Qualifying: Aces set up mega Super-Pole

The DTM's top dogs have set up an enthralling running order for tonight's (Saturday's) made-for-TV, floodlit single-lap Super-Pole at the Nurburgring. By finishing top of the timesheets in the afternoon's 45-minute Super-Pole-defining session, AMG Mercedes ace Bernd Schneider will run last of all. Before him, three AMG Mercedes, followed by three Opels, followed by three Abt-Audis will attempt to set an unbeatable benchmark

Qualifying: Aces set up mega Super-Pole

"I didn't drive much yesterday," said Schneider, whose Friday had been curtailed in a collison with Opel's Manuel Reuter. "Last night I tried ny team-mates' set-up and it's got a lot better. It was hard to find a clean track, and there was a lot of gravel on the Bit-Kurve, but I'm pleased. Tonight will be very exciting."

Behind Schneider, and therefore running second to last tonight, was Mattias Ekstrom, the pacemaker for most of the weekend. He headed home an Audi 2-3-4 that also contained Marty Tomczyk and reigning DTM champ Laurent Aiello.

"I didn't expect Bernd to be so quick," said Ekstrom. "But we've had a good weekend so far, so I'm still confident. Coming from Sweden, where we only have six hours of daylight in winter, I'm used to driving in the dark. Maybe I'll have a small advantage..."

The Opels left it late to deliver, but will be satisfied with Reuter, Alain Menu and 2003's Russelsheim pace-setter Peter Dumbreck in fifth to sixth.

"The key is getting it right straight away tonight," said Reuter. "We all only have one lap, so having the right set-up in the cooler conditions is also crucial."

The second best Mercedes, that of Christijan Albers, is eighth, but half a second off Schneider's pace. Jean Alesi was ninth, while Marcel Fassler, the only one of Merc's 'Big Four' not to record a win yet this season, was 10th - meaning he'll start first in the Super-Pole. Super-Pole starts at 22.25 CET (21.25 BST).


Bernd Schneider (D) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m25.031s
Mattias Ekstrom (S) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m25.044s
Martin Tomczyk (D) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m25.099s
Laurent Aiello (F) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m25.261s
Manuel Reuter (D) Holzer Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m25.435s
Alain Menu (CH) Holzer Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m25.498s
Peter Dumbreck (GB) Phoenix Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m25.524s
Christijan Albers (NL) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m25.529s
Jean Alesi (F) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m25.575s
Marcel Fässler (CH) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m25.663s

NB: Night time Super Pole will decide top 10 positions at 22.25 local time (21.25 BST).

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