Mattias Ekstrom has claimed pole position at Hockenheim

Audi driver Mattias Ekström has claimed pole position for tomorrow’s DTM season-opener at Hockenheim.

But the biggest story to come from qualifying was the better-than-expected performance of series returnee BMW, which had four of its six cars make the top-ten, with Dirk Werner making the pole shootout on his championship debut.

Dirk Werner qualified a shock third for BMWWith at least one representative from all three manufacturers making the final shootout for pole, it was Ekström who drove a clean lap to claim top spot, while his final session rivals each made errors that robbed them of a shot at pole. Fellow Audi runner Edoardo Mortara aborted his shootout lap after a mistake, while Werner and Mercedes’ Jamie Green both ran wide on their timed laps.

The preceding three sessions of qualifying were closely-fought, with most of the drivers separated by mere tenths of a second at each knockout phase of qualifying.

With the sixteen-fastest runners making it out of the first stage of qualifying, the six slowest would be eliminated at the first hurdle. Despite showing decent pace in the earlier practice sessions, those to be knocked out of the reckoning were Miguel Molina, David Coulthard, DTM debutants Augusto Farfus and Roberto Merhi, and lady racers Susie Stoddart and Rahel Frey.

The highest-profile casualty of Q2 was last year’s Hockenheim podium finisher Ralf Schumacher, who was bundled out of a shot at Q3 by three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx – the Guernseyman clocked a quick enough lap on his last tour to ensure four M3s would be represented in the third phase of qualifying.

Ralf Schumacher failed to qualify inside the top-tenJoining Schumacher on the sidelines were WTCC debutants Adrien Tambay, Robert Wickens and Joey Hand, along with Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Vietoris.

With ten cars left, Mike Rockenfeller set the early pace in Q3, only to see himself steadily fall down the timesheets as his rivals overhauled him. He just finished outside of a pole shootout berth and will start from fifth place.

Rockenfeller shares the third row of the grid with Gary Paffett, while Priaulx, Timo Scheider, Bruno Spengler and reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk complete the top-ten.


2012 DTM Race of Hockenheim – Qualifying Results:

1. Mattias Ekström SWE Abt Sportsline Audi Audi 1:34.680 Q4
2. Jamie Green GBR HWA Team Mercedes Mercedes 1:34.895 Q4
3. Dirk Werner DEU Team Schnitzer BMW BMW 1:36.276 Q4
4. Edoardo Mortara ITA Team Rosberg Audi Audi no time Q4
  Q4 CUT-OFF   1:34.195  
5. Mike Rockenfeller DEU Phoenix Racing Audi Audi 1:34.264 Q3
6. Gary Paffett GBR HWA Team Mercedes Mercedes 1:34.287 Q3
7. Andy Priaulx GBR Team RBM BMW BMW 1:34.299 Q3
8. Timo Scheider DEU Abt Sportsline Audi Audi 1:34.389 Q3
9. Bruno Spengler CAN Team Schnitzer BMW BMW 1:34.512 Q3
10. Martin Tomczyk DEU Team RMG BMW BMW 1:34.819 Q3
  Q3 CUT-OFF   1:34.385  
11. Ralf Schumacher DEU HWA Team Mercedes Mercedes 1:34.390 Q2
12. Adrien Tambay FRA Audi Sport Team Abt Audi 1:34.509 Q2
13. Robert Wickens CAN Mücke Motorsport Mercedes Mercedes 1:34.538 Q2
14. Filipe Albuquerque POR Team Rosberg Audi Audi 1:34.555 Q2
15. Christian Vietoris DEU HWA Team Mercedes Mercedes 1:34.783 Q2
16. Joey Hand USA Team RMG BMW BMW 1:35.140 Q2
  Q2 CUT-OFF   1:34.911  
17. Miguel Molina ESP Phoenix Racing Audi Audi 1:34.926 Q1
18. David Coulthard GBR Mücke Motorsport Mercedes Mercedes 1:34.932 Q1
19. Augusto Farfus Jr BRA Team RBM BMW BMW 1:35.104 Q1
20. Robert Merhi ESP Persson Motorsport Mercedes Mercedes 1:35.167 Q1
21. Susie Wolff GBR Persson Motorsport Mercedes Mercedes 1:35.776 Q1
22. Rahel Frey SUI Audi Sport Team Abt Audi 1:36.012 Q1

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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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