DTM » 1 January 1901
Kristensen gives Audi upper hand.
Audi have put themselves into a strong position for the 2007 DTM title after securing four of the top five grid positions at Hockenheim, although it is Tom Kristensen and Timo Scheider that fill out the front row.
With most eyes on the title battle between Mattias Ekstrom, Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk this weekend, all three made it into the top eight shootout to dispute pole position, but not one of the trio were able to make the top spot.
Even so, Audi will head into the finale with the upper hand after Kristensen dominated proceedings, topping both knockout sessions before coming away with the fastest time in the shootout stage. It is the Dane's first pole position of the season, while it is also Audi's fifth in a row.
His lap of 1min 32.862secs was just a tenth faster than Scheider, the other Abt Sportsline driver out of the title race and no doubt charged with helping the plight of Ekstrom and Tomczyk come race day.
Of the title challenging drivers, Ekstrom is best placed in third, the Swede, who won at Hockenheim earlier this season, just edged out by Scheider for a spot on the front row.
Barcelona winner Jamie Green will start as the leading Mercedes entry in fourth place, but with Tomczyk behind him in fifth, he will need more help if he is to stop the Audi threat and keep the title in Mercedes' hands.
Spengler will start sixth after managing a time just four tenths slower than Kristensen, while Bernd Schneider and Daniel La Rosa rounded out the top eight positions.
La Rosa will, along with Mika Hakkinen, suffer a ten place grid penalty ahead of the race, dropping the German down to 18th place, while the Finn will start last after only managing 14th in qualifying.
As such, Gary Paffett will start eighth, with ninth and tenth filled by the two Alexs, that of Margaritis and Premat.
Elsewhere, Paul di Resta, who caused a stir by managing a podium in his two-year old car earlier this season, will this time start down in 14th place, while his Scottish counterpart Susie Stoddart qualified 19th, but will start 17th.
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