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Paffett storms to Brands pole
19 May 2012
Gary Paffett maintained his strong start to his DTM campaign after claiming his first pole of the season ahead of Christian Vietoris, ensuring an all Mercedes front row at Brands Hatch.
Paffett, produced a scintillating lap during the one lap shootout to propel his Mercedes just over a tenth clear of team-mate Vietoris, who enjoys his highest grid slot to date in second position.
BMW's Bruno Spengler consolidates the Munich marks impressive comeback form after sealing the third grid slot, posting a time two tenths off the pace.
Audi's Mike Rockenfeller had looked set to clinch his second consecutive Brands Hatch pole, but never looked like troubling the time of Paffett during Q4 following a slightly timid lap. The German had to settle for fourth.
Q3's surprise victim was defending champion, Martin Tomczyk. The German had been one of the pacesetters throughout practice and qualifying, but lost out in one of the series' closest sessions of the year.
Tomczyk, will start the race from fifth position in front of the Audi driven by Filipe Alberquerque.
Surprise of the day goes to Audi's Adrien Tambay, thanks to an impressive performance earning the son of former F1 star Patrick Tambay seventh position on the grid.
Audi's Mattias Ekstrom endured a difficult day and became another victim of the DTM's ruthless qualifying format. The Swede lines up in eighth ahead of BMW's Augusto Farfus and Mercedes' Jamie Green who round off the top ten.
Andy Priaulx would have been hoping for a little bit more in front of his home fans, but the Guernsey-man could only manage a lap good enough to put him 14th.
Timo Scheider continued his difficult start to the season, especially in qualifying trim after falling foul of the session's second segment. The former champ will start tomorrow's race from a distant 15th.
Yet again former F1 stars, Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard once more failed to impress, both stumbling at the first hurdle of qualifying. The pair languish 18th and 20th respectively.
by Simon Evans
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