DTM

Norisring: Mercedes qualifying report

Pole Position for Bernd Schneider Four AMG-Mercedes CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and three Opel Astra V8 Coupés among the Top ten Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday’s fifth round of the 2003 DTM from the 21st pole ...

Pole Position for Bernd Schneider
Four AMG-Mercedes CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and three Opel Astra V8 Coupés among the Top ten

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday’s fifth round of the 2003 DTM from the 21st pole position of his DTM career. In Saturday’s single-lap qualifying, Schneider set a time of 48.991sec and was the only Super Pole driver with a lap time of under 49 seconds.

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) qualified second fastest with a 49.081 - just nine hundredths of a second behind pole position. Christijan Albers (ExpressService AMG-Mercedes/49.294) will start from third position on the grid alongside fourth fastest Marcel Fässler (AMG-Mercedes/49.348).

In the exciting qualifying, Schneider was fastest with a 48.812, followed by Albers with a margin of three thousandths of a second. The four HWA drivers were the only to remain under 49 seconds and all four were within 0.182sec demonstrating the good team performance. All 21 cars were within 0.933sec.

Four AMG-Mercedes CLKs, three Abt-Audi TT-Rs and three Opel Astra V8 Coupés qualified for the single-lap qualifying. Japanese Katsutomo Kaneishi (ARTA AMG-Mercedes) was twelfth fastest and achieved his best qualifying result in his fifth DTM race. He was the best driver with a 2002 AMG-Mercedes CLK and missed the single-lap qualifying by only twelve hundredths of a second.

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, Pole Position (48.991):

"I’m particularly happy about the pole position here at the Norisring, because on the bumpy surface it’s difficult to drive a perfect lap. I was perhaps a bit too careful braking into the first hairpin, however, I realised immediately that I had optimum grip and therefore pushed the car to the limit. Everything was perfect.”

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, AMG-Mercedes, second (49.081):

"My lap in the single-lap qualifying was almost faultless. My practice results are now better than at the beginning of the season and I hope this will continue in tomorrow’s race. I want to score as many points as possible.”

Christijan Albers, ExpressService AMG-Mercedes, third (49.294):

"I suffered from oversteer throughout my qualifying lap and my tyre temperature remained too low. Therefore I lacked grip which explains the relatively large gap to the front row. After my good lap times in qualifying and Free Practice, I’m not happy with my result.”

Marcel Fässler, AMG-Mercedes, fourth (49.348):

"I had oversteer entering the Esses and therefore lost some time. It’s a pity, because I was faster on my final run in qualifying. However, fourth place on the grid is a good basis for Sunday’s race.”

Katsutomo Kaneishi, ARTA AMG-Mercedes, 12th (49.422):

"I’m really happy to achieve my best DTM qualifying result. The Persson team did a great job to prepare the car and I was fully focused on driving.”

Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 16th (49.519):

"After this morning’s Free Practice, we made a step forward with the car and I improved my lap times in qualifying by three tenths of a second. My times were consistent and I expect a good result in the race, because the gaps to the cars in front of me are really small.”

Bernd Mayländer, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 17th (49.586):

"I was rather disappointed to be last in this morning’s Free Practice, but we could sort out some problems and in qualifying I was four tenths of a second faster. I hope we will improve the car even further until tomorrow.”

Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 18th (49.680):

"I was faster in Free Practice than in qualifying and therefore I’m not satisfied. I was not able to get the maximum out of the tyres this afternoon which cost me valuable time. However, I’m still optimistic for Sunday as we usually have a good race set-up.”

Gary Paffett, Service 24h AMG-Mercedes, 20th (49.686):

"I was not happy with the car’s handling today and I’m disappointed about the outcome. I’ll try hard to achieve a better result in the race.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

“A great qualifying result with all four this year’s CLKs among the top-four. Gerhard Ungar, Hans-Jürgen Mattheis and the entire team did an excellent job. Bernd Schneider on pole position and Jean Alesi in second place with a gap of less than a tenth of a second performed very well. Our drivers’ team is on the same competitive level and they are pushing each other to top performances. With their tyre strategy, our team found the optimum compromise for the set-up as well for the fast straights as for the handling sector. Thanks to everybody in the team."

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Marcel Fassler , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Thomas Jäger , Gary Paffett , Kaneishi Katsutomo , Stefan Mücke , Gerhard Ungar