Nurburgring: Mercedes-Benz Teams qualifying report

DTM, 1st September 2007: 8th round at the Nurburgring, Qualifying Bruno Spengler fourth on the grid * Six Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars in positions four to nine * Three new C-Class cars within 0.179sec behind the best time Bruno Spengler ...

DTM, 1st September 2007: 8th round at the Nurburgring, Qualifying

Bruno Spengler fourth on the grid

*  Six Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars in positions four to nine

* Three new C-Class cars within 0.179sec behind the best time

Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday's eighth round of the 2007 DTM at the Nurburgring fourth on the grid. In Saturday's qualifying, the Canadian posted a time of 1min23.296 and was 0.099sec behind the pole position time of Martin Tomczyk (Audi/1min23.197) and three thousandths behind Tom Kristensen (Audi/1min23.293) in third place.

Four more C-Class cars followed in positions five to eight: Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min23.329) was fifth ahead of Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min23.376), Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min23.612) and Mika Hakkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min23.685).

Qualifying, part 1: Bruno Spengler was second fastest with 1min23.538 and best C-Class driver; he missed the top spot by 15 thousandths of a second. Alexandros Margaritis (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 18th with 1min24.515 and missed the second part of qualifying by less than two tenths; however, he was less than one second behind the best time.

Qualifying, part 2: Bruno Spengler improved by two tenths of a second and was again second (1min:23.323); Bernd Schneider was third, 0.111sec behind. Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min23.880) in ninth place, Gary Paffett (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min24.012) in ninth position, Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min24.187) in 13th and Mathias Lauda (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class/1min24.432) in 14th did not make to the final part of qualifying.

Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class), fourth (1min23.296): "I am happy with my qualifying result. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake during my final run which cost me a place on the front row. However, tomorrow is another day and with the weather here at the Nurburgring everything is possible. Our long-runs on Friday looked very competitive in the rain as well as on a dry track, so I am confident for the race."

Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), fifth (1min23.329): "In the first part of qualifying I struggled to get the tyres warm enough, but I improved in the second and third part. Unfortunately I made a small mistake on my last flying lap in the Mercedes Arena, otherwise I could have been further up the grid."

Jamie Green (2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), sixth (1min23.376): "My qualifying time is OK and I am less than two tenths behind pole. But sixth place is not the result I have dreamt of."

Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class), seventh (1min23.612): "It's not bad to qualify the 2005 C-Class among the top-eight. I got the maximum out of the car, but a better result was just not possible. Tomorrow I will push and try to improve further."

Mika Hakkinen (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class), eighth (1min23.685): "Not a good day today. I had several handling problems with my car, we need to understand why. We will work hard tonight and get ready for tomorrow."

Daniel la Rosa (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class), ninth (1min23.880): "Qualifying was okay and I am satisfied with my ninth grid position. Unfortunately I lacked grip with my third set of tyres and was not able to do better. Anyway, I want to thank my team for their good job."

Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), 11th (1min24.012): "We had some problems to find the right set-up. I suffered from oversteer as well as from understeer. If we manage to solve this I should have a chance to score some points in the race."

Susie Stoddart (2005 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 13th (1min24.187): "I am happy with qualifying and our team did a great job. My target for tomorrow is to score points."

Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 14th (1min24.432): "I was satisfied to make it to the second part of qualifying; however, then I suffered from understeer and was not able to qualify higher than 14th."

Alexandros Margaritis (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 18th (1min24.515): "I improved by about seven tenths from this morning's free practice; however, this was not enough. We did not manage to get the maximum out of the tyres. I am disappointed."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Bruno missed pole by 99 thousandths and third place by three thousandths. We have a weight handicap of ten kilograms in the new C-Class which converts to at least two tenths of a second per lap here at the Nurburgring. This means that Bruno, Bernd, Jamie and Mika did a good job with the new C-Class. The HWA team with Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jurgen Mattheis will find a good strategy tomorrow -- our long-runs yesterday looked very good. We will have nine cars among the top seven rows on the grid which is a good team performance. Special compliments to Susie, with ninth place in qualifying 1 she made everybody take notice. She finally ended up 13th, less than two and a half tenths behind the overall leader. All in all we are in good shape for tomorrow."

-credit: daimlerchrysler.com

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