Britain's Jamie Green sensationally claimed his second pole in as many races this season by setting the fastest time with seconds to spare at a rain affected EuroSpeedway Lausitz.

Green, in his Salzgitter Mercedes came out on top in a thrilling couple of minutes at the end of the final ten minute shoot-out where the Leicestershire driver stamped his authority by taking provisional pole, only for Audi's Mattias Ekstrom to snatch the top spot for a few seconds.

Then it was Hakkinen's turn as the Mercedes Audi see-saw battle continued with the Finn momentarily claiming the pole in his AMG Mercedes.

Related Articles

However, Hakkinen's reign was brief and Green pulled out a superlative lap of 1m 19.390 in the gloom of the former GDR and snatched pole for the second race in a row. The top eight's times were around two seconds off the previous benchmark as the slippery conditions meant a balance of caution and commitment had to be found quickly.

The start of qualifying at a very cold EuroSpeedway hardly hinted at the drama that was to occur in the final stages.

Olivier Tielemans didn't help matters when, on a cold track, the Frenchman spun his Mercedes almost as soon as he took to the circuit and beached on a kerb bringing a halt to the session. Christian Abt followed Tielemans' lead, exiting across the grass in his Playboy Audi at the very start of the session.

Drivers who did not make the top-eight shoot-out included Martin Tomczyk in the Team Abt Sportsline Audi who fell foul of the elements and will start twelfth. Those who failed to put in a 'banker' lap before the rain fell found themselves having an early bath and notable absentees from the final phase of qualifying included former Opel man Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who found the gravel early on, never recovering.

Hockenheim winner Bernd Schneider applied his canny wisdom, avoiding the pitfalls of the damp track and will start fourth. Behind him, Tom Kristensen will hoping to repeat his form at Hockenheim and just behind the Dane Jean Alesi will start sixth after wringing the neck of his year-old Mercedes and will look to kick-start his campaign in style tomorrow.

Susie Stoddart will start 18th in the AutoScout24 Mercedes and will hope to build upon her experience garnered at Hockenheim where the Scot took the fight to veteran Alesi and impressed with a solid performance.