DTM

Hockenheim: Green on pole position

Jamie Green on pole for DTM season opener The battle for the first pole position of the 2006 DTM season has been decided. With a lap time of 1.33.473 minutes, Mercedes-Benz-driver Jamie Green claimed first position on the grid for tomorrow's ...

Jamie Green on pole for DTM season opener

The battle for the first pole position of the 2006 DTM season has been decided. With a lap time of 1.33.473 minutes, Mercedes-Benz-driver Jamie Green claimed first position on the grid for tomorrow's season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg.

With an advantage of 0.084 seconds, the Brit demoted his fellow-Mercedes-Benz-driver Bernd Schneider to second place. Canadian Bruno Spengler completed the Mercedes-Benz-trio with his third place.

For Jamie Green, it is the third pole position of his DTM-career, while a Mercedes-Benz is starting from first place on the grid for the 87th time. Green's time is 1.77 seconds faster than Mattias Ekström's pole-winning qualifying time in qualifying for last year's season opener.

Martin Tomczyk was best-placed Audi-driver, qualifying in fourth place with his Audi A4 DTM. Stefan Mücke will be starting from third row on the grid with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class from last year, lining up alongside 2004 DTM champion Mattias Ekström. Former F1-drivers Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes) and Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Audi Sport Team Abt) qualified for seventh and eighth place on the grid respectively.

The DTM's new shoot-out qualifying format brought a highly exciting start into the new season for the fans. After the first 14 minutes' session, the 14 fastest drivers out of the field of 20 qualified for the next heat. After another ten minutes, the field was reduced once again to the eight fastest drivers. They decided the line-up on the first eight places on the grid in the final session of seven minutes.

The start of the first season round of the DTM will be taking place on Sunday at 14.00 h. The race runs over 37 laps or a distance of 169.238 kilometres. Last year's season opener was won by Mercedes-Benz-driver Jean Alesi.

Jamie Green (1st place, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes):

"The new qualifying format is much more interesting, especially for the spectators. For us, it is a challenge. One thing is clear: the most important thing is to make in into the final session and be quick there. Today, I was a little bit quicker in the second session than in the third one. Therefore, I wasn't quite sure whether it would be enough for pole. Tomorrow, it will certainly be very close. I am not only fighting against Audi, but also against my own team-mates."

Bernd Schneider (2nd place, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes):

"I have an almost perfect position to start from for tomorrow. Had I been 84 thousandths of a second quicker today, it would have been perfect. The new qualifying format is exciting and a challenge at the same time. After all, you can never be sure to make it into the next session. Therefore, you have to push right away in order to make it through."

Bruno Spengler (3rd place, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes):

"The most impressive thing so far this weekend has been the performance of my mechanics. After the fire in my car yesterday, it was built up again overnight. When I left the track yesterday at 22.00 h, I didn't think that this would be possible. Today's third place is for my team."

Martin Tomczyk (4th place, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):

"For me, the new qualifying format is like doing a Super Pole lap three times in a row. It is great fun. So far, this has been one of the best weekends of my DTM-career. I have been among the front runners throughout and I am perfectly at ease with the car. It is driving like on rails."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz motor sport director:

"I think that the new qualifying format was as exciting for us on the pit wall as it was for the fans on the grand stand and the viewers in front of the TV screens. The shoot-out is great, this was a worthy start of the DTM. Now, we have a good position to start from, but that is by no means all and especially not a victory."

"Audi is very strong and I am certain that we will have an exciting race. All cars are very closely together. It is remarkable that two manufacturers are building two different cars and that they are only a few thousandths apart. This shows, how close we are to the limit and this is typical for the DTM."

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi motor sport director:

"For us, this was a very entertaining qualifying session. I am happy that Martin Tomczyk is back among the front runners again and I am glad that he is with Audi again this season. Unfortunately, Heinz-Harald had a mistake in the final session. Although things were still looking quite good for him this morning, he couldn't do more now. Both ladies in the field did a good job."

-dtm-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Mika Hakkinen , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Stefan Mücke , Jamie Green
Teams Team Abt