DTM » 20 May 2006
Mercedes pile pressure on Kristensen`s pole.
Despite Audi grabbing the headlines in qualifying for the third round of the DTM Championship at Oschersleben, Mercedes will be a major threat tomorrow behind Tom Kristensen's Audi in pole.
The added weight added to the Mercedes cars following the success of the first two races in the championship where Bernd Schneider claimed wins did little to slow them as the squad remain a major threat to Kristensen who claimed Audi's first pole of the season, and will hope to claim their first win of '06.
Behind the pole-sitting Audi A4 DTM sits Jamie Green, the British driver who started both the season's races thus far from pole, and he took the fight to Kristensen in qualifying under gloomy skies on the tight Oschersleben circuit.
"The start tomorrow will be crucial," admitted Green, "because overtaking here is extremely difficult. Starting from the front row I will be in a good position for the first corner. My last three consecutive pole positions didn't bring me luck, however I hope it will work better tomorrow."
Canadian Bruno Spengler added to the Mercedes pack at the sharp-end of the grid, qualifying third alongside team mate Mika Hakkinen. Cadanian Spengler has claimed fastest laps in both the season's races so far at Hoclenheim and the EuroSpeedway Lausitz and, along with his HWA team mates will look to deny Kristensen and Audi any chance of glory.
"I am happy about my third place," said Spengler, "It would have been possible to be faster, but in the end I unfortunately didn't manage a perfect lap with new tyres. Third on the grid is a good basis and I expect an exciting race."
Hakkinen, who starts alongside Spengler on the second row, will hope to capitalise on his podium last time out at the EuroSpeedway and boost his championship challenge tomorrow in Northern Germany.
"With my first set of tyres the balance was not perfect," admitted Hakkinen, “however, our team did a great job and I was able to improve to fourth in the closing minutes. Tomorrow I want to make another step forward."
Despite starting sixth tomorrow, the fourth placed HWA driver and championship leader Bernd Schneider, is confident that he can match the frontrunners and use all his experience and guile to maintain his lead in the standings.
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