track it was a lottery for everybody. I have been strong in dry as well as in wet conditions this weekend, so I am optimistic for the race no matter how the weather will look like tomorrow."

Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), sixth (1min19.617): "Sixth on the gird is a good basis for tomorrow's race and I should be able to build upon this. The result would probably be not so good when it would have been dry."

Alexandros Margaritis (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), eighth (1min20.061): "A good qualifying. After being not better than 13th in the dry yesterday and this morning, I was significantly faster in the wet. Now I want to score points tomorrow."

Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class), 12th (1min20.207): "I was not able to get the maximum out of the car due to the weather conditions. I hope for a dry race tomorrow, that should help me to improve."

Daniel la Rosa (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006), 14th (1min20.687): "A better result was not possible for me. I did not manage to get the best out of the tyres to repeat my 11th place in this morning's free practice."

Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 18th (1min20.518): "I can handle a wet track usually pretty well, but today I just didn't have enough grip. It's a shame, I had expected more for my home race."

Susie Stoddart (2005 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 19th (1min20.604): "I gave it my all, but I struggled with bad traction all the way. I am disappointed and we have a lot of work ahead of us to improve for tomorrow."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Six Mercedes among the top eight and five of them on the first three rows are a good basis for us. Tomorrow we want to repeat a similar result and to improve one position at the top. If we manage this, the Hockenheim circuit will be bursting at the seams during the final race."

-credit: m-b

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Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green