Having already lost out on the 2006 DTM title at the previous round, Tom Kristensen is facing another heated battle with a Mercedes driver, that of Bruno Spengler, for second place in the standings and in qualifying for the season finale at Hockenheim, it was the three-pointed star that had the advantage over the four-rings of Audi.
Spengler's win at Le Mans lifted him ahead of the Dane by three points, a position the Canadian is determined to maintain going into the final round, despite seeing what looked like an almost certain pole position denied by a last gasp effort from Kristensen's team-mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen.
Nonetheless, with Kristensen starting fifth, Spengler's second place means he has the advantage, while a recent run of form that has yielded three wins in the last five races would further prove that. Nonetheless, Spengler is eager not to get complacent.
“This was a good qualifying. My team had prepared the car perfectly and the second grid position is a great basis for tomorrow. I will give it my all to clinch the runner-up place in the championship. Tom Kristensen will start just three positions behind me; therefore I should not make even the smallest mistake.”
Kristensen meanwhile was frustrated with fifth on the grid, claiming he had the pace to finish higher but could not string a perfect lap together. Furthermore, he was rather bemused by being bizarrely hit on the head by an on-board camera that had come loose.
"The qualifying didn't start very well because on my first flying lap the onboard camera suddenly came off and crashed against my helmet. It was a very close fight. Even though I set good sector times, I didn't have a single lap that was good throughout. Tomorrow things won't be easy for us. But perhaps the weather will be playing into our hands.”