Qualifying news from Norisring

Norisring pole position man Jo Winkelhock admitted after qualifying that he thought his chances of securing the top spot had been wrecked by a collision with Klaus Ludwig

Qualifying news from Norisring

The Opel man had to sit out nearly 15 minutes of the session after being forced to pit following a collision with Ludwig, who had spun under braking.

"I thought it was all over," said Winkelhock, who languished outside the top ten as his team completed hasty repairs. "I knew it would take more than eight laps to get the tyres and brakes up to temperature and I didn't think I had enough time to move up the grid.

"The tyres were ready with about two minutes to go, so I made a real push to get the position. It was hard work but a great result for everybody at Opel.

"It is so competitive here and I don't think either of the manufacturers has an advantage. All you need here is good braking and good traction -- and there is nothing to choose between the Mercedes and the Opel. In fact, we worked all morning on a good set-up and in the end we went back to what we had when we turned up at the track yesterday."

Marcel Tiemann, who was pushed off the front of the grid by Winkelhock's last-minute lap, was disappointed to have come so close to his maiden pole,but was nevertheless happy with his performance.

"My car was pretty good in the rain and I knew I had an opportunity to go well in the wet qualifying session," he said. "On my last lap a car spun in front of the me and I had to brake, so who knows if I would have been able to beat him.

"The key thing now is not to get too excited about tomorrow's race. Anything is possible and the main benefit of starting so near the front is that I will avoid any of the trouble at the first corner."

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