Norisring: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Third Pole for Bruno Spengler in the fifth race Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's fifth round of the 2007 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring on Sunday from his third pole position of the year. In an ...

Third Pole for Bruno Spengler in the fifth race

Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's fifth round of the 2007 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring on Sunday from his third pole position of the year. In an exciting qualifying on a wet track, which was drying out only in the closing minutes, Spengler posted a best time of 55.963sec. Mika Hakkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class/56.199sec) was second fastest ahead of Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class/56.261sec); the two winners of the last two races.

The race version of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class now took all five pole positions in the first five races of the 2007 season. Behind three new C-Class cars, Gary Paffett (56.447sec) qualified fourth fastest with the 2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class. Including the sixth position of Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class/56.584sec), all four 2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class cars and one last year's model ended up among the top six.

Qualifying, part 1: During the beginning on a wet track, the lap times were about 10 seconds slower than in the morning's free practice. Bernd Schneider was the fastest Mercedes driver with 56.773sec in second place. Alexandros Margaritis (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class/58.410sec) in 17th place and Mathias Lauda (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min00.190) in 20th missed the second round.

Qualifying, part 2: Bruno Spengler set the best time with 56.602sec, 16 thousandths of a second ahead of Gary Paffett in second place. Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class/57.259sec) ended up ninth and missed the final round by two hundredths. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/57.768sec) qualified 12th, Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class/57.811sec) was 13th.

Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007), 55.963sec (pole position): "I am really happy. We have been fast already yesterday and our team did a great job. In the beginning, I did not feel so comfortable because I never drove in the wet at the Norisring before. However, my car became faster and faster from session to session and I was able to adjust my driving style to the difficult conditions. I hope for the same result tomorrow, as I finally want to win the first time this season and to catch up in the championship."

Mika Hakkinen (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class), 56.199sec (second): "A very exciting qualifying, for the drivers as well as for the teams and the spectators. Everybody had to adjust to the changing conditions again and again. In the wet, it is even more difficult to find the right brake points here. I ran into traffic on my last two laps, and I might have qualified on pole with one lap more. I am very happy to achieve a grid position on the first row for the fourth consecutive time with the new C-Class. I am satisfied with my second place today."

Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), 56.261sec (third): "I would have preferred a qualifying on a dry track. During the second session there was aquaplaning and my car came sideways twice on the front straight. Under these circumstances I am still satisfied; it is possible to win from third place on the grid here and I look forward to tomorrow."

Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), 56.447sec (fourth): "I am happy to end up so far up front after such a difficult qualifying. I could cope with the wet track pretty well and tomorrow I want a podium finish."

Jamie Green (2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), 56.584sec (sixth): "Not an easy qualifying. In the middle sector, I had problems to find the optimum racing line. However, sixth place on the gird is still a good basis for tomorrow's race."

Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class), 57.259sec (ninth): "Today was my first day in the wet with a DTM car, so ninth place is not bad. However, when you miss the final round by only two hundredths, it is a bit disappointing. Tomorrow I will give it my all to score points again."

Susie Stoddart (2005 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 57.768sec (12th): "Our team prepared the car very well for these difficult conditions. I was faster lap by lap and 12th position on the grid is a good basis to finish among the top-ten tomorrow."

Daniel la Rosa (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class), 57.811sec (13th): "The first qualifying was OK; however, we changed something on the car and afterwards I had problems entering the corners. This was not too bad, but the others were better."

Alexandros Margaritis (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 58.410sec (17th): "At the beginning I had problems with the traction, and when rain began to fall it was too late for a better lap time."

Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 1min00.190 (20th): "I am very disappointed. I should have pushed harder in the beginning. When the rain started again towards the end of the session, I was not able to improve."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport "The most thrilling qualifying of the season with the best times changing lap by lap on the wet track. Congratulations to Bruno on his third pole of the season and to Mika, Bernd and Gary on the next positions on the first two rows of the grid. The HWA team under Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jurgen Mattheis as well as the Persson and Mucke teams did a great job with a flawless performance of the drivers and teams. At the beginning of the second session, Bruno made it exciting when he was outside the top-ten for a long time -- however, then he found four tenths and was fastest. Mika is on the front row of the grid for the fourth consecutive time. Susie's 12th place is remarkable; in qualifying one, she was only 73 thousandths of a second slower than Paul di Resta who was ninth and missed qualifying three for the top eight by only 20 thousandths. Our grid positions are a good basis, but they don't mean at all that we have already won the race. At the Norisring, you are able to come from behind and finish up front with a good speed and the right strategy. Therefore, the crowd here at the circuit and the TV spectators at home can look forward to an exciting race."

-credit: mercedes-benz

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Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green , Gerhard Ungar