Nurburgring: Mercedes qualifying report

DTM 2005: 7th round at the Nürburgring, Qualifying Gary Paffett on Pole Position, Mika Häkkinen Second Three AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars on first and second rows Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's seventh...

DTM 2005: 7th round at the Nürburgring, Qualifying

Gary Paffett on Pole Position, Mika Häkkinen Second
Three AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars on first and second rows

Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's seventh round of the 2005 DTM at the Nürburgring from Pole Position. In Saturday's exciting single-lap qualifying for Super Pole Paffett set a time of 1:23.161 minutes and was a quarter of a second faster than Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes). The Finn was out on the track first and ended up second with a 1:23.415. He will start from the front row alongside Gary.

It is Paffett's fourth pole position in the seventh race of the year. He had achieved his first ever DTM pole one year ago also at the Nürburgring. Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) qualified fourth fastest with a 1:23.598 and will start beside Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM/1:23.516) in third place.

In qualifying Paffett had been fourth fastest with a 1:23.171 with Schneider (1:23.443) in eighth place. Häkkinen made it to the single-lap qualifying with the tenth fastest lap in 1:23.545 and half a tenth of a second ahead of his team mate Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes) who was 11th and missed Super Pole by 56 thousandths of a second. In the hard fought qualifying Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) was 13th with a 1:23.626, he was 81 thousandths behind tenth position.

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes Second Hand Cars) was best of the drivers with an 2004 AMG-Mercedes C-Class and qualified 15th with a 1:23.773 - less than a second behind Ekström, the fastest in qualifying. Mücke Motorsport drivers Stefan Mücke (1:24.138) and Alexandros Margaritis (1:24.308) were 18th and 20th respectively.

Gary Paffett:

"A great lap. I pushed the car to the limit and didn't make a mistake. After we had been behind the Audis in qualifying we changed the tyre pressure and therefore were able to warm up the tyres better. I am really happy about my pole position; it is the optimum basis for a strong result tomorrow."

Mika Häkkinen:

"We made some small modifications to the car prior to the single-lap qualifying, and they obviously paid off. I'm satisfied about my second grid position although I'm not quite happy with the set-up. I expect a tough race tomorrow because the gaps between the drivers are very small."

Bernd Schneider:

"Everything ran well in qualifying and in the fight for Super Pole I only made two small mistakes, one under braking and one when I drove over the kerbs too wide. However, starting fourth I have a good chance for a top result tomorrow. I'm very confident."

Jamie Green:

"I made a small mistake in the second sector of my last lap which was also my fastest. I locked the brakes and lost valuable time. It's a shame because I had expected a place among the top-ten."

Jean Alesi

"I had a problem with the throttle and we could not fix it during qualifying. Therefore I was not able to go faster. It will be a tough race from 13th on the grid, but as always I will do my best to improve during the race."

Bruno Spengler:

"We decided to make three runs with one fast lap each. Unfortunately this was the wrong strategy, because the track became slower and slower throughout qualifying. With third place in this morning's free practice I had shown that I can do better."

Stefan Mücke:

"I got stuck in traffic in the second sector of my fastest lap and that cost me four tenths of a second. I was not quite satisfied with the car but we will try and improve significantly tomorrow."

Alexandros Margaritis:

"I was not comfortable with my today's set-up and had the impression that the car ran better yesterday. We will work on the set-up and try to improve until tomorrow."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Congratulations to Gary Paffett on his pole position, to Mika Häkkinen on his place on the first row of the grid and to Bernd Schneider on his fourth starting position. The entire HWA team with Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jürgen Mattheis worked impressively and improved continuously."

"Nevertheless the result was almost somewhat surprising after there was only one AMG-Mercedes C-Class among the top-ten in qualifying. Three cars in the top-four are a good basis for tomorrow's race. The single-lap qualifying was good sport with some surprises. The three manufacturers are within less than half a second. Rain is predicted for tomorrow which means that the race will be a completely different story."

Gary Paffett
DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes
Pole position, 1:23.161

Mika Häkkinen
Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes
Second, 1:23.415

Bernd Schneider
Vodafone AMG-Mercedes
Fourth, 1:23.598

Jamie Green
Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes
11th, 1:23.601

Jean Alesi
13th, 1:23.626

Bruno Spengler
Mercedes Second Hand Cars
15th, 1:23.773

Stefan Mücke
Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes
18th, 1:24.138

Alexandros Margaritis
Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes
20th, 1:24.308


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Alexandros Margaritis , Stefan Mücke , Jamie Green , Gerhard Ungar
Teams Mücke Motorsport