Summerly temperatures of around 35 degrees turned qualifying for the fifth DTM season round at the Norisring to a hot battle. Points’ leader Gary Paffett remained the coolest with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. The Brit completed his lap of the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit in Nuremberg in 49.139 seconds and will be starting from first place on the grid into Sunday’s race. The qualifying winner said about the 111th pole position for Mercedes-Benz: “That was close. I am totally happy, a perfect day. Tomorrow, I want my third victory of the season. Driving safely is not an option, I will give everything to win.” For Paffett, it is the tenth pole of his career and the second of this year.
Paffett’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Jamie Green completed the clean sweep of the front row for Mercedes-Benz by qualifying second fastest on Saturday afternoon. The Brit was only 0.032 seconds down.
Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline secured grid position four for the DTM race at the Norisring (Sunday starting at 13:15 - local time - live on "Das Erste").
"The conditions were definitely extreme today," said Mattias Ekström, who from the first session on was consistently the quickest Audi driver. After best times in Q2 (48.822 seconds) and Q3 (48.861 seconds) the Swede was the last driver to go out on track in the crucial shoot-out for the pole position at which the Audi racer on used tires had to settle for position four (49.369 seconds).
Augusto Farfus is a very happy man tonight as he was not only third quickest in qualifying for the DTM race at the Norisring, but will also be the highest placed BMW Motorsport driver on the grid for the fifth round of the series.
“Here this weekend we have always been front running, but we never had the pace of the Mercedes guys, so I think this P3 was the maximum we could achieve. Even if I did have a lock up in turn one this didn’t really compromise my lap. I am really happy as this is my first time in the Norisring, the first year in DTM and it is a learning process. Whenever I manage to fight for a top position it is a good feeling.
“This track is very tricky to learn as on paper it looks reasonably simple with just four corners, but those that look simple often aren’t. You really have to get used to these bumps. You are always hard on the brakes and so it is very easy to lock up. To be on the limit requires a lot of energy and concentration. From yesterday after the roll out I have always been trying to learn about these streets. At the moment I feel confident but I still feel there is room for improvement for me to get used to the place.
“I am very much looking forward to the race because I think we have a very good race pace and maybe a podium finish could be possible.”