Super-Pole: Fassler is the A1 dust-buster

Marcel Fassler starts from pole for Sunday's eighth round of the DTM at Austria's A1-Ring. The Swiss driver had to sweat through six other drivers making their run in the one-lap Super-Pole, but finally edged Jean Alesi by 0.032s, despite an impressive lap by the Frenchman

Super-Pole: Fassler is the A1 dust-buster

Fassler had finished the 25-minute pre-Super-Pole session in seventh, putting him fourth on the road for the one-shot session itself. His 1m27.212s lap was hardly stunning, but he was helped in maintaining his slot by Martin Tomczyk, the sixth car out, putting dirt on the track with a final corner spin.

"With the good qualifying position I now want to follow that up with a good race," said Fassler, who has yet to win in 2003. "It was exciting last year, but I could do with a little bit less excitement tomorrow."

Peter Dumbreck's Opel and the Mercedes of points leader Bernd Schneider were also troubled by Tomczyk's litterings and couldn't better eighth and fifth respectively.

"That's just the luck of the draw," shrugged Dumbreck. "Sometimes you might be out before the bloke who gets on the dirt; sometimes you might be out after him. I guess it evens out in the end. Today, it was just wrong place, wrong time."

In the end, last man out Alesi went closest to Fassler. With the track now just about clean again, he took fastest time in the second and third sector, but lost out on the top slot with a small mistake in the first sector.

"I'm still pleased with the time," said Alesi. "I'm on the front of the grid and I know how fast I can go, so it's fine. This is a track that suits the DTM cars, with a lack of chicanes and plenty of places to pass, so I expect a good show."

Somebody with a potentially interesting first lap tomorrow will be Audi's main man Laurent Aiello. He lines up fourth, with three Mercs ahead and Schneider behind.

"I had the same problem with the dirt as Peter," said the reigning champion. "I was sliding a lot where Martin had gone off and I couldn't do any better. But the times from the other sessions show how close we are, so I'm still confident."


Marcel Fässler (CH) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m27.212s
Jean Alesi (F) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m27.244s
Christijan Albers (NL) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m27.412s
Laurent Aiello (F) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m27.587s
Bernd Schneider (D) AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, 1m27.680s
Christian Abt (D) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m27.877s
Mattias Ekstrom (S) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m27.937s
Peter Dumbreck (GB) Phoenix Opel Astra V8 Coupé, 1m27.997s
Timo Scheider (D) Phoenix Opel Astra V8 Coupe, 1m28.091s
Martin Tomczyk (D) Abt-Audi TT-R, 1m37.095s



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