Zandvoort: Mercedes qualifying report

Bernd Schneider on Pole Position Title contenders Paffett and Ekström fourth and fifth on the grid Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Audi within 0.5sec in the first five positions Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's eighth...

Bernd Schneider on Pole Position
Title contenders Paffett and Ekström fourth and fifth on the grid
Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Audi within 0.5sec in the first five positions

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) will start Sunday's eighth round of the 2005 DTM at Zandvoort from pole position. In Saturday's exciting single-lap qualifying, Schneider set a time of 1:32.730. Opel drivers Marcel Fässler (1:32.954) and Heinz-Harald Frentzen (1:33.009) qualified second and third respectively. It is Bernd Schneider's 23rd DTM pole position and his first since Donington 2003 -25 months ago.

Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes), second in the championship, was fourth fastest with a 1:33.205. Overall leader Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM/1:33.277) will start fifth behind Gary. The three manufacturers were within a little more than half a second in the first five positions. Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes) qualified sixth with a 1:33.295.

After only one fast lap Paffett was second in qualifying with a 1:33.038, seven hundredths of a second behind Kristensen. In the final minute Schneider improved to fifth with a 1:33.220 ahead of Green (1:33.252). Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes) dropped to 11th with a 1:33.595 shortly before the end of the session and missed the single-lap qualifying.

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes Second Hand Cars) set a 1:33.788 and qualified 14th as the fastest driver with a 2004 AMG-Mercedes C-Class. Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes drivers Alexandros Margaritis (1:34.170) and Stefan Mücke (1:34.568) will start 17th and 20th on the grid respectively.

On his second run Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) went off the track. His car was slowed down in the gravel and damaged severely. The Frenchman remained unhurt and will start 19th with a 1:34.305. After his incident the session was interrupted by the red flag for ten minutes.

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes), Pole Position (1:32.730):

"I'm really happy to be on pole again after more than two years. In qualifying, I made a little mistake, but in the single-lap qualifying everything was perfect: I began optimistically, as my car felt great and in the end I was still able to push. I thank everybody in my team for a great job."

Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes), fourth (1:33.205):

"We had a very good set-up, but unfortunately I pushed a little bit too hard in the second sector and therefore made two small mistakes. It's a shame, because pole position was possible today. With Mattias Ekström one place behind me it will probably be an exciting race tomorrow."

Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes), sixth (1:33.295):

"I made two small mistakes, otherwise I could have qualified two positions further up the grid. But that's the competitiveness of the DTM. However, I'm quite satisfied with my qualifying result."

Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes), 11th (1:33.595):

"I'm a bit disappointed. The car ran perfectly and we had a perfect set-up with which I should have been able to qualify at the top. Unfortunately, we didn't have the optimum timing at the end of the qualifying session and I was out on the track a little bit too late. Therefore, I was not able to improve. It's a shame because I like this track and I will do everything to move up tomorrow."

Bruno Spengler (Junge Gebrauchte von Mercedes), 14th (1:33.788):

"I did a good time on my first lap and was among the top ten. However, on my second lap I pushed harder and made a mistake and therefore aborted this run."

Alexandros Margaritis (Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes), 17th (1:34.170):

"I made a mistake under braking during my first run and aborted that lap. The second was better and I improved by eight tenths of a second compared to my time in this mornings Free Practice. On my last lap I was a bit too fast and ended up in the gravel. With only one timed lap a better result than 17th was not possible."

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes), 19th (1:34.305):

"My second run started well; however, in the second sector I was a bit too fast and went off. This can happen, when you are at the limit. I'm sorry for my mechanics who have a lot of work until tomorrow's race. I will do everything to reward them with a good result, although this will be difficult from 19th on the grid."

Stefan Mücke (Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes), 20th (1:34.586):

"A qualifying full of mishaps. With my first set of tyres I was held up in traffic. My second run was interrupted by the red flag and in the end the track was so dirty that I slid a lot and was not able to improve."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Congratulations to Bernd Schneider and the HWA team, they did a first-class job and Bernd achieved a perfect lap which brought him pole position. Gary Paffett was fastest in the first sector but made two small mistakes in the middle sector which cost him a place on the first row."

"Congratulations to Opel on a good qualifying result. It's a shame for Mika. On his last run he was sent out unfortunately a few seconds too late and was on his way to a best time - after two sectors he was on target but had to come into the pits."

"The grid with Gary and Mattias Ekström on fourth and fifth positions and with three manufacturers within the top-five is a good basis for an exciting race tomorrow."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Marcel Fassler , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Alexandros Margaritis , Stefan Mücke , Jamie Green
Teams Mücke Motorsport