DTM

Oschersleben: Kristensen on pole by a narrow margin

A stormy ride: Kristensen on pole, just ahead of Green Heavy wind at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben made DTM qualifying a huge challenge for the 20 drivers. Like last year already, Audi-driver Tom Kristensen secured himself pole-position for ...

A stormy ride: Kristensen on pole, just ahead of Green Heavy wind at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben made DTM qualifying a huge challenge for the 20 drivers. Like last year already, Audi-driver Tom Kristensen secured himself pole-position for tomorrow's race at 14.00.

With his Audi A4 DTM, the Dane crossed the 3.667 kilometres long track in the region of Magdeburg in 1.19.264 minutes and thus will be starting from the first position for a DTM race for the third time in his career. For Audi, it was the 30th pole-position in the DTM.

"After my pair of second places in the first two rounds, it is now time for victory," the 38-year old said after qualifying. Kristensen scored his only DTM victory thus far two years ago, also at Oschersleben.

Jamie Green will be starting from second place for the third DTM season round with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class. The 23-year old was only nine thousandths of a second down on the pole-sitter. Thus, Green only just missed out on his fourth pole-position in a row. Third in the new shoot-out qualifying was his fellow-Mercedes-driver Bruno Spengler.

For the spectators, qualifying could hardly have been more exciting. The fastest time changed by the second and the battle for the best grid positions for tomorrow's start turned into a stormy head-to-head affair.

Behind the three fastest drivers, Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes) will be starting fourth ahead of his former F1-colleague, Audi-driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, whom he demoted to fifth position in the final second. The winner of the first two DTM rounds and points leader, Bernd Schneider, was sixth after the qualifying session in the afternoon.

Most prominent victim of the new shoot-out qualifying was the 2004 DTM champion. In the second of the three sessions, Mattias Ekström failed to make it among the best eight. He was just 0.021 seconds down on fellow-Audi-driver Frank Stippler.

Before the third of ten season rounds, Mercedes-Benz-driver Bernd Schneider is leading the points' standings with 20 points from his fiercest rival Tom Kristensen (16 points) and Mika Häkkinen (11). The race in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben will be starting at 14.00 h and has a total distance of 161.348 kilometres. Last year's winner is current Formula 1-driver, Gary Paffett.

Tom Kristensen (1st place, Audi Sport Team Abt):

"Pole-position was exactly what I needed. I am really happy. It would have been nice to have a few more Audis standing behind me, as it then would be a little more comfortable for me in tomorrow's race. In the race on Sunday, we will be stronger over the entire distance than today."

Jamie Green (2nd place, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes):

"Qualifying was fun. Too bad that I dropped back from pole to second place in the closing stages. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the result. Tomorrow, the start is particularly important in order to be in a good position for the race."

Bruno Spengler (3rd place, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes):

"I am satisfied with third place. Moreover, I am on the clean line, which is not the worst thing for tomorrow. My goal is to be constant in the race and to make it onto the podium."

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Audi Motor sport director:

"Of course, I am really happy with Tom Kristensen's pole. He has been showing a strong performance throughout the weekend and also in previous years at the Oschersleben circuit. I am not so happy with the result of the other three. But that shows that you have to have everything spot-on in qualifying."

"This type of qualifying is merciless, that was motor sport at its best. For us, standing on the pit wall, this new format is really thrilling and that is getting across to the spectators as well."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz motor sport director:

"Congratulations to Audi for being on pole. Tom Kristensen has been showing a great performance here. But I am also happy with the performance of the team as a whole. We have a good starting position for the first corner and that is a good basis to start from. In qualifying, it was a close and a tough battle, but that is what it should be like."

"In any case, it really has added value for the spectators and it is action-packed entertainment throughout. It was close in all three sessions. Firstly, Audi was in front, then Mercedes and at the end, it was all mixed-up again. We can be satisfied with that, we have seen great sport here."

-dtm-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Frank Stippler , Jamie Green
Teams Team Abt