The 2008 and 2009 DTM champion will be starting from pole position on Sunday. The 34-year old completed his lap of the 4.574 kilometres long track in 1:35.918 minutes and thus ended ahead of Brazilian Augusto Farfus (BMW) and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz), who were second and third respectively.
For Scheider, it is already his eleventh pole in the DTM. “I am extremely happy. This is a perfect start into the season. Today, we have achieved a really good lap. Let’s wait and see how many good laps we can do in the race on Sunday,” Scheider said after qualifying, which started on a wet track after continuous rain. However, conditions improved steadily and the asphalt dried out towards the end.
Farfus, who will be starting alongside Scheider from the first row with his BMW M3 DTM, was also very upbeat with his qualifying result: “That was a difficult qualifying with changeable conditions. I got it together quite well and I am very happy with second place. Tomorrow, it will be exciting, especially with the new features, the option tyres and DRS.”
With his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Christian Vietoris came within 0.276 seconds of the fastest time of the day. Vietoris said: “We didn’t know where we are. I am happy with the result. The team has done a great job. In the final qualifying heat, I pushed, but unfortunately, Augusto and Farfus pushed a little bit more.”
For Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz), qualifying ended with disappointment. For the first time in his DTM career, the Canadian made it into the final heat of the four-heat qualifying, but then, in the battle for first place, he crossed a white line of the track limit with all four wheels of his car, after which he was disallowed his lap time by race control. Fifth-placed Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) was followed by the two title contenders of the previous year, Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) and DTM champion Bruno Spengler (BMW) in sixth and seventh place respectively. “Seven was my starting number in 2012, so the result is not that bad when you look at it this way,” Spengler said with a smile.
The youngest driver in DTM history, Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz), showed an impressive performance. In his first-ever DTM qualifying, the 18-year old ended up eighth.
The DTM is booming and even three times’ Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel took the opportunity to watch first qualifying of the year from up close at the track. Like his fellow F1 drivers Nico Rosberg and Nico Hülkenberg, Vettel witnessed the qualifying premiere of Timo Glock (BMW), in which the ex-Formula 1 driver ended up in 15th place. “It is too bad that we didn’t end up more to the front. I felt really well in the car, but we have to learn to understand the tyres, especially in wet conditions,” said Glock.
On Sunday, two technical novelties will be used in the race for the first time. The Drag Reduction System (DRS), which allows the driver to temporarily adjust their rear wing from the cockpit and thus increase their top speed, as well as the option tyres, which differs from the regular DTM tyre with a softer rubber compound and allows for 1 to 1.5 seconds faster lap times for a while.