Norisring: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Pole for Bruno Spengler ahead of Jamie Green and Paul Di Resta * Three AMG Mercedes C-Class cars in the top three positions * Second pole for Bruno in Nuremberg after two wins and the pole in 2007 * Fastest pole lap at the Norisring of...

Pole for Bruno Spengler ahead of Jamie Green and Paul Di Resta

* Three AMG Mercedes C-Class cars in the top three positions

* Second pole for Bruno in Nuremberg after two wins and the pole in 2007

* Fastest pole lap at the Norisring of the DTM

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start Sunday's fifth round of the 2008 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring from pole position. In a thrilling final part of qualifying, he set a time of 47.785sec and achieved his sixth DTM pole. His pole lap was the fastest DTM pole lap in Nuremberg. His advantage of 0.178sec in the dry was the biggest in Nuremberg since the launch of the three-part qualifying in 2006; compared to the best Audi of Timo Scheider, Bruno was even 0.243sec ahead.

At the Norisring, Mercedes-Benz won seven out of nine races of the "new" DTM since 2000, Mercedes drivers Christijan Albers (2003), Gary Paffett (2004/2005) and Bruno Spengler (2006/2007) achieved the last five wins in a row.

Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) will line up next to him on the front row after setting a time of 47.963sec whilst Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class), winner and pole sitter of the previous race at the Lausitzring six weeks ago, qualified third with 47.969sec.

Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) was seventh with 48.168sec. Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) was the best driver with a last year's car in ninth place. In his fifth ever DTM race, Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) took his best DTM qualifying result with a time of 48.417sec and 11th place. With this time, he was almost four tenths of a second faster than Bruno Spengler's 2007 lap record (48.792sec).

Qualifying, part 1: Bruno Spengler set the fastest time with a 48.007sec, followed by his Mercedes-Benz team mates Paul Di Resta (48.074) and Jamie Green (48.158). Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class) put the 2007 C-Class with 48.235sec in sixth place. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) was 15th with a 48.581sec and missed the second part by three hundredths of a second.

Qualifying, part 2: Bruno Spengler ended up second with 47.997sec; he was the first driver this weekend under 48 seconds. Not qualified for the final part: Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C Class) with 48.295sec in ninth place; Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), who was 11th with 48.417sec and achieved his best DTM qualifying result. Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C Class) was 12th with 48.538sec; Mathias Lauda came home 14th (48.663sec).

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class 2008) pole position (47.785): "I am really happy about my pole position. The Norisring is one of my favourite tracks. To start from pole offers best chances for the race; however, particularly here at the Norisring a lot can happen and therefore, we will start the race with full concentration. It is great fun to race in front of such an enthusiastic crowd."

Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class 2008) second (47.963): "I struggled a bit to put all my good sector times together for an optimum lap; otherwise I would have been able to challenge Bruno. But second on the grid is a very good basis for the race and as always I will give it my all."

Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class 2008) third (47.969): "I am not quite satisfied with third position, but at least it's great that we battled it out among the Mercedes team mates. The gaps here are always very small. I have an excellent car and in the long and tough race everything is possible."

Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class 2008) seventh (48.168): "I am not happy. During yesterday's tests and in this morning's Free Practice, I was never worse than fourth and I don't know why I ended up only seventh in qualifying. We will now analyse the data to improve for tomorrow; even from the fourth row everything is possible."

Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) ninth (48.295): "Ninth on the gird is quite OK, particularly, because I am the best driver with a 2007 car. Our longruns yesterday were encouraging and therefore I am optimistic to score points in the race."

Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) 11th (48.417): "It's good to be back on track after the six-week break. 11th on the gird is a good basis for me. I thank my team for their hard work. With a solid start it should be possible to improve tomorrow."

Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) 12th (48.538): "12th place is good, it's my best grid position in the DTM so far. However, there is still room for improvement. I didn't manage to put a clean lap together and I also was not able to get the maximum out of the tyres. Otherwise a better result might have been possible."

Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) 14th (48.663): "I am disappointed. After I had been sixth in the first part I hoped for more than 14th in the end. I lacked grip in the second part of qualifying and I don't know why. I should have qualified higher up the grid."

Susie Stoddart (TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) 15th (48.581): "The car ran very well and in the end I missed the second round by just three hundredths of a second. At the Norisring, the gaps are always very small. I look forward to tomorrow's race and I am sure I can do better."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "An impressive performance by Bruno, Jamie and Paul and the entire team headed by Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Juergen Mattheis. There was more and more grip lap by lap, and the team anticipated this and reacted perfectly. The result makes us happy, because the Norisring is a particularly prestigious race. We are glad that our own talents are in the top three positions. Like Lewis Hamilton, they come from the Formula 3 Euro series. Bruno's pole lap with an advantage of 0.178sec was great. Two years ago, he achieved his first DTM win here, and last year he claimed victory, pole and fastest race lap. To cover the first three grid positions on this difficult circuit is a good basis for the expected tough race. Also Mathias Lauda's performance with sixth place in the first qualifying is remarkable; unfortunately, he was not able to match this time in the second part. Nuremberg is a good place for us. We won the five previous races here and this street circuit obviously suits us. However, we keep our feet to the ground; tomorrow it counts and then we want to be good."

-credit: daimler.com

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Bernd Schneider , Christijan Albers , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green , Gerhard Ungar