Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) will start 3rd on the grid at the second DTM race of the 2012 season Sunday at the Lausitzring (Start: 14:00, Live on ARD, Germany from 13:45). The winner of the opening race of the season drove a time of 1:18.820 at the end of individual qualifying. Bruno Spengler (BMW / 1:18.777) will start from Pole Position. The first three drivers in qualifying were separated by only 0.043 seconds. Last weekend at the Hockenheimring, Paffett took the THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé to victory from sixth place on the grid at the first race of the new season.
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) will start the second race of the 2012 season from sixth place on the grid. Placed second at the season opener in Hockenheim, he secured a time of 1:18.461 in Q3.
Qualifying Part 1: Christian Vietoris secured the third best time of 1:18.977 minutes in the first qualifying session. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:19.506), Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:19.557), Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:19.584) and David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:19.672) finished in positions 17 to 20 respectively. A mere seven and a half tenths of a second covered P1-P20.
Qualifying Part 2: Gary Paffett achieved the second best time in the second qualifying session with a 1:18.420 minutes. Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.840) and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé / 1: 18.862) will start from position 15 and 16 respectively in the second race of the season on Sunday. The first and sixteenth places were once again only separated by seven tenths of a second.
Comments on qualifying:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Third (1:18.820):
„The new DTM Era is an unbelievably hard fought one. When you consider the strength of the competition and the closeness of the times, I'm quite happy with my 3rd place on the grid. If you look at which drivers have already been eliminated, I think that is quite an achievement because everyone had the necessary speed to get up the grid. This year's challenge will be to get a great lap-time in every session and that won't be easy. Congratulations to BMW, Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus. Motor racing is full of surprises! However, I am not far behind them and will be pushing them hard during the race.“
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Sixth (1:18.461):
„After our great results in the opening race, I was hoping to do well here so I am really not satisfied with sixth place. I would of course liked to have beaten Gary in the internal team duel but at least his result has shown that our DTM C-Coupé is quick here as well. Gary showed in Hockenheim that you can also win a race starting from 6th place. With that in mind, I am quite optimistic going into this race.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 15th (1:18.840):
„It was a useful experience to have been in the second qualifying stage again. I am really getting to grips with the Stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé now and am hoping that I will improve even more during the next races.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), 16th (1:18.862):
„Qualifying did not go according to plan. The whole session was jinxed, from start to finish – maybe we left going out on track a little late? 16th place means that the charge that I began in Hockenheim must now continue at the Lausitzring.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 17th (1:19.506):
„My qualifying result is, of course, disappointing. The first run was okay, the second for some reason was not quite so good and I could not achieve the necessary time. But still, all is not yet lost. The race is very long and anything can happen on the first few turns. We will now carefully analyse the quali and just do our best tomorrow to move well up the field.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 18th (1:19.557):
„During my quick lap one of the drivers came off the track. That incident spoiled that lap unfortunately. I am really disappointed to have only landed in 18th position on the grid. But never mind, tomorrow is another day as they say, let's see how it goes. Anything can happen during the actual race.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 19th (1:19.584):
„I never thought that qualifying at the Lausitzring would turn out quite like it did. Someone hit me from behind, completely ruining my lap. Nevertheless, we all finished very tightly bunched – I was just six tenths adrift of fastest time in Q1. I'm still optimistic about Sunday’s race, though, since our race pace seems to be better than in qualifying.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 20th (1:19.672):
„Of course, I had promised myself a better starting place on the grid for the second race of the season. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Now I will have to sit down with the team and take a good look at what happened and then we’ll see what still might be possible in the race itself. I would love to secure a decent result for the team – Mücke Motorsport – at their home race.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„This qualifying was certainly a thriller and could not have been any more exciting. Gary Paffett missed pole position by 0.043 seconds, or 1.80 metres at this 3.478 kilometre circuit. The winner from Hockenheim finished 0.05 seconds adrift of second place, but we can all, and that includes Gary himself, most certainly live with starting on the second row tomorrow.
„Two BMWs, two Mercedes C Coupés and two Audis will occupy the first three rows of the grid tomorrow. At the first race in Hockenheim, the three brands qualified first, second, third - Audi, Mercedes and BMW.
„Gary won at Hockenheim from sixth place and I think tomorrow he has as much chance of a win as Jamie Green had – but that probably also applies to a dozen other drivers on the grid in this top class field.
„Congratulations to BMW and Bruno Spengler on his first pole position and to Augusto Farfus on his second place. We will do our best to alter the finish order tomorrow, but I cannot guarantee that we will succeed.“
* Official photos and details courtesy of Mercedes-AMG GmbH *
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