Bathgate’s Paul Di Resta will start a disappointing ninth on the grid in tomorrow’s round of the German Touring Car Championship at Oscherslaben. The 22-year-old Scot, who had hoped to kickstart his season after a miserable run, was hampered by a lack of grip.
“We just struggled to get any grip and pace into the car,” the Mercedes driver, who last year finished runner-up in the championship but so far this season hasn’t even finished on the podium, said today.
“Ok, our cars are running 20-kilos heavier than the Audis this weekend, but we’ve got to do something really fast to turn the season round. This is the halfway point of the season and already it’s beginning to look like the championship’s gone.”
Di Resta, who at the end of last season was also tipped to graduate to the Force India Formula One team for 2009, trails championship leader and fellow Mercedes driver Gary Paffett by 10 points.
But such were the problems suffered by the Mercedes cars — Di Resta’s suffered suspension damage in the morning practice when he ran over a kerb — that Paffett could only qualify a distant 12th as Audi dominated qualifying locking out the top five slots.
Dane Tom Kristensen, bidding for his third win at the German track, starts from pole ahead of defending champ Timo Scheider. Martin Tomczyk, Mattias Ekström and Oliver Jarvis completed the all-Audi top-five. Canadian Bruno Spengler was the lead Merc driver in sixth.