Qualifying: Aiello leads from front

Laurent Aiello took pole position for Sunday's eighth round of the DTM at the A1-Ring in Austria today (Saturday), the Abt Audi star putting himself in the perfect position to wrap up the title this weekend

Qualifying: Aiello leads from front

Aiello had swapped pole with Abt Sportsline team-mate Mattias Ekstrom for much of the session, but the young Swede wrecked his own chances with a high-speed off track excursion that began at the penultimate Rindt Kurve and ended a corner later at the Mobilkom Kurve. He will start second, however, ahead of Aiello's only title rival - Bernd Schneider of AMG Mercedes.

"I'm a little bit surprised," said Aiello. "But I'm glad to be in this position, I couldn't have asked for any more."

Schneider failed to get any speed out of his car on his final run, and had to settle for the 1m27.712s lap he set midway through the session. Aiello set his fastest 1m27.588s mark on his final set of tyres, while Ekstrom ruined his last set of boots with his gravelly off.

"I couldn't do anything more," said Schneider, while Ekstrom admitted: "Second is a bit disappointing."

Former F1 star Jean Alesi (Mercedes) will start a solid fourth, ahead of the third Audi of young gun Martin Tomczyk. Alain Menu leads the Opel charge from sixth on the grid.


Laurent Aiello (F) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m27.588s
Mattias Ekström (S) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m27.648s
Bernd Schneider (D) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m27.712s
Jean Alesi (F) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m27.934s
Martin Tomczyk (D) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m27.985s
Alain Menu (CH) Euroteam Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m27.995s
Uwe Alzen (D) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m28.007s
Manuel Reuter (D) Phoenix Opel Astra V8 Coupe, 1m28.150s
Joachim Winkelhock (D) Phoenix Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m28.160s
Christian Abt (D) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m28.215s
Bernd Maylander (D) Manthey Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m28.373s
Marcel Fässler (CH) AMG Mercedes-Bend CLK, 1m28.456s
Karl Wendlinger (A) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m28.459s
Timo Scheider (D) Holzer Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m28.488s
Michael Bartels (D) Holzer Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m28.611s
Thomas Jäger (D) Persson Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m28.673s
Peter Dumbreck (GB) Persson Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m28.687s
Patrick Huisman (NL) Manthey Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m28.819s
Stefan Mücke (D) Rosberg Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m28.904s
Christijan Albers (NL) Rosberg Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m29.029s
JJ Lehto (F) Eutoteam Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m29.043s



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