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Hakkinen grabs Brands pole.

Mika Hakkinen grabbed his second DTM pole position of the season after an exciting qualifying session at Brands Hatch saw the early advantage shift from Audi to Mercedes.

Audi had been the class act in practice prior to qualifying, seemingly suggesting they would be well placed to secure a much needed first pole position of the season. As it happens, Hakkinen instead delivered Mercedes their fourth pole of the year to maintain the 100 per cent qualifying success of the 2007-specification C-Class.

He will be joined on the front row by team-mate Bruno Spengler to reinforce Mercedes form, while Alex Premat will lead Audi's charge from third.

Indeed, even the early stages of qualifying seemed to suggest that Mercedes would have to concede to Audi's strength around the Kent circuit today, the manufacturer seeing four of their cars included in the first six that were eliminated.

With the session always expected to provide thrills and spills around the tight Indy circuit, competition was remarkably close throughout the field, making timing crucial so as not to occur any traffic.

That seemingly caught out championship leader Paul di Resta, who was the highest profile casualty of the first session when his hopes of impressing the home crowd ended early in 15th position, agonisingly less than a hundredth away from safety. He was joined by fellow Brits Adam Carroll and Susie Stoddart, a result that was particularly disappointing for Carroll after he had targeted a top ten starting position having starred in the each of the practice sessions so far.

They will start 16th and 18th respectively, with Alex Margaritis, Daniel La Rosa and Vanina Ickx also joining them on the sidelines early in 17th, 19th and 20th positions.

However, having seen most of their cars survive the first knockout session, it was time for Audi to suffer in the second, with four of their A4's failing to make the cut.

Another close session that made the margin of error very slight, the crucial order around the top eight continually changed before the final order was eventually established at the end of the ten minutes.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mika Hakkinen - AMG-Mercedes [pic credit: DTM Media]
Bruno Spengler - DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes [pic credit: DTM Media]
Alex Premat - Audi Sport Team Phoenix [pic credit: DTM Media]
Start [pic credit: DTM Media]
Start [pic credit: DTM Media]
Marco Wittmann - BMW M4 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Robert Wickens - Mercedes AMG C-Coupe [pic credit: DTM Media]
Christian Vietoris - Mercedes AMG C-Coupe [pic credit: DTM Media]
Adrian Tambay - Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Adrian Tambay - Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Adrian Tambay - Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Timo Scheider - Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Mike Rockenfeller - Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Mike Rockenfeller - Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Vitaly Petrov - Mercedes AMG C-Coupe [pic credit: DTM Media]
Gary Paffett - Mercedes AMG C-Coupe [pic credit: DTM Media]
Miguel Molina - Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]
Maxime Martin - BMW M4 DTM [pic credit: DTM Media]

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