DTM

Le Mans: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start tomorrow's 10th and penultimate round of the 2008 DTM at Le Mans from the front row of the grid. In Saturday's close fought qualifying, Green was second with a time of 1m30.229; eight ...

Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start tomorrow's 10th and penultimate round of the 2008 DTM at Le Mans from the front row of the grid. In Saturday's close fought qualifying, Green was second with a time of 1m30.229; eight hundredths of a second outside the pole position time of Tom Kristensen (Audi/1m30.149).

Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) who is second overall will start fourth on the grid after posting a time of 1m30.379; in fifth place immediately behind him will start title contender Timo Scheider (Audi).

Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) who was on pole in Barcelona two weeks ago qualified sixth fastest with a1m30.619 ahead of Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class/1m30.765). Thus all four 2008 C-Class cars will start among the top seven.

Qualifying, part 1: Paul Di Resta posted the fastest lap at the beginning of the qualifying with a 1m30.646. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 15th with a 1m32.029 ahead of Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m32.410) whilst Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m32.722) was 18th followed by Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m33.221).

Qualifying, part 2: Bernd Schneider was the fastest C-Class driver in the second part with a 1m30.483 in second place. Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 13th and missed the third qualifying; his car had been repaired over night after an accident in Friday's test.

Jamie Green (2008 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), second (1:30.229): "I am quite happy about my second grid position -- this is ok with our weight handicap. The times at the top are very close together and that shows how strong our C-Class is here. With a good start I should be able to achieve a strong result."

Paul Di Resta (2008 AMG Mercedes C-Class), fourth (1:30.379): "It certainly could have been better as shown by my theoretical best time with all my best sector times; however, fourth place is not too bad. If possible, I want a better result tomorrow and keep my title chances alive."

Bernd Schneider (2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), sixth (1:30.619): "I made a mistake at the middle sector which cost me about two tenths. Without that the second row was possible. Tomorrow I will do better."

Bruno Spengler (2008 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), seventh (1:30.765): "I am disappointed. On my last run I made a mistake at turn five which certainly cost me two tenths and at least one row. With a good start everything is still possible tomorrow."

Maro Engel (2007 JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), 13th (1:31.473): "I very much thank my team for repairing the car after yesterday's accident. It is a nice reward for everybody, that we made it to the second part of qualifying. I could have done better than 13th place, but on my final lap I made a mistake and was not able to improve."

Susie Stoddart (2007 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 15th (1:32.029): "I am not happy, because I was not able to reach the second part of qualifying. All cars are pretty close together and I lacked less than one tenths of a second to reach 14th place and thus Q2. But I am confident for the race, we have a good speed and everybody in our team does a great job."

Gary Paffett (2007 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 16th (1:32.276): "I am very disappointed. In this morning's Free Practice I was 13th, which was easily good enough for Q2. But in the afternoon I struggled with a lot of oversteer and didn't manage to move up the grid."

Mathias Lauda (2007 Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class), 18th (1:32.722): "I made a lot of mistakes and pushed too hard, therefore I was not able to improve."

Ralf Schumacher (2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 19th (1:33.221): "In yesterday's tests I performed pretty well and I was 13th in the first test, but today it didn't work out. We will analyse the data to find out why."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "The good news is that our C-Class is competitive and capable of taking the pole position here in the Le Mans qualifying even with the weight handicap after Paul Di Resta's victory in the previous race in Barcelona. In the end, Jamie missed the best time by eight hundredths of a second, and with his best sector times, Paul in fourth place showed that more was possible than to start ahead of his immediate title rival Timo Scheider. This 'more' we want to achieve tomorrow -- we lead on race wins and -- who knows -- maybe we manage this in the end also in the points ranking.

"Compliments and thanks to the Mucke team with all their members for repairing Maro Engel's C-Class after his accident over night. 13th place on the grid is a reasonable reward for such a tough night shift. Remarkable: Susie Stoddart missed Q2 by less than a tenth of a second and let her team mates Gary Paffett and Ralf Schumacher behind her."

-credit: m-b

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Tom Kristensen , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green