DTM, Saturday, 3rd July 2010: round 4, Norisring, qualifying

Ralf Schumacher achieves his first DTM Pole Position

  • Three C-Class cars in the top three positions
  • Third pole position for Mercedes-Benz in the fourth race of the season

Ralf Schumacher (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start Sunday’s fourth round of the 2010 DTM at Nuremberg’s Norisring from pole position. In the single-lap qualifying, Ralf set a time of 48.721 sec and achieved his first pole position in the DTM.

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) will start alongside Ralf from the first row after qualifying second with a 48.790sec, followed by Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 48.950sec. It is the third pole position for Mercedes-Benz in the fourth race of the season, the fifth out of the last eight races and the 70th in the direct comparison with Audi; they achieved 55 in the period they raced against Mercedes-Benz. Out of 20 DTM qualifyings at the Norisring, Mercedes-Benz drivers achieved 12 poles.

Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start seventh on the grid after setting a time of  48.588sec; next to him on row four will be Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class/48.671sec); last race’s pole sitter qualified eighth this time.

Qualifying, part 1: Ralf Schumacher posted the fastest lap whilst Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 17th with 48.863sec, missing Q2 by 97 thousandths of a second; four weeks after she had scored her first DTM points at the Lausitzring.

Qualifying, part 2: This time, Bruno Spengler was the fastest C-Class driver; he was second with a 48.367sec. Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home ninth with a 48.580sec and was just 13 thousandths outside the top eight who qualified for Q3. David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished 13th with a 48.708sec ahead of CongFu Cheng (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) with a 48.848sec.

Ralf Schumacher (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class) pole position (48.721): “This is great. The Norisring suits me and I don’t even know why. The team did a great job and gave me a perfect C-Class – thank you for this to everybody. I will now enjoy this day and look forward to the race. After my first DTM pole it would be great to end up on the podium tomorrow; that would be another premiere.”

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) second (48.790): “I am happy; second on the grid is a good basis here at the Norisring. On the final lap, I made a mistake under braking and lost the chance to catch Ralf. He did a great job today – congratulations to him on his first DTM pole position.”

Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) third (48.950): “In the single-lap qualifying, I didn’t manage to set an optimum lap, also because I once brushed the wall briefly. But last year, I won from seventh on the grid, so third place is not a bad base for the race and we should be in good shape.”

Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) seventh (48.588): “I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t make it to the single-lap qualifying. I was a little bit slower than in Q2 and this was not enough.”

Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) eighth (48.671): “I am very disappointed. I gave it my all and pushed until the last second. We will now look into the data and analyse why I wasn’t able to qualify better.”

Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) ninth (48.580): “I stayed out too long with my first set of tyres. Afterwards, I had time for only two flying laps with my second set. This was not enough to make it to Q3 – which would have been possible today.”

David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) 13th (48.708): “This was very close today. Unfortunately, I struggled with the balance and was not able to post a clean lap. I am not satisfied with 13th place.”

CongFu Cheng (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th (48.848): “Compared to the previous races, I made some progress moving up to Q2. However, 14th place is not what I had hoped for, but I still have to learn.”

Susie Stoddart (TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 17th (48.863): “It’s a shame. My C-Class was fast, but I was not able to set a good lap time.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “That was great. Ralf on pole and then we crossed our fingers for the “Fourth star for Germany” like it sticks on the C-pillar of Ralf’s Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class. Finally, Ralf has caught on at last – we in our team always believed that he is able to do it and today he showed it to everybody. I don’t know anybody who does not feel happy for him about this super pole at the Norisring – be it at Audi or in our team, be it at the DMSB or the ITR. We are in good shape for tomorrow’s race; however, there will be more than half a dozen rivals to challenge today’s pole sitter for victory. It would be really great, if the C-Class – maybe with Ralf Schumacher at the wheel – could achieve the eighth Norisring win in a row.

“However, now we will first cross our fingers for our guys in South Africa – we have the pole and you take victory!”

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