Mercedes-Benz buries qualifying jinx – pole for Christian Vietoris…
Klettwitz. At last a successful DTM qualifying for Mercedes-Benz, and that with a premiere. With his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Christian Vietoris drove the fastest lap in qualifying at Lausitziring and thus secured his maiden pole position in the DTM. The 24-year old from Gerolstein completed his lap of the 3.478 kilometres long track in the Lausitz region in 1:17.715 minutes. “This season, I have definitely stepped up a gear. So far, we got plenty of critics and this is the right response. Now, I am up front for the start and that is where I want to be at the end, too,” Vietoris said. His team-mate Gary Paffett was 0.225 seconds slower and will be starting from second place alongside Vietoris on the front row.
For the first time since leaving Mercedes-Benz, Brit Jamie Green made it into the final qualifying heat and set the third-fastest time with his Audi RS 5 DTM. “For me, the first three races weren’t ideal. Now, we are back, and that is nice. On Friday, I had my birthday, and it would be nice to score my first points of the season here,” said Green, who was on pole at Lausitz in 2005 and 2006, but didn’t win. Behind Green, Canadian Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) will be starting from fourth place.
The third row of the grid also promises excitement. Here, Canadian Bruno Spengler with the BMW M3 DTM will be in fifth place and Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) in sixth position, the first and second placed drivers in the points’ standings will be starting alongside each other. “Fifth place is okay, but it isn’t the result I wanted. My lap was nearly faultless, but that simply was all I could do today. It was clear that our opponents would improve. But today was only qualifying, the race is tomorrow,” Spengler said.
Augusto Farfus (BMW) ended up tenth in qualifying, but will be starting from 15th place on the grid. As the Brazilian had used a set of tyres that wasn’t allocated to his car in free practice on Saturday morning, he will be dropped five places.
For three DTM stalwarts, qualifying at Lausitz was very disappointing. Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekström (both Audi) and Martin Tomczyk (BMW) didn’t do better than 17th, 18th and 22nd place respectively. Marco Wittmann (BMW), the surprising second-placed from Spielberg, failed to build on his good performance and will start from 19th position. After finishing third in the race at Spielberg, team-mate Timo Glock had to make do with 14th place on the grid at Lausitz.
An overview of the tyre choice of every driver for the start of the race can be found in the evening at www.dtm.com. The fourth season round will cover 52 laps and 180.856 kilometres and starts on Sunday at 13:30 hrs. ARD is broadcasting live from 13:15 hrs