DTM

Spa: Mercedes qualifying report

Mika Häkkinen on Pole Position First pole in his third DTM race Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars, four Audis and two Opels among top ten Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's third round of the 2005 DTM at ...

Mika Häkkinen on Pole Position
First pole in his third DTM race
Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars, four Audis and two Opels among top ten

Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's third round of the 2005 DTM at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium from pole position. In Saturday's single-lap qualifying held in torrential rain, Häkkinen set a time of 2:32.729 and achieved his first DTM pole in his third DTM race.

Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM) was second fastest with a 2:33.292 ahead of Christian Abt (Audi A4 DTM) with a 2:33.991. Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes/2:36.884) and Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes/2:41.078) who both had short offs at the Stavelot corner will start eigth and ninth respectively.

Mika had to wait long until his top grid position was confirmed. When the Opels of Marcel Fässler and Laurent Aiello, the two fastest drivers in qualifying, were on track, the session was stopped. The reason was Tom Kristensen's Audi which got stuck in the gravel on his in-lap and had to be removed.

Both Fässler and Aiello were allowed a second attempt, but were not able to better Mika's time. The Finn is on a Scandinavian front row besides Ekström from Sweden.

In qualifying Green was the best Mercedes driver in fifth place with a time of 2:33.391. Mika Häkkinen was eighth fastest with a 2:33.904 ahead of Jean Alesi (2:33.917) and Gary Paffett (2:34.036). The Englishman hit the tyre barrier on his fifth fast lap at the Fagnes corner and damaged his car's rear. As the team was not able to repair it in time before the single-lap qualifying, Paffett remained in 10th place.

Stefan Mücke (Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes) qualified 11th with a 2:34.293 and missed the top ten by a quarter of a second. Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) was 12th with a 2:34.364. Alexandros Margaritis (Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes/2:34.976) and Bruno Spengler (Mercedes Second Hand Cars/2:37.118) ended up 15th and 19th respectively.

Mika Häkkinen:

"I'm really happy about my first pole position in my third DTM race. I mainly owe my team this result. After I was 16th in this morning's Free Practice my engineers and mechanics improved the car until qualifying significantly. This was a perfect job and I only had to convert it into a good time in the single-lap qualifying."

"The tyres had good grip and the car ran very well so it didn't even matter when I made a small mistake. Thanks a lot to everybody, I will now try and make the best out of my pole position in Sunday's race - preferably the same position as today."

Jean Alesi:

"I was the first on the track in the single-lap qualifying. It was very wet and at Stavelot I had a short off and lost valuable time. Although I'm angry I still think that something will be possible tomorrow."

Jamie Green:

"At Stavelot I braked way too hard for these very wet conditions and I slid into the gravel. This was a bad mistake. I hope for dry weather on Sunday, and then I think we will be able to achieve a better result."

Gary Paffett:

"I made a small mistake at Fagnes after the double-lefthander. I lost the car's rear and hit the tyre barrier backwards. Therefore I was not able to participate in the single-lap qualifying, but tomorrow my car will be OK."

Stefan Mücke

"In between I did a slower lap to improve visibility. When I tried to push harder afterwards, there were yellow flags all the time and I was not able to improve. However, tomorrow a points position will be possible."

Bernd Schneider:

"It's a shame that I missed the single-lap qualifying. During my fastest lap in qualifying Christian Abt was ahead of me and I lacked three tenths of a second which would have been possible. Anyway I want to score a good result tomorrow."

Alexandros Margaritis:

"I suffered from strong oversteer and didn't manage to do a better lap. In the morning's Free Practice when the rain was not so hard I was among the top ten, therefore I'm a bit disappointed."

Bruno Spengler:

"Today's conditions were very difficult with aquaplaning and poor visibility. This was a handicap for me because I don't know this track very well."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Congratulations to Mika Häkkinen on an excellent lap. He drove at the limit and sometimes a little bit beyond. Mika always showed extraordinary performances at Spa and now he was a class of his own. Congratulations to the HWA team with Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jürgen Mattheis who gave Mika a perfect car. All three manufacturers had a chance for pole position today."

"It's a shame for Opel, because Marcel Fässler or Laurent Aiello today had a chance to beat Mika, provided there was not interruption of the single-lap qualifying. The grid with four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars, four Audis and two Opels among the first ten positions promises a good race tomorrow."

Mika Häkkinen
Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes
Pole Position, 2:32.729

Jean Alesi
AMG-Mercedes
Eighth, 2:36.884

Jamie Green
Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes
Ninth, 2:41.078

Gary Paffett
DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes
10th, no time

Stefan Mücke
Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes
11th, 2:34.293

Bernd Schneider
Vodafone AMG-Mercedes
12th, 2:34.364

Alexandros Margaritis
Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes
15th, 2:34.976

Bruno Spengler
Mercedes Second Hand Cars
19th, 2:37.118

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Alexandros Margaritis , Stefan Mücke , Jamie Green , Gerhard Ungar
Teams Mücke Motorsport