Can Mattias take the hat trick by wining his 3rd Hockenheim season opener in a row? With the news of Tom Kristensen competing is his last season of DTM, he started it sharing front row with Ekstrom. We are glad to see Tomczyk starting off well as last season was not so good for him. Oliver Jarvis has been on a tear from testing to a 4th place today in font of reigning champion Timo Schneider in 5th.
The 2009 DTM season has started. At the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, Swede Mattias Ekström claimed the first pole position of the year with his Audi A4 DTM. “Hockenheim is always a pleasure for me. However, as long as the race hasn’t finished, there are no points either. We are all set and I am looking forward to Sunday”, the 2004 and 2007 DTM champion said. The 30-year old lapped the 4.574 kilometres long track in 1:32.535 minutes and was thus 0.137 seconds faster than the second-placed, his fellow Audi driver Tom Kristensen from Denmark. For Ekström, it is already the twelfth pole position in his DTM career. For Audi, it is the 45th pole position in the most popular international touring car series.
Third fastest time in the new shoot-out format went to German Martin Tomczyk. Audi driver Oliver Jarvis (GB) will also be starting from the second row after qualifying fourth. In fifth place, current DTM champion, German Timo Scheider completed the Audi quintet in front. Scot Paul Di Resta was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in sixth position in front of his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Maro Engel (D).
The spectators enjoyed a thrilling new qualifying. As of this season, the 20 DTM drivers have now four sessions to battle for the fastest times instead of the previous three qualifying heats. In the final heat, the four fastest drivers aim at pole position on a single flying lap.
With his AMG Mercedes C-Class, crowd favourite Ralf Schumacher will start the first race of his second season from twelfth place on the grid. “Somehow, the weekend didn’t get off to a good start. Of course, I had expected it to be different. But Paul Di Resta has shown that the new car has a lot of potential by qualifying on the third row”, the 33-year old said. For the new drivers in the DTM field, Tomas Kostka (CZ), Christian Bakkerud (DK) and Johannes Seidlitz (D, all Audi), qualifying was already over after the first shoot-out heat.
The 100th race of the new DTM will run over 39 laps, covering a total distance of 173.812 kilometres. Start of the race is at 14.00 h (ARD live from 13:45 h).