DTM 2005: 5th round at Oschersleben, Qualifying Gary Paffett Third, Jamie Green Fourth Exciting qualifying on a drying track after thunderstorm Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) and Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes) will start...
DTM 2005: 5th round at Oschersleben, Qualifying
Gary Paffett Third, Jamie Green Fourth
Exciting qualifying on a drying track after thunderstorm
Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) and Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's fifth round of the 2005 DTM at Oschersleben from the second row on the grid. In an exciting qualifying on a drying track, Paffett set a best time of 1:21.004 and was third. Green was fourth with a 1:21.053. Both had posted fastest laps five minutes before the end but were bettered later on an improving track. Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM) took pole position with a 1:20.218.
The qualifying had been delayed by 40 minutes due to a thunderstorm, so that the track could be cleaned and rain water pumped off. In the 30-minute session, every driver was allowed a maximum of nine laps as usual. It was crucial to find the right timing, however, the rain predicted for the end of the session did not come and the track was the best during the final five minutes. The single-lap qualifying for Super Pole was cancelled due to another expected thunderstorm.
Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) did two laps on wet tyres as well as Mücke Motorsport drivers Stefan Mücke and Alexandros Margaritis. After all drivers had changed to slicks, the top of the leader board changed almost every second. Bruno Spengler (Mercedes Second Hand Cars) was leading the time sheet in his last year's car for a short time and finally qualified seventh and has a top ten grid position for the third time in five races. Schneider ended up tenth whilst Mücke and Margaritis were 13th and 16th respectively.
Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) was out too early so that he had no more laps available towards the end of the session. He qualified 19th ahead of Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes). The Finn was fast but had a short off during his second lap and damaged the undertray of his C-Class. There was no chance to repair it in the remaining time so that Häkkinen could not do more laps and has to start from last place on the grid tomorrow.
"Considering the fight for the championship I'm quite happy with my third position on the grid. It was the right decision to wait before I went out, however, in the end I could have used another lap to make it to the first row which I missed by some thousandths of a second. We will see what will happen in tomorrow's race but with the right strategy everything is possible."
"I'm satisfied with my fourth starting position. The track was tricky and it was not easy to judge the weather. Therefore I did some laps in the beginning to have at least one timed lap. We had expected rain for the end of the session."
"The difficult conditions put a lot of pressure on our team, but we made the right decision to go out late in qualifying."
"This was not easy. In the beginning the track was very slippery, later I got stuck in traffic several times. Therefore I had only one clear lap, otherwise I could have qualified for the second row. The car ran well and so I hope for a strong race tomorrow."
"First I did two laps on wet tyres, and then I changed to slicks. Therefore I didn't manage to make the best of the opportunities and missed a possible top ten position."
"We'd better go out with slicks from the beginning. After two laps on wet tyres I needed one more lap to see what is possible with slicks. Therefore I didn't have laps available in the end when the track had improved."
"I was out too early and ran out of laps at the end of qualifying. It will tough to improve from the last row, but I will do my best."
"I was too fast on my second lap and had an off damaging my car's undertray. The mechanics did their best to fix it but I couldn't do any more fast laps. I'm disappointed."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"Grid positions three and four for Gary and Jamie are a reasonable basis for the race. It could have been worse, because Gary and Jamie ran out of laps five minutes from the end when the track was at its best. Clearly and precisely, our weather forecast had predicted rain towards the end of the session."
"Therefore Jean was out too early and did not have more laps available at the end when conditions had improved. Mika had an off and damaged the undertray preventing him from driving in the second half of the session. I expect a tough race on this difficult track and the strategy will play an important role - we are fast and capable of winning."
DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes
Mercedes Second Hand Cars
Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes
Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes
Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes