A cool performance in spite of track temperatures of over 50 degrees. In qualifying for the second DTM round of the season, Swedish Audi driver Mattias Ekström set the fastest lap time and will thus be starting from pole position for the premiere of the DTM at Valencia. The two times’ DTM champion completed the 4.005 kilometres long lap at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in 1:29.565 minutes. “I am really happy. I am feeling very well in the car, even though it is very hot. For the race, we have to keep our fingers crossed that the tyres will make it through the distance”, said Ekström about his 15th pole position in the DTM.
With his AMG Mercedes C-Class, Canadian Bruno Spenlger ended up 0,016 seconds down in qualifying on the Mediterranean shore which, at air temperatures of over 28 degrees and track temperatures of 50 degrees literally turned into a hot battle. “My fastest lap felt really well and I thought that it would be enough for pole. However, Mattias achieved a super lap. Tomorrow, it will be very difficult in the heat and fitness will play an important role”, the 26-year old predicted. British driver Oliver Jarvis ended up third with his Audi A4 DTM, demoting his compatriot Gary Paffett to fourth place on the grid. Mercedes-Benz driver Paffett had won the season opener at Hockenheim and is currently leading in the points’ standings.
The best-placed driver of a 2008-spec car, German Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) ended up sixth in qualifying behind Paul Di Resta (GB/Mercedes-Benz). Spanish local hero, Audi driver Miguel Molina, will be starting from seventh place on the grid into Sunday’s DTM race over 180.225 kilometres.
Once again, qualifying was a disappointing affair for reigning DTM champion Timo Scheider. Just like at Hockenheim, the Audi driver failed to make it into the top eight and will start the race from tenth place. “I don’t know what the problem is at the moment. Of course, I am disappointed. But now, I just will attack from tenth place”, Scheider still showed himself optimistic. Mercedes-Benz driver Ralf Schumacher also failed to achieve the improvement he had hoped for and had to make do with 13th place on the grid. One place further down, but still quite happy, was DTM rookie David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz). “I am improving step by step. Even though one wants more right away, one has to be patient”, the former Formula 1 driver from Scotland said.
The second DTM round of the season will cover 45 laps. The start is at 14.00 h. ARD will be broadcasting live from 13.45 h.