Mattias Ekström has clinched pole for the DTM Race of Valencia

Mattias Ekström has kept his faint championship hopes alive by clinching pole position for tomorrow’s DTM race at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit. The Audi driver lapped half-a-second faster than his nearest competitors in the top-four shootout for pole position.

The Swede needs to claim victory at tomorrow’s race and the season-ending round at Hockenheim to have any hope of claiming the championship.

Ekström’s cause was helped by his main championship challengers, Bruno Spengler and series leader Martin Tomczyk, being eliminated in the third phase of qualifying – the pair will start well down the order in 12th and 10th places.

It was a very interesting qualifying session, which saw a bunch of more-fancied drivers eliminated from proceedings in an extended third phase of qualifying, which was brought about by Edoardo Mortara bringing Q2 to a premature halt when he spun.

This meant that thirteen drivers (instead of the usual eight) would be competing for the four spots available in the final pole shoot-out, and it was really going to be a question of who could get a clear lap.

And it was a surprise to see the likes of Filipe Albuquerque, David Coulthard and Renger van der Zande – all equipped with older-spec chassis’ – managing to claim a spot apiece in the final reckoning alongside Ekström.

For Coulthard and rookie drivers Albuequerque and van der Zande, the result would represent their best qualifying performance by some margin.

 

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2011 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters Race of Valencia Qualifying Results:

Driver Entrant / Car
1. Mattias Ekström SWE Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009 Audi 1:30.606 (Q4)
2. Filipe Albuquerque POR Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 2008 Audi 1:31.021 (Q4)
3. Renger van der Zande NED Persson Mercedes C-Class 2008 Mercedes 1:31.173 (Q4)
4. David Coulthard GBR Mücke Mercedes C-Class 2008 Mercedes 1:31.338 (Q4)
5. Mike Rockenfeller DEU Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009 Audi 1:30.202 (Q3)
6. Miguel Molina ESP Abt Audi A4 DTM 2008 Audi 1:30.212 (Q3)
7. Timo Scheider DEU Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009 Audi 1:30.234 (Q3)
8. Oliver Jarvis GBR Abt Audi A4 DTM 2009 Audi 1:30.240 (Q3)
9. Gary Paffett GBR HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009 Mercedes 1:30.297 (Q3)
10. Ralf Schumacher* DEU HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009 Mercedes 1:30.304 (Q3)
11. Martin Tomczyk DEU Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 2008 Audi 1:30.554 (Q3)
12. Jamie Green GBR HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009 Mercedes 1:30.602 (Q3)
13. Bruno Spengler CDN HWA Mercedes C-Class 2009 Mercedes 1:30.621 (Q3)
14. Edoardo Mortara ITA Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 2008 Audi no time (Q2)
15. Maro Engel DEU Mücke Mercedes C-Class 2008 Mercedes 1:30.583 (Q1)
16. Christian Vietoris DEU Persson Mercedes C-Class 2008 Mercedes 1:30.587 (Q1)
17. Rahel Frey SUI Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 2008 Audi 1:30.712 (Q1)
18. Susie Stoddart GBR Persson Mercedes C-Class 2008 Mercedes 1:30.739 (Q1)

* Three-place grid penalty for an infringement at the previous round

[Images via DTM Media]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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