DTM Hockenheim, Qualifying: Bruno Spengler and Paul di Resta on the second row


Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start the season opener of the 2008 DTM at Hockenheim on Sunday third on the grid. From the front row will start Timo Scheider from pole position and Mattias Ekstrom with their Audis. Spengler qualified with a time of 1m33.034 and was the fastest Mercedes-Benz driver. Next to him on the second row will start Paul di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class); in his first qualifying for the HWA team, the Scotsman was on a 1m33.075, 41 thousandths of a second behind his team mate Spengler. Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) was sixth with a 1m33.418.
In his DTM debut, Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 15th fastest with a 1m34.425). He missed the second qualifying for the 14 fastest drivers marginally by 88 thousandths.

Qualifying, part 1: Paul di Resta was the fastest Mercedes-Benz driver and ended up fifth with a time of 1m33.629. In his first DTM qualifying, Ralf Schumacher came home 15th with a 1m34.425, missing the second round by 88 thousandths of a second. He was followed by DTM rookie Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 1m34.458, Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 1m34.574 and Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 1m34.725. After her fastest lap, Susie Stoddart spun at the first corner and hit the tyre barrier.

Qualifying, part 2: Paul di Resta improved by almost two tenths of a second and was fourth with a 1m33.343; he was again the best C-Class driver. Bernd Schneider with the Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class in ninth (1:33.731 Min.) and Gary Paffett (1:33.891 Min.) with the stern AMG Mercedes C-Class in tenth position missed the final round.

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class 2008), third (1:33.034)
: “A tough fight. I had a problem with oversteer at the first sector, but with my best time in the second sector I made it up. We should be in good shape in race trim tomorrow and I want to fight for victory.”

Paul di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class 2008), fourth (1:33.075): “Fourth on the grid is not too bad. I tried to get the maximum out of the car, but I was not able to do better. Tomorrow I want more.”

Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class 2008), sixth (1:33.418): “Not an optimum qualifying, I had expected a better grid position. However, already in yesterday’s tests and in Free Practice this morning we had problems to find the best set-up. I will give it my all tomorrow to improve.”

Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class 2008), ninth (1:33.731): “Unfortunately I didn’t manage to put my best sector times together in one lap. Although there are almost no chances to win the race, my ninth grid position is not so bad. I want to score as many points as possible, and, who knows, maybe a podium finish is possible.”

Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007), 10th (1:33.891): “Of course, I would prefer a place among the top-eight, but row five is still quite ok. The car has a good balance and I am confident for the race.”

Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007), 15th (1:34.425): “This was close. I was 15th and unfortunately missed the second round of qualifying by less than a tenth in my first DTM qualifying. My qualifying laps were not the best ones. Now I look forward to my first DTM race. I hope to make no mistakes and want to improve lap by lap.”

Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007), 16th (1:34.458): “Unfortunately, I missed the second part of qualifying, but with a gap of about one tenth behind 14th I can still be satisfied. I look forward to the race.“

Susie Stoddart (TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007), 17th (1:34.574): “The team did a great job repairing the car after yesterday’s fire. I tried hard to reach the second qualifying round, but it didn’t work out. The accident was my fault.”
Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007), 18th (1:34.725): “What a mess. On my final run, I made a mistake under braking at turn three and lost the rear of my car. Clearly my mistake.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Three Audis and three Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars will start from rows one to three, five each from the first five rows. Today, our best placed C-Class was fifth in qualifying 1, fourth in qualifying 2 and third in qualifying 3. Hopefully we will improve in the same rhythm tomorrow. Congratulations to Timo Scheider and Abt-Audi on the first pole position of the new season. In last year’s finale, three Audis started ahead of us and we won; perhaps we will manage this tomorrow with one competitor less in front of us. There is an interesting fact concerning Ralf Schumacher’s DTM debut: With his last year’s car, he posted a time, which had been good for second on the grid here in the DTM premiére a year ago, 56 thousandths behind pole.”

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