Ludwig's Sachsenring pole; Dumbreck second

Klaus Ludwig, the racing legend lured out of retirement by Mercedes for the reborn DTM, took his first pole in the series at the Sachsenring. British tin-top rookie Peter Dumbreck made it a front row lock-out for the Stuttgart marque

Ludwig's Sachsenring pole; Dumbreck second

Dumbreck held the pole for the bulk of the one-hour session, but was pipped by 'King' Ludwig with just 10 minutes to go on the undulating east German circuit. Having waited in his car for anybody to beat his time, the Scot went out for a final attempt with two minutes to go, but had to be content with his best ever DTM qualifying performance, just 0.086s off Ludwig's 1m18.987s pole mark.

"I did four runs," said Ludwig, "and that last run was just a good, clean lap. No emotion, no drama - just getting the job done."

Dumbreck, who had to start from the back of the grid at the Norisring after a practice accident, said: "I like this track - it reminds me a lot of a mini Oulton Park. It suits my style, and after the Norisring, I guess I tried extra hard this week."

Despite half-centenarian Klaus Ludwig holding minor deity status in Germany, Dumbreck stayed well clear of excessive fawning over the veteran's latest achievement.

"I've got big respect for Klaus, but he's beaten me to pole, so I'm pissed off - he's old enough to be my father," he quipped.

The top 15 cars are covered by less than a second, but Ludwig believes converting pole into two victories may not be too difficult.

"You can't compare qualifying to the race," he said. "I've done a long run and I've got a race set-up that, if I keep it clean and tidy, should see me clear of the rest."

Ludwig showed flashes of his old self with a second and a third at the Norisring last time out, and believes he is now approaching his optimum level once again.

"It's difficult to compare how I was three years ago to how I am now," he said, "but I feel the same and I have the same attitude to it all. It wasn't an easy decision to come back, but who knows - if I win a race tomorrow, maybe I'll tell the guys at Mercedes to put me down for another season..."

Opel filled places three to six, with Manuel Reuter heading Jo Winkelhock, Uwe Alzen and Stefano Modena, but it was a bad afternoon for points leader Bernd Schneider. On his final flying lap, after the second split, the points leader went off into the gravel when up on Ludwig's time and could only qualify 11th.

Darren Turner, second of the Brits, qualified 14th, a legacy of his morning brake problems.




1 Klaus Ludwig, Mercedes, 1m18.987s
2 Peter Dumbreck, Mercedes, 1m19.073s
3 Manuel Reuter, Opel, 1m19.096s
4 Jo Winkelhock, Opel, 1m19.101s
5 Uwe Alzen, Opel, 1m19.140s
6 Stefano Modena, Opel, 1m19.146s
7 Marcel Tiemann, Mercedes, 1m19.242s
8 Marcel Fassler, Mercedes, 1m19.295s
9 Pedro Lamy, Mercedes, 1m19.318s
10 Eric Helary, Opel, 1m19.424s
11 Bernd Schneider, Mercedes, 1m19.485s
12 Michael Bartels, Opel, 1m19.496s
13 Timo Scheider, Opel, 1m19.649s
14 Darren Turner, Mercedes, 1m19.827s
15 Christian Menzel, Opel, 1m19.939s
16 Thomas Jager, Mercedes, 1m19.989s
17 Kris Nissen, Audi, 1m19.689s
18 Christian Abt, Audi, 1m19.770s
19 Laurent Aiello, Audi, 1m19.889s

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