Oliver Jarvis continued his impressive pre-season form in qualifying for the first round of the 2008 DTM campaign at Hockenheim this weekend, by becoming the only driver in older-spec machinery to make it through to the final knock-out session.

The 24-year-old Briton ultimately ended up eighth on the grid, just over a second shy of pole-sitter Timo Scheider and a similar margin under the lap record. What's more, in doing so he out-paced five-time former champion Bernd Schneider - and is now looking to convert that pace and potential into points on race day.

"I'm absolutely delighted with my qualifying performance," the Audi Sport Team Phoenix rookie enthused, "and hopefully I can go on and have a strong race.

"I was the only driver of a 2007 model to make it through to the third and final part of qualifying which, considering my lack of testing in the Audi combined with lack of experience here at Hockenheim, is very encouraging.

"It was really pretty tough! I could hardly believe how quickly the various sections were over. The qualifying format is very demanding - you've got to constantly drive at the limit and can be pleased if you manage two trials in one session."

Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich was similarly pleased with his young charge's efforts.

"Oliver, who is new to the unique atmosphere of the DTM, new to Audi and new to Hockenheim, did an outstanding job in qualifying," the German praised. "You cannot over-emphasise that - in his first DTM qualifying of his career he finished among the top eight. He can rightfully be proud of this."

For fellow Brits Paul di Resta, Jamie Green, Gary Paffett, Susie Stoddart and Katherine Legge, meanwhile, there were rather more mixed fortunes, with the former pairing easily making the top six on the grid but Paffett only just scraping into the top ten behind Schneider. There was worse luck still for Stoddart, the Scot forced to pay the price for a practice fire on Friday and mistake in Q1 that saw her go off the track and into the tyre barrier at the first corner whilst looking good to make it through into the second phase of qualifying for only the fourth time in her DTM career.

"Fourth on the grid is not too bad," said a not entirely satisfied di Resta, nevertheless the second highest-placed Mercedes alongside AMG team-mate Bruno Spengler. "I tried to get the maximum out of the car, but I was not able to do better. In the race I want more."

"Not an optimum qualifying," reflected sixth-placed Green, who triumphed in the last race to be held at Hockenheim back in October. "I had expected a better grid position. However, already in free practice we had problems in finding the best set-up. I will give it my all in the race to improve."

"Of course, I would prefer a place among the top eight," confessed former series champion Paffett, "but row five is still quite ok. The car has a good balance and I am confident for the race."

Stoddart, 17th, admitted fault for her accident, whilst praising her crew for repairing the car so swiftly after the practice fire. Legge blamed traffic and a mistake for her 19th and last-placed showing, at the same time acknowledging that her first DTM qualifying session had been 'a fascinating experience, even though it didn't go quite the way we'd been hoping it would'.

Schneider, meanwhile, refused to write off his hopes of making it up onto the rostrum in the race, despite failing to hook up the perfect lap during qualifying.

"Unfortunately I didn't manage to put my best sector times together in one lap," the experienced German explained. "Although there are almost no chances to win the race, my ninth grid position is not so bad. I want to score as many points as I can and, who knows, maybe a podium finish is possible."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment