Two rounds into the 2009 pan-European DTM touring car championship, and already the signs are that it is shaping up to be a classic season-long duel between sworn rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz, with honours even in terms of victories and six different podium finishers to-date.
Whilst Tom Kristensen led Audi team-mates Timo Scheider, Oliver Jarvis and Markus Winkelhock home in a commanding one-two-three-four for the Ingolstadt manufacturer in the Hockenheim curtain-raiser – with the leading Mercedes of Formula 1 aspirant Paul di Resta a full 20 seconds adrift at the chequered flag in fifth – at the Lausitzring a fortnight later it was 2005 champion Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler who comfortably crossed the line ahead of their nearest pursuers to clinch glory for the Stuttgart marque, 14 seconds clear of third-placed Mattias Ekström, winner of the title in both 2004 and 2007.
Indeed, it is the Swede who has been the qualifying king thus far this campaign, with an unbroken run of pole positions but just eight points on the board, as his team-mates Scheider and Kristensen make the early running in the chase for the coveted crown, with Paffett and the consistent di Resta in hot pursuit behind.
With eight rounds remaining and 80 points still up for grabs, it really could go anyone's way – but who do you think is most likely to follow in Scheider's footsteps as 2009 DTM Champion?
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