Tag Archives: Nürburgring

DTM

POLE FOR SPENGLER, SETBACK FOR PAFFETT…

Nürburg. For BMW and Bruno Spengler, the start of the second half of the season couldn’t have been better. In qualifying for the sixth DTM season round, the Canadian showed himself in an excellent shape at the Nürburgring and claimed pole position for Sunday’s race. Third-placed in the drivers’ standings, Spengler completed his 3.629 kilometres long lap of the tradition-steeped circuit in 1:24.284 minutes. “It was very hard today, because all drivers were quick. Therefore, I am all the more happy with pole position. I have to admit: an awesome feeling,” an overjoyed Spengler said after qualifying. For the 29-year old, it was the 13th pole in the DTM and the second of this season. Points’ leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) had a setback: he only qualified eleventh.

Audi driver Edoardo Mortara was no less than 0.221 seconds slower. The Italian will be starting from second place, lining up alongside Spengler on the front row of the grid. “Unfortunately, I have made mistakes in qualifying today and I reckon that we had the potential to be all the way up front. But with two Audis in the top three, chances for the race are very good,” the 25-year old said. Mortara’s fellow Audi drivers Filipe Albuquerque from Portugal and German Mike Rockenfeller ended up third and fourth respectively.

Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk and Brazilian Augusto Farfus (both BMW) were classified fifth and sixth in qualifying. British driver Jamie Green, Paffett’s fiercest rivel in second place in the drivers’ standings, ended up seventh in qualifying as the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver of the day. “Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed in getting the best out of the car. We have to accept that and improve as quickly as possible,” Green said.

Dirk Werner ended up eighth with his BMW M3 DTM. Canadian Robert Wickens achieved his best DTM qualifying result to date with ninth place in his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, followed by two times’ DTM champion Timo Scheider (Audi).

Briton Gary Paffett failed to build on the dominant performance he has been showing this season so far. “The car felt well, I didn’t make any big mistakes. Therefore, I am very surprised how slow we are. Now, we have to find out really quickly before the race what the reason is,” Paffett said. Swede Mattias Ekström wasn’t happy either. He will be starting from twelfth place alongside Paffett with his Audi A5 DTM. Ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) will be starting from 15th position into Sunday’s race.

For local driver Christian Vietoris from nearby Gerolstein and David Coulthard, qualifying was a brief affair. Both Mercedes-Benz drivers were already out of the battle for the best starting grid positions after the first of four heats. Vietoris was classified 18th, Coulthard ended up 22nd

World Series by Renault

Mixed conditions for FR 3.5 stars in Germany

The 26 drivers in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series field had both wet and dry track conditions to deal with today at the Nürburgring. Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) clocked the best time in the dry, while Nico Müller (International Draco Racing) was the fastest man in the rain. Once again, rain or no rain, there is very little to separate the drivers.

There are two notable changes to the entry list for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this weekend. Brazilian driver Cesar Ramos, 11th overall in the competition in 2011 and third in the Rookie division, replaces Lotus driver Richie Stanaway, who is currently recovering from injury in Cap Breton. Antonio Felix de Costa, recruited recently by Red Bull Junior Team, is the other new face, and he will be making his debut in the completion for Arden Caterham. The Portuguese driver, third in the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault and winner of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC the same year, steps in to replace Lewis Williamson.

It was Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsport), Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) who started the morning session brightest, before Marco Sorensen (Lotus) took control of proceedings. Magnussen’s flying lap of 1:42.719 eclipsed Sebastian Vettel’s effort of 1:42.984, which until today had been the Formula Renault 3.5 track record at the Nürburgring.

The red flag came out to interrupt the session for the first time after Lucas Foresti (Dams) went off the track. After the track had been cleared, Nick Yelloly (Comtec Racing) moved top of the timesheets with a lap of 1:42.428, before Magnussen, on fresh rubber, increased the pace even further. With a flying lap of 1:41.677, the Danish driver recorded the best time of the morning session to finish top of the pile, ahead of Yelloly and Carlos Huertas.

The afternoon brought a change in conditions, characterised by a wet track and heavy rainfall. The session began with a collision between Will Stevens (Carlin) and Walter Grubmüller (P1 Motorsport). Russian pair Daniil Move (P1 Motorsport) and Mikhail Aleshin (Team RFR) set the pace, despite both drivers taking detours into the gravel trap.

The rain eased towards the end of the session, and this was reflected in the lap times. Yelloly, Alexander Rossi and Nico Müller traded first place lap after lap, with the latter eventually finishing top at the end of a decidedly wet session. The Swiss driver finished ahead of Rossi, Sorensen and newcomers Cesar Ramos and Antonio Felix da Costa.

Nico Müller: “When the track is dry, you really need to have a bit of luck to get the right lap at the right time, because the peak performance of the tyres lasts a very short time. I’ve been in the leading group since the start of the season, but I’m just missing that little extra something to turn it into results. In the dry I’m short of those few tenths that make the difference, but in the wet we’re right up there.”

Cesar Ramos: “These were obviously my first laps in the new car. I haven’t driven a single racing car since October 2011, aside from a few laps in a go-kart. I’m going to need a bit of time to get back into the rhythm. I’ve been impressed by the downforce of this car and its cornering speed. The braking is also very good and the DRS is an interesting feature. I immediately felt comfortable at the wheel of the car.”

Antonio Felix da Costa: “This car is a learning experience. I’m starting from scratch and I have a lot to learn. The car is quick and the team seems very efficient, so everything is there for us to do well. I was lucky enough to drive a Formula One car during the Young Driver Test in 2010. That experience helps me a bit, as there’s quite a big difference between the GP3 and the Formula Renault 3.5. Joining Red Bull Junior Team is a huge opportunity. My goal is to become a Formula One driver, and I know that succeeding with Red Bull is the best way to get there.”