|April 6, 2006
Added Thrill in DTM Qualifying
"Shoot-out”, "k o. system”, "knock-out” – the DTM’s new qualifying format, which will be celebrating its debut on Saturday, has numerous names already. One thing is certain, though: it will be even more thrilling than the previous "Super pole” qualifying in which the ten quickest drivers competed for the best starting positions in single timed laps.
The Audi stars, as well, are looking towards the new type of qualifying – which has been successfully used in similar form in Formula 1 – with eager anticipation (broadcast Saturday from 1:35 p.m. local time live on ARD TV). "There could be a few surprises,” says Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who will be contesting his first DTM race for Audi at Hockenheim.
Effective immediately, the DTM grid positions will be determined in three segments. During the first, 14-minute part, all 20 cars are out on the track. The six slowest drivers are eliminated. The second segment lasts merely ten minutes and takes out six more cars. In the final segment the remaining eight drivers fight for the pole position in a seven-minute heat.
Thanks to the new format the fans – both on location and in front of their TV sets – will be offered a lot more action than before. And for the teams and drivers, too, this will be an hour of maximum tension and suspense: going out at the right time will be just as important as the number of fresh tyre sets which the drivers save for qualifying. What is more – unlike in Formula 1 – refuelling is permitted.