Winkelhock says pole lap is his apology

Jo Winkelhock says he hopes his Nurburgring DTM pole position will help to erase the memory of the 10-car shunt the spectacular German caused at Oschersleben

Winkelhock says pole lap is his apology

Two weeks ago at Oschersleben, Smokin' Jo lost control of his Opel V8 Coupe at the first corner, ploughed across a gravel trap, then rejoined in the middle of the pack -starting a multi-car accident that took out half of the DTM field.

The 1993 British Touring Car Champion admitted responsibility for the incident, but bounced back at the Nurburgring to take his second pole of the season, despite missing half of the hour-long session with broken rear suspension.

"Maybe this makes up a little bit for what happened at Oschersleben," said a still sheepish Winkelhock. "I hope Opel regards it as a bit of payback - and an apology for what happened."

Winkelhock broke his right rear suspension and a driveshaft within seconds of the session starting, but came back out to snatch pole after a frenetic rebuild by his mechanics.

"To do what they did was fantastic," he said. "At the beginning of the session, the track was dusty and dirty and I just overdid it a little and broke the suspension on the grass.

"After half an hour, when the car was ready again, I was quite relaxed about things and I think that was the secret to going so quickly - I had nothing really to lose."

Opel sports boss praised Winkelhock and his mechanics for the effort, saying: "What the guys from the team did was fantastic - unbelievable. And Jo's lap was superb too."

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