Albers seizes maiden pole position with top performance Heavy rainfall just before the start of qualifying for the fourth round of the DTM at the Lausitzring turned the battle for pole position into a veritable game of chance. The track became...
Albers seizes maiden pole position with top performance
Heavy rainfall just before the start of qualifying for the fourth round of the DTM at the Lausitzring turned the battle for pole position into a veritable game of chance. The track became drier throughout the 30-minute-long qualifying for all drivers and the following single-lap qualifying of the 10 fastest drivers.
Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz), fastest in single lap qualifying, benefited the most from these conditions and secured his first DTM pole position with a time of 1:45.026 minutes on the 4.534 kilometre-long EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
Swede Mattias Ekström in an Audi A4 DTM placed second, five tenths of a second behind. Ekström was the first driver to exit onto the track with slicks. Former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi opted for rain tyres and came third, 4.391 seconds off the pace.
Last year's runner-up Peter Dumbreck will start in fourth position in his Opel Vectra GTS V8 ahead of last year's winner Bernd Schneider (AMG-Mercedes C-class). Timo Scheider in an Opel Vectra GTS V8 is behind him in sixth, followed by Mercedes driver Gary Paffett in seventh position.
The two Opel drivers Manuel Reuter and Marcel Fässler secured berths eight and nine, while Christian Abt (Audi) had to settle for 10th after a bit of a slip-up on his fastest lap.
Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz):
"It was very exciting because you could sit and watch what the others were doing. I saw that Mattias Ekström was doing very well with slicks. The first and second sections were already dry, it was only the end that was still very wet. I'm really chuffed about pole position as I didn't do so well here last year."
Jean Alesi (Mercedes-Benz):
"Nobody pulled off a perfect lap today in such conditions. In this respect I'm satisfied with the result. It's a good starting position for the race. I hope it's dry tomorrow - not only for the drivers but also for the spectators. They support us everywhere. I really appreciate that the DTM is so open towards the fans."
Norbert Haug (Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director):
"We witnessed a very exciting qualifying, even though the drivers who made the super pole at the end had a clear advantage. We were considering putting slicks onto Jean Alesi's car. After checking with the engineers we eventually opted for the safe option. That's why he's in third place. Overall, we've got a good starting point for the race."
Mattias Ekström (Audi):
"Today was the first time that I've driven the A4 in the rain - it was very exciting. It went well. I came third in qualifying with a minimal time difference. The super pole was all about trying to keep the car on the track amid these difficult conditions. Although pole position could have been possible if it had been dry, I'm still pleased I'm starting from the first row."
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Audi Motorsport Director):
"Mattias pulled off yet another superb performance. He made the most out of the difficult conditions. It's got to be acknowledged that he was the first one who had the guts to go out with slicks on the, in parts, still wet track, and that the two drivers after him certainly had better conditions. Unfortunately our overall team performance was not that great. We are simply not yet that familiar with the new Audi A4 DTM in the rain."
Peter Dumbreck (Opel):
"I always do well here at the Lausitzring. I went out and felt at ease. We had a good set-up. Fourth is a great place and I'm honestly really pleased with it."
Volker Strycek (Opel Sport Director):
"I'm more than satisfied with the qualifying. It's our best training result with four cars in the top 10. We performed equally well both yesterday in dry conditions and today in the rain. The car performed especially well in the rain. The team as a whole is strong. That pleases me."