1 August 2009
Kristensen on pole as Audi dominates Oschersleben qualifying
Tom Kristensen bagged pole position on Saturday during qualifying for the fifth round of the DTM at Oschersleben.
In the fourth and final qualifying heat, the eight-time Le Mans winner lapped the 3.696 kilometre track in 1 minute 21.352 seconds to edge out fellow Audi team-mate, Timo Scheider by 0.314 seconds.
It was the 42-year-old's eighth pole of his DTM career and his third at the Motorsport Arena.
"Oschersleben is a fantastic track for a driver, which simply suits the DTM cars really well," said Kristensen. "I am always fast here. The work of my team today was super. The car is strong again, just like in the past. I'm hope that I can manage a good start tomorrow. I really want to win here."
Meanwhile, like last year, 2008 DTM champion Scheider will line-up second, with Martin Tomczyk and Mattias Ekstrom third and fourth.
It was an impressive showing from Audi, which also took fifth spot with Oliver Jarvis - the top runner in a year old car - and P7 and P8 with Alexandre Prémat and Mike Rockenfeller.
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport, was delighted to see his drivers all but lock out the top-eight.
"This was a great team performance," he noted. "Seven cars in the top eight show that we're in a strong position here - and, no doubt, not just because we've got a weight advantage.
"In the DTM the field is always close and such a result first needs to be put into action. After the fantastic qualifying we want to show a strong race tomorrow, take home as many points as possible and clinch Audi's 50th win in the DTM."
Bruno Spengler led the Mercedes challenge and was sixth. The Canadian however was shocked by just how much the Merc men struggled.
"We expected a difficult qualifying, but not this much," he confirmed. "Driving with additional weight is always difficult, especially here at Oschersleben. In the race, I will give everything to bring home as many points as possible."
Further down the order, Brit's Paul di Resta and Jamie Green were ninth and tenth, followed by Maro Engel and current championship leader, Gary Paffett, who was a disappointing 12th. Markus Winkelhock and former F1 driver, Ralf Schumacher rounded out the top 14, the latter struggling to find a decent set-up at this narrow and twisty track.
Katherine Legge, Mattias Lauda, Susie Stoddart, Tomas Kostka and Johannes Seidlitz were all elminated in Q1 and will start in 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th respectively.
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