It wasn't a perfect lap, but with yellow flags popping up throughout the qualifying session, it was all Timo Scheider could ask for. A time of 42.084 seconds around Brands Hatch was fast enough to claim the pole position for tomorrow's DTM...
It wasn't a perfect lap, but with yellow flags popping up throughout the qualifying session, it was all Timo Scheider could ask for. A time of 42.084 seconds around Brands Hatch was fast enough to claim the pole position for tomorrow's DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) race, giving Scheider the opportunity to build on his championship lead.
"Because of the many yellow flags and the traffic on the track, driving a fast lap wasn't easy, but fortunately, it worked out," Scheider said. "On my fastest lap, I had one sideways moment, but it was still enough for pole. A result like that on Sunday would be perfect."
Scheider set his fastest time in his Audi A4 around the midway point of the final qualifying segment, and no one would be able to match it. Paul di Resta came close, setting a time of 42.174 -- less than a tenth of a second adrift of Scheider -- in the dying minutes, to put his Mercedes C-class on the front row for his home race.
"I was facing this weekend with a certain amount of awe because I didn't get along with the track here at Brands Hatch terribly well in the past two years," Scheider recounted. "So now I'm even happier about having clinched my fourth pole this year on this particular circuit. Grid positions mean a lot at Brands Hatch because overtaking is difficult. In other words, we've got ideal prerequisites for the race."
The Mercedes teams were never expecting to find the weekend easy for them, as their minimum weight -- based on past success -- was now up to 10 kg above that of their Audi rivals.
"I am happy with second place on the grid, especially as we were having some problems in testing on Friday," di Resta said. "Being that far up ahead for my home race is nice, and I'm looking forward to the support from the British fans."
Bruno Spengler made it two Mercedes in the top three, setting a time 0.082 seconds behind that of di Resta, and 0.045 seconds ahead of Martin Tomczyk's Audi.
"Third place is all right, especially taking into account that this circuit is not one of my favourite tracks," the Canadian reflected on the outcome. "In free practice, we had a few problems, but in qualifying, I did a good fast lap and that is what counts."
Jamie Green (Mercedes) fought off Oliver Jarvis (Audi) for fifth on the grid, the two Britons separated by only seven hundredths of a second at the end in impressive performance for Jarvis given his 2007-spec car.
Mattia Ekstrom, usually a front-runner for Audi, had to settle for a seventh place after experiencing a gearbox problem in the second qualifying segment. Driving the final segment without third gear, the Swede put in a highly creditable performance, missing sixth by only six thousandths of a second -- and pole position by only 0.336 seconds in spite of being a gear down.
Gary Paffett, driving a 2007-spec Mercedes, went off early in qualifying, but did not cause heavy damage to the car. One of only two drivers of 2007-spec cars to make it through to the final qualifying segment -- Jarvis being the other -- he will start from eighth.
Scheider's goal will be to grow his championship advantage over Green, currently at just four points (44 to 40). Tomczyk will be sure to play a key role in this, ensuring that the Mercedes driver stays behind him and as far back from Scheider as possible.