Sachsenring: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

Three brands among the top three grid positions and 15 cars within one second Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) will start tomorrow's fourth round of the 2002 DTM at the Sachsenring from third position on the grid. In Saturday's...

Three brands among the top three grid positions and 15 cars within one second

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) will start tomorrow's fourth round of the 2002 DTM at the Sachsenring from third position on the grid. In Saturday's qualifying, Bernd posted a time of 1:19.753 and was 0.342sec behind pole sitter Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) who was on a 1:19.411. Alain Menu (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) was second fastest with a 12:19.430.

Provisional pole position changed eight times during qualifying with six drivers of all three brands setting the provisional best time. In the end, the 15 fastest cars were within one second.

Bernd set his fastest lap on his second run despite a short off at the left hander after the downhill section. Later, he abandoned his third run after another off. On his fourth run, he made two consecutive attempts but couldn't improve, but held the absolute best times in sectors one and three.

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, third (1:19.753):

"The whole weekend we focused on our set-up problems and made some progress, but we still have a gap of two or three tenths of a second between us and the competition. Today, I was sometimes over the limit, but I'm confident for tomorrow's race. My car works well and I like this track which is a real challenge for the drivers."

Marcel Fässler, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, eleventh (1:20.208):

"After Free Practice I knew that I was not able to come closer to the top. My third run was my best, but I wished my time gap behind Bernd would have been smaller."

Peter Dumbreck, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 14th (1:20.320):

"The sets of tyres I used today were quite inconsistent. I had oversteer on my first run, then I suffered from understeer on my second run. Only on my third run everything worked reasonably well."

Uwe Alzen, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, 15th (1:20.364):

"The time I set on my first run was not bad, but I was unable to improve on the following runs. 15th position on the grid is a difficult basis for the race, because overtaking on this track is not easy."

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, 16th (1:20.512):

"Two weeks after my win at Donington, this qualifying result is disappointing. I'm new in the DTM and I'm still learning. However I'm optimistic for tomorrow's race."

Christijan Albers, Service 24 AMG-Mercedes, 17th (1:20.622):

"I was quite satisfied with my first and second runs, but unfortunately I couldn’t improve later. First, I was caught in traffic, then I made a small mistake myself."

Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 18th (1:20.794):

"We were able to improve from this morning's Free Practice, but we didn't manage to set up the car as well as yesterday. I suffered from understeer in the first sector and we couldn't solve this problem during the qualifying session."

Patrick Huisman, CEB AMG-Mercedes, 19th (1:20.986):

"After we had found a good race set-up I expected a better result in qualifying. On my last run, I set a good time in the first sector, but then I made a small mistake and couldn't improve."

Bernd Mayländer, Oase AMG-Mercedes, 20th (1:21.141):

"The time I set in qualifying matched my expectations after Free Practice. However I didn't expect the whole field to be so much faster than this morning. It's difficult to make the way to the front from 20th position on the grid, but this year's races have demonstrated that a lot is possible in the DTM."

Stefan Mücke, Service 24h AMG-Mercedes, 21st (1:21.872):

"We still have problems to find a good set-up. We will now analyse the data from qualifying and I'm sure the team will be able to improve the car until tomorrow."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"An exciting qualifying with the 15 fastest cars within a little more than nine tenths of a second. With their sector best times, the top three are separated by two tenths of a second. Three brands among the top three positions on the grid and five nations among the top five drivers show how attractive and international the DTM is."


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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Uwe Alzen , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Patrick Huisman , Thomas Jäger , Stefan Mücke , Alain Menu