Norisring: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Bruno Spengler and Gary Paffett will start side-by-side from row two Five Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars among the top seven Good team performance: seven of eight Mercedes cars within the 11 fastest Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG...

Bruno Spengler and Gary Paffett will start side-by-side from row two

Five Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars among the top seven

Good team performance: seven of eight Mercedes cars within the 11 fastest

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) and Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start tomorrow`s third round of the 2009 DTM at Nuremberg's Norisring from the second row on the grid. In the single-lap qualifying of the top four drivers, Spengler posted the third fastest time with a 49.159sec and was 0.147sec behind the pole position time of Timo Scheider (Audi). Paffett was fourth fastest with a 49.329.

Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up fifth with 48.744sec ahead of Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class/49.061sec); both are at the wheel of last year's C-Class cars. Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified seventh with 49.085sec, his best DTM qualifying result like in Barcelona last year.

In the third part of qualifying, all three drivers were fast enough to move up to the single-lap qualifying. Before they completed more than the allowed eight laps per driver in Q3, they had set lap times for positions five, six and seven respectively.

Qualifying, part 1: On a drying track, Green was fastest with 52.922sec ahead of Spengler (53.142sec). Mathias Lauda (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 15th with 54.127sec and missed the next round by 14 thousandths of a second.

Qualifying, part 2: Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished second with 48.926sec and was the best C-Class driver. Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class/ 49.440sec) came home 10th ahead of Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/49.511sec); both did not make it to the third part.

Bruno Spengler (2009 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), third (49.159): "This was the craziest qualifying of my career. Never before, I experienced so many changes between dry and wet sections of the track. In these conditions, third place on the grid is not too bad and also from the second row everything will be possible in tomorrow's race."

Gary Paffett (2009 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), fourth (49.329): "The continuous changes between wet and dry conditions made it not easy today. In the end we were just not fast enough and more than fourth position should have been possible. Tomorrow I will give it my all -- racing on this circuit is really a lot of fun."

Jamie Green (2008 Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), fifth (48.744): "A difficult qualifying due to the changeable weather. Unfortunately we made a mistake and I drove too many laps, but also from fifth place a podium finish will be possible tomorrow."

Maro Engel (2008 GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class), sixth (49.061): "I'm a bit frustrated to miss Q4 despite my second fastest time in the third part of qualifying. However, also sixth on the grid is a good basis for tomorrow's race."

Ralf Schumacher (2009 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), seventh (49.085): "Unfortunately, we had a few laps more than the allowed eight in Q3. Although I set my fastest time, the fourth fastest in Q3, on my sixth lap I was penalized and will start seventh on the grid. Anyway, it's my best qualifying result of the year and the penalty is a shame because more was possible, but these are the rules."

Paul Di Resta (2009 AMG Mercedes C-Class), 10th (49.440): "We had the wrong timing. When everybody improved towards the end of Q2 we were not able to react in time. I will put this behind me and focus on the race tomorrow. Here at the Norisring, overtaking is possible and that's what I will try as often as possible."

Susie Stoddart (2008 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 11th (49.511): "I am still satisfied with 11th place which is my best qualifying result of the year. And it is a good basis to score my first DTM points tomorrow."

Mathias Lauda (2008 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 15th (54.127): "I am very disappointed, because more was possible today. Until one minute before the end of the first qualifying I was sixth, and then everybody improved except me. It's a shame."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "A really thrilling qualifying and a bit of a lottery due to the changeable weather. Five Mercedes cars amongst the eight fastest in qualifying 3 are a good basis for us. Ralf Schumacher was absolutely competitive and in principle more than the seventh time was possible, as we could see. Jamie Green and Maro Engel showed that they were able to drive to the front with the last year's C-Class and Susie Stoddart demonstrated a good shape in 11th place. From the second row, Bruno and Gary have every opportunity, although they missed the front row by a small margin. We look forward to a good race tomorrow and will try to continue our series of the previous six victories in a row."

-credit: m-b

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Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green