Nurburgring: Mercedes qualifying report

First DTM Pole Position for Bruno Spengler Four AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars among top eight Stefan Mücke sixth with a 2005 C-Class Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class) will start the sixth round of the 2006 DTM at...

First DTM Pole Position for Bruno Spengler
Four AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars among top eight
Stefan Mücke sixth with a 2005 C-Class

Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class) will start the sixth round of the 2006 DTM at Nürburgring tomorrow from pole position. As the last driver on the track, Spengler posted a 1:23.462 and edged out Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM/1:23.605) in the thrilling final seconds. Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class), who had held the best time until about 20 seconds from the end, qualified third with a 1:23.698. Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class) was fourth fastest with a 1:23.743.

It is the first DTM pole position for Bruno Spengler who won his first race in the championship at the Norisring four weeks ago. Stefan Mücke qualified the 2005 TV-Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class sixth on the grid with a 1:24.105.

Spengler was second and the fastest Mercedes driver in the first part of qualifying with a 1:24.530. Schneider had a short off at the hairpin of the short track. He pitted for a short check and set the fourth fastest time afterwards (1:24.657). Jean Alesi (stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class/1:25.148) was relegated from 14th to 15th in the final seconds of this part and missed the next round by three hundredths of a second. Mathias Lauda (Second Hand AMG Mercedes C-Class/1:25.513) ended up 18th ahead of Susie Stoddart (AutoScout24 AMG Mercedes C-Class/1:25.658).

In the second part, Spengler improved to 1:24.129 and was fastest. The first three drivers of this qualifying were within 43 thousandths of a second. Mücke was sixth fastest and moved up to the last part of qualifying. In the final seconds, Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes C-Class/1:24.493) dropped to ninth place -- the Finn lacked two hundredths to make it to the top-eight.

Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG-Mercedes C-Class/1:24.568) qualified 12th, right behind Alexandros Margaritis (Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class/1:24.546). The Greek-German remained three tenths of a second above his best time he set in the morning's free practice. The C-Class carries the silhouette of the legendary 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Stirling Moss drove this car to victory in the Mille Miglia 51 years ago.

Bruno Spengler: "I'm really happy about my first DTM pole position for which I have waited quite a while. The car ran well throughout, although I was not completely satisfied with the middle sector in the first two parts of qualifying. However, in the final part I managed a perfect lap with a perfect car. I thank the entire team -- they did a great job. I expect a tough race tomorrow, and I'm particularly interested how the weather will develop."

Bernd Schneider: "Third place on the grid is a good result. In the final session of qualifying I had only one set of tyres left. Therefore, I had to set a good lap at my first attempt and that I managed. My car ran well throughout qualifying. It will be a long race tomorrow and I want to win."

Jamie Green: "It was a close-fought qualifying and therefore fourth place is still OK. The tests and free practice have not been perfect, but we improved our set-up for qualifying significantly. Fourth place is a good basis for the race."

Stefan Mücke: "I'm really satisfied. In the beginning, I had brake problems and didn't expect such a good result. But our team found a solution and the car was perfect."

Mika Häkkinen: "It was no surprise for me that I missed the third part of qualifying, because we struggled with the balance throughout the session. Therefore, I didn't manage a better lap time. As we cannot continue like this, now I want to analyse the data in order to understand how to find solutions, so that we will be in better shape for tomorrow's race. I am confident that despite ninth place on the grid we will achieve a better result tomorrow."

Alexandros Margaritis: "Following yesterday's good result I'm disappointed about 11th position on the grid. Our target was a top-eight result, but the handling of the car was not as good as in free practice, therefore I was not able to push harder."

Daniel la Rosa: "The first part of qualifying was quite OK and I had no problems to move up to the second round. Then I made a mistake under braking and was not able to add up my good sector times to one fast lap."

Jean Alesi: "I'm very disappointed; particularly because we do not know yet why we didn't qualify further up the grid. I will give it my all for the team tomorrow to score some points."

Mathias Lauda: "With the first set of tyres, my lap times were not bad, but with the second one I suffered from understeer. Therefore I was not able to qualify better."

Susie Stoddart: "This is my first race at the Nürburgring. My qualifying result reflects that I still have to learn the track. In addition to this, I got stuck behind another car on my fastest lap."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "This was clearly the most exciting qualifying I can remember in the history of the DTM. Congratulations to Bruno Spengler on his first pole, which he achieved in the last seconds of qualifying. Well done to Bernd Schneider, Jamie Green and the HWA team for three positions among the top-four. This was a good team performance."

"From second to third part of qualifying, Bruno improved by seven tenths of a second, and from first to third part he improved by more than one second. Stefan Mücke's confidence increased after his fourth place at the Norisring, which he proved with his sixth place on the grid today with a 2005 car. We have a good basis for the race; however the forecast says rain and this makes predictions even more difficult."

Bruno Spengler
DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class
Pole position, 1:23.462

Bernd Schneider
Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class
Third, 1:23.698

Jamie Green
Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class
Fourth, 1:23.743

Stefan Mücke
TV-Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class
Sixth, 1:24.105

Mika Häkkinen
AMG-Mercedes C-Class
Ninth, 1:24.493

Alexandros Margaritis
Easy Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class
11th, 1:24.546

Daniel la Rosa
TrekStor AMG-Mercedes C-Class
12th, 1:24.568

Jean Alesi
stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class
15th, 1:25.148

Mathias Lauda
Second Hand AMG-Mercedes C-Class
18th, 1:25.513

Susie Stoddart
AutoScout24 AMG-Mercedes C-Class
19th, 1:25.658

-credit: mercedes

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Stirling Moss , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Stefan Mücke , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green