Martin Tomczyk captures first start place in thrilling qualifying 22-year-old Martin Tomczyk secured pole position in qualifying for the 10th and final championship race of the 2004 DTM season. The German clocked a time of 1:35.852 minutes in...
Martin Tomczyk captures first start place in thrilling qualifying
22-year-old Martin Tomczyk secured pole position in qualifying for the 10th and final championship race of the 2004 DTM season. The German clocked a time of 1:35.852 minutes in his Audi A4 DTM around the 4.574-kilometre-long Hockenheimring.
Hot on his heels followed a trio of Mercedes-Benz drivers. Bernd Schneider (1:35.865), just 13 thousandth's of a second behind, will start tomorrow's race at 1400 CET from the first row next to Tomczyk. Third and fourth position was secured by Frenchman Jean Alesi and Gary Paffett.
Paffett (51 points) is in a better position than his team mate Christijan Albers (48 points) in the battle for the runner-up title. Albers will contest the race from ninth position. A mere 0.078 seconds split the first driver from the fourth-placed.
The new champion Mattias Ekström enters the race in fifth position in his Audi A4 DTM. The two Opel drivers Marcel Fässler and Peter Dumbreck will start in sixth and seventh position in their Vectra GTS V8s. Fässler is separated from pole position by just two tenths of a second. Dane Tom Kristensen (38 points) can still clinch third place in the overall standings in the finale. He starts in eighth.
Tens of thousands of racing enthusiasts already flocked to the DTM on Saturday. Since there is only a small amount of available seats left, the standing-room stand on the "Parabolika" bend will also be opened up tomorrow. Tickets cost 15 euros.
Martin Tomczyk (1st start place, Audi Sport Team Abt):
"I'm very pleased with pole position. Whilst I was still on the track I was sooner reckoning with fifth place as I had made a few small mistakes. I'm out to win tomorrow. But I've got three Mercedes behind me which are always very strong in the race."
Bernd Schneider (2nd start place, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes):
"This second place is thanks to my team. It changed something on the car for qualifying and then everything was just right. I'm pleased that we're slowly getting it back together again and I'm also very satisfied with the set-up of the car."
Jean Alesi (3rd start place, C-class AMG-Mercedes):
"I'm very satisfied with my third place. It was a long haul for us but everything came together well today. We had difficulty with the changing grip conditions. Yesterday we had dry and wet conditions. That makes it difficult to prepare oneself for the track."
Marcel Fässler (6th start place, OPC Team Phoenix):
"I had a very good and consistent lap in the super pole. Although it wasn't earth shattering, I was nevertheless able to improve on my position. I've just missed out on a podium finish twice so far so I finally want to manage it tomorrow. I may pull it off with a good start."
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich Audi Motorsport Director:
"I'm pleased with Martin's pole position and must admit that there's actually nothing more exciting than the DTM's super pole. All those who are battling it out for the first 10 positions are inordinately strong. I'm proud to be a part of it and proud to be in front. Mattias Ekström had a bit of a battle on his hands with lessening grip, he didn't make a mistake. At any rate, I'm convinced we're poised for a hot race."
Norbert Haug Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director:
"It was very exciting. Those 78 thousandths between the first four drivers is possibly the narrowest gap we've ever had, especially given it was on this pretty long course. Jean Alesi, Bernd Schneider and Gary Paffett were headed for pole position and just missed out on it. But who knows, maybe we can change it in the race. I'm particularly pleased that Bernd once again showed us what he's capable of. From a sporting point of view we're witnessing the best-ever DTM with more spectators than ever before."
"I'm pleased that Marcel Faessler and Peter Dumbreck landed in the top 10. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Manuel Reuter and Timo Scheider grappled with heavy oversteering due to the constantly changing grip conditions, and therefore sadly missed out on the super pole. But I think we'll see a great race tomorrow. We'll prepare well and will attack. It's also positive that we've been able to improve a lot versus the competition compared to the first race in Hockenheim."