Brno Pole for Paffett

Championship leader Gary Paffett will start the fourth round of the DTM at Brno in the Czech Republic from pole position after topping the times in the single-lap Super Pole session on Saturday

Brno Pole for Paffett

Paffett led the way in the preliminary qualifying session too, from which the top 10 proceed to the Super Pole, with a time of 1m52.173s, 0.056secs clear of Audi's Tom Kristensen. Reigning Champion Mattias Ekstrom was third fastest in his Audi A4, ahead of the leading Opel Vectra GTS of Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who just pipped teammate Manuel Reuter for that honour in the dying seconds.

Former F1 racers Bernd Schneider (Mercedes), Allan McNish (Audi) and Spa victor Mika Hakkinen (Mercedes) were next up, but Jean Alesi's Mercedes was knocked out of the top 10 run-off because of teammate Schneider's late flyer.

Super Pole was a thriller, despite a brief rain shower before it began, which made life tricky for the early runners.

Hakkinen was the first to register a seriously quick effort, with a 1:52.610 laptime that the following McNish, Schneider and Reuter were unable to better. But the Finn's dream of repeating his Spa pole was dashed when Frentzen bettered his time by three-tenths.

Now it was Frentzen's turn to dare to dream of pole, as Ekstrom slid wide on a corner and failed to beat him, as did Kristensen. But Paffett shattered his hopes, despite being a fraction slower by the second split point, with a Herculean final sector netting pole by 0.180.

Frentzen will start from his first ever DTM front row in second, ahead of Kristensen, Ekstrom, Hakkinen, Reuter, McNish and Schneider. Jamie Green (Mercedes) and Martin Tomczyk round out the top ten.

Super Pole Pos Driver Team Time 1. Gary Paffett DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG 1:52.191 2. H.H. Frentzen Stern Team OPC 1:52.371 + 0.180 3. Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Abt 1:52.442 + 0.251 4. Mattias Ekstrom Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 1:52.564 + 0.373 5. Mika Hakkinen Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes 1:52.610 + 0.419 6. Manuel Reuter Team OPC 1:52.894 + 0.703 7. Allan McNish Audi Sport Team Abt 1:53.016 + 0.825 8. Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG-Mercedes 1:53.074 + 0.883 9. Jamie Green Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes 1:53.883 + 1.692 10. Martin Tomczyk Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 1:54.748 + 2.557 Qualifying Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Gary Paffett DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG 1:52.173 6 2. Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Abt 1:52.229 + 0.056 8 3. Mattias Ekstrom Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 1:52.334 + 0.161 6 4. H.H. Frentzen Stern Team OPC 1:52.356 + 0.183 9 5. Manuel Reuter Team OPC 1:52.584 + 0.411 9 6. Bernd Schneider Vodafone AMG-Mercedes 1:52.585 + 0.412 9 7. Allan McNish Audi Sport Team Abt 1:52.632 + 0.459 9 8. Mika Hakkinen Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes 1:52.711 + 0.538 8 9. Jamie Green Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes 1:52.748 + 0.575 8 10. Martin Tomczyk Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 1:52.772 + 0.599 8 11. Jean Alesi AMG-Mercedes 1:52.868 + 0.695 9 12. Rinaldo Capello Audi Sport Team Joest 1:52.909 + 0.736 9 13. Christian Abt Audi Sport Team Joest Racing 1:52.942 + 0.769 9 14. Marcel Fassler GMAC Team OPC 1:53.032 + 0.859 9 15. Pierre Kaffer Audi Sport Team Joest Racing 1:53.095 + 0.922 9 16. Frank Stippler Audi Sport Team Joest 1:53.208 + 1.035 8 17. Laurent Aiello Team OPC 1:53.446 + 1.273 9 18. Bruno Spengler Junge Gebrauchte von Mercedes 1:53.485 + 1.312 9 19. Stefan Mucke Mucke Motorsport 1:53.693 + 1.520 9 20. A. Margaritis Mucke Motorsport 1:54.086 + 1.913 9 
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Series DTM
Drivers Gary Paffett
Author Charles Bradley
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