DTM Barcelona - Qualifying - 25th pole for Bernd Schneider


Barcelona, Spain, Sep 20, 2008

Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start tomorrow’s ninth round of the 2008 DTM at Barcelona from pole position. On his final run of an exciting qualifying, Bernd set a time of 1m07.248. Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class), third of the overall ranking, qualified third fastest with a 1m07.305, and Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), second overall tied on points with Di Resta, was fifth with a 1m07.384. Three Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars were among the top five within 0.136sec.

It is Bernd Schneider`s 25th pole position in the DTM and his first since Zandvoort 2005. 16 years and 15 days ago, Bernd claimed his first pole in the championship, on 5th September 1992 in Singen. This year, Schneider is the third C-Class driver to start from pole position, after Paul Di Resta at the Lausitzring and Bruno Spengler at the Norisring. For Mercedes-Benz, it is the 96th pole in the DTM/ITC since 1988 and the 47th in 98 DTM races since the series’ re-launch in 2000.

Qualifying, part 1: Paul Di Resta was third fastest and the best C-Class driver with a 1m07.525. Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class(1m08.183) in 15th place ahead of Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m08.390), Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m08.408) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m08.435) missed the second part of qualifying.

Qualifying, part 2: Paul Di Resta was fastest with a 1m07.170 – the fastest time of yesterday and today and a new unofficial lap record. Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) was 10th with a 1m07.564 and missed the final session by 88 thousandths of a second. Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified 13th with a1m07.924 and also missed the fight for pole position.


Bernd Schneider (2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), pole position (1:07.248): “I am really happy about this very special pole. My first run in the third part of qualifying was not perfect and I didn’t think I was able to improve on this track which is quite demanding for the tyres. To my surprise, my best time happened on my third run – everything worked out. I thank my team; they gave me a perfect car. Now I will possibly win tomorrow.”

Paul Di Resta (2008 AMG Mercedes C-Class), third (1:07.305): “In the third session, I just didn’t manage an absolutely faultless lap. I am sorry for the team, because they prepared my car at its best, but I am a little more than a tenth behind Bernd’s pole time, congratulations to him and respect. However, third place is a good basis for the race and I will try and give it my all to win.”

Jamie Green (2008 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class), fifth (1:07.384): “Positions one, three and five are a good team result, but I personally would have preferred to start higher up the grid. However, with a good start everything is possible even from fifth place, even victory.”

Bruno Spengler (2008 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class), 10th (1:07.564): “I didn’t make any big mistakes and have no explanation for my ninth place. Tonight we will analyse the data and see how we can improve for tomorrow. My long run on Friday with 37 laps was extremely good – if possible, I want to finish on the podium tomorrow.”

Gary Paffett (2007 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class), 13th (1:07.924): “The first session was really well, but in the second part I suffered from oversteer, otherwise I would have qualified two or three places higher up the grid.”

Maro Engel (2007 JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class), 15th (1:08.183): “Track conditions changed from yesterday to this morning and then again to qualifying. Therefore, it was very difficult to find the right set-up.”

Mathias Lauda (2007 Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class), 16th (1:08.390): “That was close. The gaps are really narrow and I tried everything to make it to the second round. However, I made some small mistakes and that was it.”

Ralf Schumacher (2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), 17th (1:08.408): “Although I know the longer circuit from Formula 1, it is a completely different story to race here with a DTM car. I was not quite comfortable with the set-up, but I hope we will solve this until tomorrow.”

Susie Stoddart (2007 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class), 18th (1:08.435): “Our team did a great job and the gaps betweens the cars in front of me on the grid are pretty small. Therefore, I should have a chance to improve in the race and I look forward to tomorrow.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Congratulations to Bernd Schneider on his 25th DTM pole position and his 40th start from row one after 43 wins so far. Bernd is as good as ever, maybe with his 44 years he is – like old wine – getting better and better, as he showed two races ago at the Nürburgring, where he won in most difficult conditions. Today, pole position was possible for a handful of drivers – but only Bernd made it. His gap ahead of second place is 31 thousandths of a second. Covered by 79 thousandths, Paul Di Resta and Jamie Green are third and fifth on the grid. Bernd, Paul and Jamie will start on the clean side of the track and this is a good basis for the race. It’s a shame that Bruno Spengler missed the top eight by 88 thousandths. It will be a good race tomorrow and we want to win it.”

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