DTM Norisring 2011: Qualifying - Fourth pole of the season for Bruno Spengler; Top 3 spots for Mercedes-Benz

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start tomorrow’s race at the Norisring from pole position. The Canadian drove a lap of 48.222s in the final shoot-out segment of qualifying. It is his eleventh DTM pole and his third on the Nuremburg street circuit. It also represents the 109th pole position overall for Mercedes-Benz in the series and the 13th at this circuit. The fifth race of the 2011 DTM season will be shown live from 12.45pm CET on ARD. After the qualifyings, five Mercedes-Benz drivers are situated in the top six positions on the grid.

Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class /44.418s) qualified in P2 and will start from the front row at the home race for sponsor THOMAS SABO. Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class/44.532s) will start from third place behind Spengler and Gary Paffett.

Rain began to fall at the Norisring towards the end of the third segment of qualfiying. Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class/48.124s) and Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class/48.189s) were therefore unable to better their respective grid positions of P5 and P6.

Qualifying 1: Bruno Spengler set the fastest time – 48.180s – in the first qualifying segment. Maro Engel and Ralf Schumacher finished in P2 and P3. Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class /48.552s) finished the session in 15th position. The gap between P1 and P15 was just 0.372 seconds.

Qualifying 2: Gary Paffett was second fastest with a time of 48.195s and was the best-placed C-Class driver. Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class/48.415 seconds), David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class/48.527 seconds) and Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class/48.575 seconds) finished P12, 13 and 14.

Comments on qualifying:

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) - pole position (48.222):
“I’m very happy with my performance today. The lap times on this circuit are incredibly close, and it’s really important to start from pole here. I was already into a good rhythm during free practice, and if we can show the same pace in the race, I’m in with a very good chance of claiming my third win at the Norisring.”

Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Cass) - second (48.418):
“Of course, I would prefer to be on pole, but second place is a very good result. My times were improving all the way through qualifying and my THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class performed very well. I like the track and hope to have a good race.”

Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) - third (48.532):
“Things weren’t quite perfect in the practice session this morning, but my car performed very well in qualifying itself – a big thank you to the entire team. I’m pleased with my third place. As for the race, I expect to be in with a good chance of securing what would be my fourth victory in a row at the Norisring.”

Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) - fifth (48.124):
“It was very close in qualifying. It’s a pity that I didn’t make it into the top four, but we had a difficult day on Friday and I had very little track time, so I’m glad that today went so well. It could have been much worse. We still have a good chance starting from fifth position.”

Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) - sixth (48.189):
“Sixth is a great result. The team did a fantastic job and my C-Class was working really well. For a while there, I thought I might make it through to the fourth segment, but then the other drivers stepped up a gear. Qualifying was a lot of fun and I’m now looking forward to the race.”

Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) - twelvth (48.415):
“Unfortunately, it didn’t go quite right today. I lost a tenth on my fastest lap and that makes a big difference around this track. Twelfth position is not what we had hoped for, but our speed is good and we are consistently fast – we’ll just have to wait and see what we can do in the race.”

Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 13th (48.527):
“Obviously I’m not satisfied with P14. The first qualifying session wasn’t too bad, but in the second, I didn’t manage to complete a clean lap which would have been good enough to get me into the top six. It may rain in the race tomorrow, which could work in my favour.”

David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 14th (48.575):
“I’m not best pleased with my result. We’ve had problems with the car’s balance the whole weekend. That put us at a major disadvantage, because you have to brake very late on this track. Consequently, I'm fairly well down the field on the grid.”

Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 15th (48.552):
“Qualifying was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was again a very, very close-run affair, just like at the Lausitzring. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through to Q2, which is a pity, but I was off the pace today.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“It was an absolute dream session: three C-Classes in the top three grid positions, and moreover, five out of the front six. It was a super lap from Bruno to take pole position. We really couldn’t ask for more – today was an A grade with distinction. My thanks to all of our teams, who have done a marvellous job here at the Norisring.”

Source: Daimler AG

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