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DTM Lausitzring 2012 qualifying: first BMW pole in 20 years

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DTM Lausitzring 2012 Qualifying
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M ercedes driver Gary Paffett, the winner at the season opener in Hockenheim , finished third on the grid ahead of Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller. It was the first DTM practice best time for BMW since June 18, 1992, when Johnny Cecotto won the qualification on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

'A great day for us,' said Bruno Spengler happily. 'Really exciting. Enormous. On pole in the second race. We still had to struggle with a lot of problems in free practice.' For the race, the Canadian dampened expectations after taking the twelfth pole position of his DTM career. 'Let's see if it goes just as well over the distance. Everything has to work out, including the pit stops.'

Augusto Farfus is going into race Sunday with undisguised optimism: 'My M3 is also good over the distance . I can't wait to get started. After the bankruptcy of Hockenheim I am happy that I was able to show what I can now. '

Three BMW teams, one car each in the top 10

BMW sports director Jens Marquardt first thought of the men behind the scenes when he paid tribute to the events: 'The team had a tough week after the many damage at Hockenheim. At first I only hoped that we would all got six cars at the start at the Lausitzring. I'm incredibly proud of all of them. Also, that all three teams have each put one car in the top 10. Defending champion Martin Tomczyk finished seventh on the grid in the RMG team's M3. 'The last few days have not been easy,' Marquardt continued. 'On Monday there were still a few unanswered questions about the parts supply.' Lots of problems that ultimately dissipated in favor.

As in Hockenheim, only two Mercedes made it into the top 10. Hockenheim winner Gary Paffett took third place on the grid, Jamie Green will start in sixth tomorrow. Paffett's performance is also astonishing because he didn't get a break during the week. The Englishman tested for the McLaren Formula 1 team in Mugello. Paffett was 'really impressed' by BMW. His boss Norbert Haug saw no cause for excitement in the BMW pole: 'The starting grid is one thing, the race is another. You saw that last weekend at Hockenheim.'

As a reminder: In Hockenheim won Paffett ahead of team-mate Jamie Green and Audi driver Mattias Ekström. The Mercedes sports director does not have the performance of BMWSurprised: 'Everyone started from scratch with the new regulations. Absolutely nothing could be taken over from the previous DTM cars. BMW has the know-how and the budget, that's how it should be. But still: a very impressive performance by BMW. ' The good news for the fans: 'All three manufacturers can win. We can look forward to a great race.'

Mike Rockenfeller is Audi spearhead

Audi spearhead at the start is Mike Rockenfeller: 'In the first sector I just slipped around in Q4,' he reported over the radio. Seventh-placed Mattias Ekström was self-critical: 'Suddenly I had oversteer in the fast right-hand bend.' According to Ekström, 'today it was more the driver than the car' that it did not work as expected. After the free practice session on Saturday morning, it still looked like an Audi march through: Seven Audi A5s took the first seven places.

The most prominent victim in Q2 was Timo Scheider. The two-time ex-champion was eliminated in twelfth place at the halfway point of qualifying training. After his light kiss on the wall, the Audi man was unable to improve in the decisive phase. 'The car was relatively difficult to drive. The front axle wasn't good enough to hit the apex well.' Scheider was referring to an understeer that could not be cured.

Early closing time for Ralf Schumacher

Ralf had an early break from work Schumacher. The ex-Formula 1 driver, who last stood out at Hockenheim with an extremely robust pace, retired, as did David Coulthard, in the first phase of qualification. Schumacher was eight thousandths of a second short of saving 16th place. This didn't dampen his good mood significantly: 'I have to see what was going on first and then it will work out tomorrow.' David Coulthard, on the other hand, puzzled: 'I didn't get along very well this morning. I just can't predict how the tires will behave.'

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