- Four C-Class drivers in Top Ten of qualifying at the Nürburgring
- Qualifying took place in difficult weather conditions
- DTM rookie Renger van der Zande in P9 narrowly missed a place in the Top Eight shoot-out
- Championship leader Bruno Spengler in fourth position
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) was the fastest-qualifying Mercedes-Benz driver, and will start Sunday’s sixth race of the 2011 DTM season at the Nürburgring (start: 14:00, live on ARD from 13:45) in second place on the grid. At the end of the qualifying session, the Brit scored an individual lap time of 1:35.246 minutes.
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) achieved fourth-best time (1:37.144 minutes) and will start from the second row. In Top 4 qualifying, the championship leader was first out on a rainy track. The rain stopped as qualifying progressed, allowing faster lap times to be achieved.
Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:24.501 minutes) and David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:24.525 minutes) in the Top Ten on the grid in P9 and 10. Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:24.549 minutes) just missed progressing through to the third qualifying segment. The DTM rookie will be in P11 on the grid for the sixth race of the season on Sunday.
Qualifying 1: Rain began to fall just before the start of qualifying. Gary Paffett in 1:25.816 minutes secures best time of all the Mercedes-Benz drivers. Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:27.47 min) and Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:27.275 min) unable to improve their positions due to the difficult weather conditions and occupy P17 and P18.
Qualifying 2: Jamie Green secures best time, 1:23.973 minutes, in the second segment of qualifying. Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:24.501 minutes), David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:24.525) and Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:24.549) come home in P9, 10 and 11. There’s only about half a second gap between best time and the ninth fastest time. Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:24.644 minutes) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class / 1:25.063 minutes) will be in 13th and 14th place on the grid.
Comments on qualifying:
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) – second (1:35.256):
“The fourth part of qualifying was very challenging for all drivers. I’m very happy with my P2. I could’ve gone even faster in my C-Class, but unfortunately the rain didn’t fall continuously during my final lap, which made driving difficult. I wonder what the weather will be like for the race? In these poor conditions, I actually did better on slicks than on the wet weather tyres.”
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) – fourth (1:37.144):
“My fourth place on the grid is OK. I was unlucky in the final segment of qualifying, because I was first out, and then it rained. I thought the rain would come down even harder, but that didn’t happen – instead, it got drier and the track improved considerably. In practice today, we were very quick for the whole of the session, so I think I’m in with a good chance in the race itself tomorrow.”
Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) – ninth (1:24.501):
“I’m happy with my P9 on the grid – it was almost enough to secure me an even better position. I’m pleased with my best qualifying result this season. We have a good race pace, so I’m positive about Sunday’s race.”
David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) – tenth (1:24.525):
“I’m in tenth place for the start of the race – I’m very satisfied with my result. Much will depend on the weather tomorrow; it’s always hit and miss in the Eifel. I hope I can move up the field and expect a thrilling race.”
Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) – eleventh (1:24.549):
“My eleventh place on the grid is okay. Still, I’m a little disappointed because I just missed progressing through to the third part of qualifying. I’m hoping for a little more luck next time, because Q3 is my goal. I hope it will rain for the race on Sunday because I expect to do better in the wet.”
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Cass) – 13th (1:24.644):
“Due to the weather conditions, we waited a long time, hoping to make the right decision. The wet tarmac didn’t make it easy to complete a good lap. In the second part of qualifying, we went out on the track as late as possible on fresh tyres, which was why we didn’t have much time for a clean lap.”
Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 14th (1:25.063):
“I think my 14th place on the grid is a realistic result after the way things have been going this weekend. I had set myself the target of progressing through to the third qualifying segment right from the start, unfortunately it didn’t work out. I hope I can maintain my speed at the Nürburgring in the race itself.”
Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 17th (1:27.147):
“Conditions at the Nürburgring were difficult today. The track was very slippery because of the rain, and I misjudged my breaking on my best lap and so could not improve my time, unfortunately. For the race, I’m hoping it will rain – that should help me move up the field.”
Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) – 18th (1:27.275):
“We’ve been going well all weekend. In qualifying, though, we waited a long time before deciding on tyres, because of the rain – in the end we made the wrong choice, unfortunately. My C-Class went very well, many thanks to everyone in the team. Starting from last position, I’ll do my best in the race.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“Anything but a typical DTM qualifying today! In the end, weather conditions were different for each of the Top Four, and were most certainly worst of all for Bruno Spengler. The three-second gap between Mattias Ekström’s pole position time and Jamie Green’s second place is most likely a record and probably totals the sum of all of the time differences in positions from last year and this year added together. With Jamie on the front row, and Bruno on the second row, we’re well-placed for tomorrow’s race.”
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