Nurburgring: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Uwe Alzen on Pole Position First 2002 pole position for Mercedes-Benz ­ Five Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM, three Abt-Audi TT-R and two Opel Astra V8 Coupé among top 10 Uwe Alzen (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's seventh round of the...

Uwe Alzen on Pole Position

First 2002 pole position for Mercedes-Benz ­ Five Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM, three Abt-Audi TT-R and two Opel Astra V8 Coupé among top 10

Uwe Alzen (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's seventh round of the 2002 DTM at the Nürburgring from pole position. In Saturday's thrilling qualifying, Uwe posted a time of 1:26.773 and was eight hundredths of a second faster than championship leader Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) in second place. It is the third DTM pole position for Uwe and the first for Mercedes-Benz this year. Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes/1:27.014) in third and Marcel Fässler (Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes/1:27.025) in fourth positions respectively round off Mercedes-Benz's best qualifying result of the season.

On a drying track there was fierce competition and in the closing minutes of the session, pole position changed with almost every lap. Alzen, Schneider and Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes), Aiello and fellow Audi drivers Christian Abt and Martin Tomczyk, as well as Opel driver Manuel Reuter took turns in the top spot. Finally, Bernd and Marcel challenged Uwe's best time but failed by a quarter of a second.

Uwe Alzen, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, Pole Position (1:26.773):

"It's something really special for me to achieve pole position on my home track. My team found and executed the best strategy, so that I was out at the right moment and set the fastest lap. However I prefer dry weather for the race, particularly for the many spectators we expect to come tomorrow."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, third (1:27.014):

"My final run began promising with best time in the first sector, but I lost some time in the second sector due to understeer, and in the third sector there was oil on the track and I was not able to push the car to the limit. However I'm very happy with my third place on the grid. We were disciplined and waited until the end to make use of the consistently drying track."

Marcel Fässler, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, fourth (1:27.025):

"I was on the track at the right time. My last run probably would have been fast enough for pole position, but unfortunately I made a mistake at the last corner."

Peter Dumbreck, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, eighth (1:27.572):

"The conditions were tricky today, therefore I'm quite satisfied with my result. With a little bit of luck we will be able to end up in the points tomorrow."

Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, ninth (1:27.914):

"Our best qualifying result for a long time. I made a little mistake on my fastest lap, otherwise I might be in front of my team mate."

Bernd Mayländer, Oase AMG-Mercedes, 13th (1:28.128):

"Our trend during the weekend so far had been positive, but we were not able to further improve in qualifying. Unfortunately, I was slowed down by another car on my fastest lap so that I lost some time."

Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 14th (1:28.304):

"I'm happy about my best DTM qualifying result. I could have been a little faster, but I made some small mistakes. Moreover, my car was set up for wet rather than for dry conditions."

Christijan Albers, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 15th (1:28.433):

"On my last run two cars slid into the gravel right in front of me, so I had to back off. It was still my fastest lap, but I lost time and could have been further up the grid otherwise."

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, 18th (1:28.976):

"I started my fast laps on slicks too early and therefore was not able to fight for pole position in the end."

Patrick Huisman, CEB AMG-Mercedes, 19th (1:30.675):

"I'm disappointed with my 19th qualifying position. I started with slicks quite early which was the correct decision at that time because I was able to improve to fourth. But when the track dried out in the end I just ran out of laps."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"A thrilling qualifying with the provisional pole position changing 15 times. It's remarkable how competitive the field is with the first ten drivers within 1.1secs even under these conditions. Our teams did a great job and qualified five cars among the top nine. In the final moments, Bernd Schneider was able to improve to third after a tyre change and despite oil on the track. With his pole position, Uwe Alzen and his team demonstrated strong nerves as they waited until the right time. Compliments to our drivers with last year's model. Particularly Peter Dumbreck and Thomas Jäger showed an excellent team performance. Five Mercedes-Benz in the first five rows on the grid are a nice basis for tomorrow's race."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Uwe Alzen , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Christian Abt , Patrick Huisman , Thomas Jäger , Stefan Mücke