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DTM NEWS 

Gary Paffett grabs home DTM pole at Brands Hatch

Gary PaffettGary Paffett took his first DTM pole position for almost two years at Brands Hatch to head an all-Mercedes front row.

The British driver's single-lap Q4 time of 41.266 seconds was enough to put him on provisional pole with only Q3 pacesetter Mike Rockenfeller to come. And when the German could only lap in 41.484s, Paffett's eighth career pole - and his first on home soil - was assured.

Christian Vietoris took a career-best second place on the grid, 0.144s slower than his HWA team-mate Paffett and just 0.052s clear of Schnitzer BMW's Bruno Spengler, who put two wheels in the gravel at Paddock Hill bend on his way to third.

Rockenfeller's fourth place meant that the Phoenix Audi driver maintained his status as the only driver to start inside the top five in every race this year.

Practice pacesetter Martin Tomczyk set an identical time to Vietoris in Q3, but remained fifth by virtue of having achieved it after the HWA man. He will start alongside Filipe Albuquerque, who took his best grid spot of the year in his Rosberg Audi.

Adrien Tambay was surprisingly the best of the Abt Audi drivers in a career-best seventh spot while his team-mate Mattias Ekstrom, RBM BMW man Augusto Farfus and HWA Mercedes driver Jamie Green completed the top 10.

Timo Scheider failed to make Q3 for the second event in a row, the Abt Audi man going off at Surtees and bouncing across the grass before rejoining moments later. He will start 15th.

Among the others knocked out in Q2 were Andy Priaulx - 14th in his RBM BMW - and Rosberg Audi driver Edoraro Mortara, who lost his Q3 place to Tambay by just 0.05s after the chequered flag had come out.

David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher were the highest-profile drivers to be eliminated from Q1. While Coulthard never featured inside the top-16 progression zone, Schumacher was dropped outside it thanks to quick laps from Priaulx and Vietoris late on.

Despite improving his time on his final lap, the six-time grand prix winner could not improve on 18th spot in his HWA car. Coulthard will start two places further back with Susie Wolff's Persson Mercedes next up.

Coulthard's Mucke Mercedes team-mate Robert Wickens was the best-placed driver to fail to make it into Q2, the Canadian agonisingly missing out by just 0.002s in a session where a little over 0.4s separated the top 21 cars.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car          Time     Gap
 1.  Gary Paffett        HWA Mercedes      41.266s
 2.  Christian Vietoris  HWA Mercedes      41.410s  + 0.144s
 3.  Bruno Spengler      Schnitzer BMW     41.462s  + 0.196s
 4.  Mike Rockenfeller   Abt Audi          41.484s  + 0.218s
 5.  Martin Tomczyk      RMG BMW           41.101s  Q3
 6.  Filipe Albuquerque  Rosberg Audi      41.142s  Q3
 7.  Adrien Tambay       Abt Audi          41.156s  Q3
 8.  Mattias Ekstrom     Abt Audi          41.163s  Q3
 9.  Augusto Farfus      RBM BMW           41.172s  Q3
10.  Jamie Green         HWA Mercedes      41.284s  Q3
11.  Edoardo Mortara     Rosberg Audi      41.381s  Q2
12.  Miguel Molina       Phoenix Audi      41.392s  Q2
13.  Joey Hand           RMG BMW           41.399s  Q2
14.  Andy Priaulx        RBM BMW           41.403s  Q2
15.  Timo Scheider       Abt Audi          41.479s  Q2
16.  Roberto Merhi       Persson Mercedes  41.524s  Q2
17.  Robert Wickens      Mucke Mercedes    41.584s  Q1
18.  Ralf Schumacher     HWA Mercedes      41.587s  Q1
19.  Dirk Werner         Schnitzer BMW     41.655s  Q1
20.  David Coulthard     Mucke Mercedes    41.657s  Q1
21.  Susie Wolff         Persson Mercedes  41.677s  Q1
22.  Rahel Frey          Abt Audi          41.956s  Q1
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