DTM Zandvoort 2011: Qualifying - Second pole of the season for Bruno Spengler
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Zandvoort, Netherlands, May 14, 2011
• Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) clinches second pole position at Zandvoort in second race of season
• Front row lock-out for Mercedes-Benz with Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) also starting from second position
• Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) on row three, Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) on row four
Mercedes-Benz driver Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start the second race of the 2011 DTM season from pole position on Sunday. The race starts at 14:00 CET and will be shown live on the German channel ARD (available via Astra and Eutelsat). Spengler, victor of the season opener at Hockenheim, posted a lap time of 1:31.805 minutes during the top four shoot-out at the end of qualifying. It is the ninth pole of his DTM career and the fourth for Mercedes-Benz at the Zandvoort circuit. Furthermore, this will be the 107th time in DTM history that a Mercedes-Benz driver has started from pole position.
Spengler will be joined on the front row by Mercedes-Benz team-mate Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:31.940 minutes).
Gary Paffett will start the second race of the season from fifth place in his THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class (1:31.130 minutes). Ralf Schumacher was the fourth Mercedes-Benz driver to participate in the third part of qualifying, (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) posting a lap time of 1:31.387 minutes to secure eighth place on the grid.
Qualifying 1: Gary Paffett posted a best time of 1:31.558 minutes ahead of Jamie Green in first qualifying. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified 15th, one thousandth behind David Coulthard in 1:32.197 minutes. DTM rookie Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:32,646 minutes) finished the session in P17.
Qualifying 2: Jamie Green was the fastest of the C-Class drivers, posting a lap time of 1:31.152 minutes which put him second. Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:31.632 minutes) will start his home race from eleventh on the grid. Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:31,938 minutes) and David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:32,007 minutes) qualified 13th and 14th respectively.
Quotes about qualifying:
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) pole position (1:31.805):
“It’s great to score my second pole position in a row, even though my lap in Q4 was not perfect. Nevertheless, it was fun and we improved in each session. Thank you to the team! Today is a great day for me and my team.”
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) second (1:31.940):
“First of all, let me say how delighted I am for the whole team that we have two C-Classes on the front row. For myself, I'm pleased to be fighting at the front again after Hockenheim. In fact, I was the fastest overall in qualifying, but I couldn't quite manage a perfect lap in Q4 on used tyres. Mercedes are looking really strong here but in the race tomorrow, anything is possible.”
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Cass) fifth (1:31.130):
“I wish I could have made it through to Q4, but I made a couple of small mistakes in Q3 that cost me a few tenths and a position. However, I was very pleased with my THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class which has run well all weekend.”
Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) eighth (1:31.387):
“I can be satisfied with eighth place. It was an eventful session for us, and my final run was unfortunately not the best, because I couldn’t get a feel for grip levels. Today was very close, as shown by the times in Q3. It would be nice to be in the points tomorrow and, if I can make a good start, then I can gain a few places straight away.”
Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) eleventh (1:31.632):
“I’m very satisfied with this result. I’m amazed at how fast the DTM cars are at Zandvoort, because I know this circuit very well from the Formula 3 Euro Series. I’m absolutely thrilled and I’m hoping that my fans will give me a massive boost in the race. I think it should be possible to get a decent result starting from eleventh.”
Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) 13th (1:31.938):
“It's just too bad. I might perhaps have found a little bit more today, but couldn't get the braking points right during the whole of qualifying. The wheels kept locking up, and that caused me to go straight on into the gravel at one point. Let's wait and see what I can do in the race.”
David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th (1:32.007):
“The track here is really incredibly demanding. Over the middle sector, the car just bumps its way through the dunes. Sometimes, you get the impression you're riding a rollercoaster. The gap on Susie was very narrow - I was only 4.6 centimetres ahead when you work it out - so I was quite lucky. Susie was very fast again today, as always. Hats off to her.”
Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 15th. (1:32.197):
“It’s a pity that I missed out on Q2 by just one thousandth of a second. I didn’t make any mistakes on my flying lap and the team did some super work. I’m still optimistic about the race and I’ll be going on the attack.”
Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) 17th (1:32.646):
“I’m not happy with 17th position on the grid. We need to look closely at what went wrong, because my lap was actually okay. But my car was quite twitchy on the straights, and now we must find out why.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“It’s a dream scenario when the battle for pole is fought within one team, as Bruno and Jamie did today. It was like a thriller with two main protagonists in the Dutch dunes. Today saw a fantastic performance from both drivers and our HWA-Team led by Gerhard Ungar. Gary Paffett and Ralf Schumacher completed a strong team result by securing grid slots on the third and fifth rows.
“The session wasn’t any less exciting behind them. In Q1, the seven cars from third to tenth places were covered by one tenth of a second. Susie Stoddart missed out on Q2 by the tiny margin of one thousandth of a second – or the equivalent of 4.6 cm on this 4.307 km circuit. There was incredible action throughout the field today.
“Tomorrow, the Audi drivers will give us strong opposition. Gary Paffett showed last time out in Hockenheim that you can climb from 18th on the grid to sixth place at the finish – and be just 6.5 seconds behind the winner at the chequered flag. That means Ekström is capable of a similar performance. But, of course, he also has many better placed team-mates, including four on the first four rows.
“Our target tomorrow will be to secure a similarly good result as we managed today, and to try and complete a hat trick on this extremely demanding circuit with our third win in a row.”
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