All makes on the first three places, Schneider on pole For the first time in the new season, the three DTM-makes will be starting into the race from the first three places: with an excellent performance at the end of the exciting single lap ...
All makes on the first three places, Schneider on pole
For the first time in the new season, the three DTM-makes will be starting into the race from the first three places: with an excellent performance at the end of the exciting single lap qualifying session, Bernd Schneider claimed pole position for the fourth round of the DTM at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
With the AMG-Mercedes CLK at the 4.534 kilometres long Grand Prix-track of the EuroSpeedway, he defeated second-placed Mattias Ekström (Abt-Audi TT-R) by no less than four tenths of a second. Peter Dumbreck (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) will be starting into the race from third place.
Initially, it was planned to integrate the banked corner after the main straight (Turn 1) into the track lay-out. Following tyre blow-ups in Friday's test session, the DMSB (Deutscher Motor Sport Bund), together with the DTM-makes and tyre partner Dunlop decided for safety reasons to return to the Grand Prix-track that has been used in previous years.
Schneider: "My car has never been that good"
"This weekend, things were just running perfectly for me," beamed Bernd Schneider. "My car has never been that good. Most recently at the Nürburgring, it was completely the other way round, as nothing worked there."
In the Eifel, Schneider's team mate Christijan Albers had taken the lead in the championship standings after his second victory in a row. The 24-year old said: "I didn't manage to get my tyres to the right temperature and I also made a few slight mistakes."
Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug said: "The new qualifying format, with three timed attempts in the first half and the single lap qualifying for the ten fastest drivers in the second half, is excellent. In the first part, seven drivers were within three tenths of a second, and in the hunt for pole position, we have seen once again, that nerves are playing a role."
Dumbreck: "From third place on the grid, I have good chances"
With his Opel Astra V8 Coupé in third place, Scot Peter Dumbreck once again was fastest Opel-driver. "I am really happy, because it is obvious, that we are getting closer and closer to the top", Dumbreck said. "However, there is a mistake in the order, because, of course, I should be on top and Bernd should be starting from third place... But we will get there. No, seriously, from third place, you also have good chances to win."
Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek was happy with three Astras in the top six, with Timo Scheider fifth and Alain Menu sixth behind Dumbreck. "We were well prepared for the track lay-out with Turn 1, but safety has the highest priority, so we all support this decision, and we also ask the fans for their understanding," Strycek says. "I am satisfied with our performance. With our victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring last week, we have broken our duck."
Ekström: "I am satisfied, there was no way of catching Bernd"
In the Abt Sportsline-team, Swede Mattias Ekström has established himself as a fixed asset during the first three rounds. With the Abt-Audi TT-R, the 24-year old convinced with an error-free lap at the Lausitzring in the single lap qualifying session. "I am satisfied, as there was no way of catching Bernd today."
Abt Sportsline is entering four instead of the regular six cars, after champion Laurent Aiello and Christian Abt had damaged their cars during the test day so severely, that they couldn't be repaired at the race track. After a team internal car swap, the two of them will be driving the Abt-Audi TT-Rs of their two team mates Martin Tomczyk and Peter Terting. "Personally, I feel very sorry for the fact that two of our drivers can't race", team principal Hans-Jürgen Abt said. "But we have made the decision in respect of the situation in the championship."