DTM

EuroSpeedway: Qualifying report

Points leader Aiello ahead of champion Schneider Reigning champion Bernd Schneider and his rival in the fight for the title succession, Laurent Aiello, dominated qualifying for the sixth round of the DTM at the Lausitzring. With his Abt-Audi...

Points leader Aiello ahead of champion Schneider

Reigning champion Bernd Schneider and his rival in the fight for the title succession, Laurent Aiello, dominated qualifying for the sixth round of the DTM at the Lausitzring. With his Abt-Audi TT-R, points leader Aiello claimed pole-position for the qualification race on Sunday (DTM live in ZDF from 12.45) with the fastest lap time of 1.39.027 minutes from Bernd Schneider with the Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM. Fastest driver of an Opel Astra V8 Coupé was Joachim Winkelhock in eighth place. At the 4.534 kilometre long Grand Prix-track of the Lausitzring, 14 DTM cars were within nine tenths of a second. At the halftime-point of the DTM, Aiello has an advantage of 25 points over his fellow-Audi-driver Mattias Ekström. Schneider is only one point behind them. All in all, 65 points are still at stake in the five remaining races.

With the line-up of the first grid row, the duel between the two top drivers from the race at the Norisring in Nuremberg a fortnight ago continues. There, Aiello and Schneider had staged an extraordinary duel over half the distance of the race." After this morning's free practice, it was clear to me, that Bernd would be very quick and strong", said Aiello." Therefore, I really charged hard." The Frenchman doesn't prefer racing thrillers like at the Norisring to become the norm." Eventually, that becomes too hard", the 33-year old says with a grin. Adversary Schneider said:" In my opinion, the most important is, that we will have some more races as good as at the Norisring. I don't think about the title very much, as it is still only half-time. It is also excellent, how close the field is once again."

"I am satisfied with my performance and also with being fastest Opel-driver", said Joachim Winkelhock (Opel Team Phoenix)." Of course, I am not happy with eighth place. When nobody pushes me off like at the Norisring, I have a realistic chance of scoring some points." Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek concluded:" My team has shown a constant performance, but the distance to the front runners is too big." Strycek is mainly concerned by the fact that." grid positions in the midfield are especially dangerous for accidents." Fellow-motorsport director Norbert Haug made an appeal to the discipline of the drivers:" Everyone should watch the video from the Norisring and take Laurent and Bernd as an example."

Prime minister Platzeck and predecessor Stolpe come to the DTM

Brandenburg's prime minister Matthias Platzeck and his predecessor Manfred Stolpe will be visiting the DTM on Sunday. Stolpe will be driven around the track by Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek with an Opel Astra V8 Coupé that has been converted to a" race taxi". Moreover, further leading politicians from Brandenburg are expected: Dagmar Ziegler (finance minister), Steffen Reiche (education, youth and sport) as well as secretary of state Erhard Thomas. Three times medal winner in ice skating at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Sabine Völker, will attend the race after an invitation by Opel.

-dtm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Laurent Aiello , Bernd Schneider , Joachim Winkelhock , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Volker Strycek