Martin Tomczyk scored an ideally timed first pole position of the season ahead of the eighth DTM round at the Nurburgring, although championship leading team-mate Mattias Ekstrom will start back in tenth.

Currently second in the driver standings, five points behind Ekstrom, Tomczyk led an Audi 1-2-3 in a typically close qualifying session to place him in a prime position to record a second straight victory and move him well into contention for the DTM crown.

Another entertaining knockout qualifying session, honours looked to have been going Mercedes way early on after Audi lost five of their cars during the first phase. However, while they would eventually end up with only three A4s in the top eight shootout to Mercedes' five, they'd still lock out the top three, Timo Scheider and Tom Kristensen helping Tomczyk at the head of the grid.

Indeed, Audi were the big losers as the session got underway as five of their ten cars were eliminated the first time of asking, the likely candidates of Markus Winkelhock and Vanina Ickx in the 2005-specification A4s dropping out in 16th and 20th on the grid, but also being joined by both Rosberg entries of Mike Rockenfeller and Lucas Luhr in 17th and 19th and the Phoenix entry of Christian Abt in 15th. Only Mercedes' Alex Margaritis managed to spare Audi's blushes in 18th position.

With all eight 2007-specification machines into the second phase of qualifying, the stage was set for a heated battle between the newer and used machinery. Still, only one '07 machine would fail to make it into the top eight, although that would still be the entry of Ekstrom, who never got into the action and will therefore start 10th.

He was joined on the sidelines Daniel La Rosa in ninth, Gary Paffett in 11th, Alex Premat in 12th, Susie Stoddart an impressive 13th and Mathias Lauda in 14th.

With only Paul di Resta, again doing a sterling job in the two-year old C-Class, breaking the deadlock of the 2007 cars in the shootout, the tussle for pole position came down to the series front runners.

However, while Audi were down on numbers, Tomczyk, Scheider and Kristensen ensured that the A4 would still be the car to beat by filling out the top three positions, the latter two drivers squeezing between Tomczyk and Bruno Spengler in fourth; just a tenth would separate the top four.

Bernd Schneider will start fifth, with team-mate Jamie Green sixth, while di Resta and Mika Hakkinen rounded out the top eight positions.


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