Championship ‘roughie’ Gary Paffett took pole position in a closely-fought qualifying session at Italy’s Adria circuit.
The McLaren test driver had the first run in the final top-four shoot-out for pole, and had a nail-biting time watching his three rivals – Bruno Spengler, Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green – all post better split times in their first and second sectors of their hot lap.
However, none could overhaul Paffett’s time in the final sector, and the Briton claimed pole by just one-hundredth of a second from Spengler.
Ekström could certainly count himself lucky to have made it into the final qualifying round, after being well off the pace in Q1. The Swede looked set to have been eliminated in the opening phase of qualifying by his Audi team-mate Timo Scheider. But Scheider was deemed to have started his hot lap after the chequered flag had already been waved to signify the end of the session, and this prompted an almighty tantrum from the German, who refused to leave his vehicle after being told his lap time would be disallowed.
Eventually his pit crew were able to convince him that this wasn’t the best course of action, to which Scheider threw his steering wheel out of the car and stormed off into the pit garages.
The third row will be occupied by Mike Rockenfeller and championship leader Paul di Resta, who has been fractionally off the pace in every session this weekend, although in his defence, he did only miss out on a shot at Q4 by just 0.08 seconds.
The Audis of Jarvis, Molina, Tomczyk and Winkelhock complete the top-ten, with the marque claiming six of the top ten grid positions for Sunday’s race.
2010 DTM Adria Qualifying Results: