McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett has claimed his eighth career DTM pole position by posting the fastest overall time in qualifying for this weekend’s championship round at Brands Hatch. The result gives Mercedes its first pole position of the 2012 season.
Having made it into the four-man shootout for pole position, the Englishman claimed provisional pole position with his single-lap effort of 41.266 seconds, which was unable to be bettered by Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller – the only driver to have made Q4 in each qualifying session this season.
Paffett’s HWA Mercedes team-mate Christian Vietoris finished a career-best second-fastest, but the German will start from fourth. courtesy of the two-place grid penalty he earned at the previous round at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz for blocking.
Bruno Spengler, winner of the previous round at the speedway, will start from this place in his Schnitzer BMW.
Defending series champion Martin Tomczyk came agonisingly close to making it into the final qualifying phase when he posted an identical lap-time – to the thousandth of a second – as Vietoris in Q3, but because he’d posted his time after the Vietoris, that consigned Tomczyk to fifth on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Tomczyk shares the third row of the grid with Portuguese racer Filipe Albuquerque, who earned his best qualifying result of the season in his Rosberg Audi.
DTM rookie Adrien Tambay drove impressively to earn seventh on the grid, while Mattias Ekström, Augusto Farfus and Jamie Green completed the top ten on the grid.
With the opening qualifying sessions proving to be closely-fought affairs where a few thousandths of a second could mean the difference between making the next round or not, it was little surprise to see that some of the bigger names will be starting further down the order.
Those who could count themselves a little unlucky would include Andy Priaulx and Timo Scheider, with Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard also starting well down the order in the Mercedes’.
2012 DTM Race of Brands Hatch – Qualifying Results:
|DRIVER||TEAM / ENTRY||RESULT|
|1.||Gary Paffett||HWA Team Mercedes||41.266||Q4|
|2.||Christian Vietoris*||HWA Team Mercedes||41.410||Q2|
|3.||Bruno Spengler||Team Schnitzer BMW||41.462||Q4|
|4.||Mike Rockenfeller||Phoenix Racing Audi||41.484||Q4|
|5.||Martin Tomczyk||Team RMG BMW||41.101||Q3|
|6.||Filipe Albuquerque||Team Rosberg Audi||41.142||Q3|
|7.||Adrien Tambay||Audi Sport Team Abt||41.156||Q3|
|8.||Mattias Ekström||Abt Sportsline Audi||41.163||Q3|
|9.||Augusto Farfus Jr||Team RBM BMW||41.172||Q3|
|10.||Jamie Green||HWA Team Mercedes||41.284||Q3|
|11.||Edoardo Mortara||Team Rosberg Audi||41.381||Q2|
|12.||Miguel Molina||Phoenix Racing Audi||41.392||Q2|
|13.||Joey Hand||Team RMG BMW||41.399||Q2|
|14.||Andy Priaulx||Team RBM BMW||41.403||Q2|
|15.||Timo Scheider||Abt Sportsline Audi||41.479||Q2|
|16.||Robert Merhi||Persson Motorsport Mercedes||41.524||Q2|
|17.||Robert Wickens||Mücke Motorsport Mercedes||41.584||Q1|
|18.||Ralf Schumacher||HWA Team Mercedes||41.587||Q1|
|19.||Dirk Werner||Team Schnitzer BMW||41.655||Q1|
|20.||David Coulthard||Mücke Motorsport Mercedes||41.657||Q1|
|21.||Susie Wolff||Persson Motorsport Mercedes||41.677||Q1|
|22.||Rahel Frey||Audi Sport Team Abt||41.956||Q1|
* Denotes two-place grid penalty imposed.