DTM Nürburgring, Qualifying: Gary Paffett fourth
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Nurburgring, Germany, Jul 26, 2008
Gary Paffett (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday’s seventh round of the 2008 DTM at the Nürburgring with his last year’s C-Class from the second row. In heavy rain, Paffett set a time of 1m38.649 and qualified fourth fastest.
The qualifying was red-flagged in the second part due to heavy rain and aquaplaning and was not re-started. According to the stewards’ decision, the ranking of part one formed the grid.
Thus Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) was the best driver of a 2008 C-Class in sixth position (1m39.235 Min.) ahead of Ralf Schumacher (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) who ended up seventh with a 1m39.397 – his best grid position in his seventh DTM race. This is good also for Maro Engel (JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m39.462) who will start eighth tomorrow.
The positions of the other Mercedes-Benz drivers: Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m39.773) was 12th ahead of Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m39.829) and Mathias Lauda (Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class/1m39.961). Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 15th with a 1m40.367 ahead of Bruno Spengler who was 16th with a 1m40.517.
Gary Paffett (2007 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) fourth (1m38.649): “A very good qualifying for me. The car ran well and the team did a great job. I knew we had a good chance in the rain and maybe even pole position was possible today.”
Bernd Schneider (2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) sixth (1m39.235): “It’s a shame that the grid is according to the first part of qualifying when I only wanted to reach the top 14 and didn’t take chances.”
Ralf Schumacher (2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) seventh (1m39.397): “A nice result, but in these conditions it could have been also just the opposite. I thank my team for their strategy, they let me run a long time; otherwise I probably would be further down the grid.”
Maro Engel (2007 JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) eighth (1m39.462): “Eighth on the grid was the result I had hoped for; it’s nice that I made it in my first ever wet qualifying in the DTM.”
Paul Di Resta (2008 AMG Mercedes C-Class) 12th (1m39.773): “I am very disappointed about the result and and the ranking which doesn’t reflect the standard of performance in the field at the time of the red flag.”
Jamie Green (2008 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) 13th (1m39.829): “Today, qualifying was like a lottery.”
Mathias Lauda (2007 Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th (1m39.961): “I am angry. I should have done my fastest lap halfway through qualifying one when track conditions were the best; however, I managed to do so only in the end.”
Susie Stoddart (2007 TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 15th (1m40.367): “The car was great, but conditions became worse and worse during the course of qualifying and with all the aquaplaning I was lucky to keep the car on the track. Therefore I am still happy with 15th place.”
Bruno Spengler (2008 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) 16th (1m40.517): “I had almost no grip and no traction. I don’t know why, as the conditions were poor, but it was the same for everybody. We will now analyse the data and see what we can do to improve for tomorrow. With a good start I should have a chance to score points.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “When the second part of qualifying was stopped, the ranking looked different from the present grid. The ranking when the session was red-flagged matched the sporting standard of performance in the field under most difficult conditions. This is not at all good for the present grid and of course it makes a big difference if you have four cars among the top six, what we had prior to the red flag, or if you have one in the top four as we have on the present grid. The sporting rules of the DTM read: “If the qualifying is stopped, the grid for the race will be formed based on the sections driven and completed at this time.” It was section two which was ended by “red” and interruption after about three quarters of the scheduled 10 minutes, and therefore, according to our evaluation - with which we are not alone at all - the ranking of qualifying part two at the time of the red flag is valid.”
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