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Ekstrom Claims Hockenheim Pole

Mattias Ekstrom has taken the first DTM super pole of the year with a tremendously smooth lap around the Hockenheimring

The Swede was the fifth man out in the session, using all of the track but driving well within himself to take the provisional top spot before waiting for the five fastest drivers from the open qualifying session to try and top him.

Jamie Green, in his debut race weekend with the series, ran a very smooth, conservative lap just prior to countryman Gary Paffett, who was very quick but a slight off was enough to lose pole position.

After the British pair Tom Kristensen was very ragged - he almost threw the car off riding the kerbs but held the car, and then lost more time pushing to regain what he lost in the incident. After Bernd Schneider finished his very ragged lap Ekstrom pumped his first with joy, knowing he would be on the front of the grid at tomorrow's season opener.

In the open session Mika Hakkinen was the most notable of the rookie drivers, but his lack of testing was clear as he finished the session in fifteenth position, just behind fellow newbie Allan McNish.

Canadian Bruno Spengler was very impressive in last year's Mercedes to claim a provisional fifth position, but off-season pace man Heinz-Harald Frentzen was very disappointing, with a time that will see the German on the back row of the grid.

DTM Qualifying, Hockenheimring

Pos Driver                 Make                Laps  Time       Gap
 1. Bernd Schneider        AMG-Mercedes C-Class  6   1:34.648
 2. Tom Kristensen         Audi A4 DTM           7   1:34.817  +0.169
 3. Gary Paffett           AMG-Mercedes C-Class  7   1:34.996  +0.348
 4. Jamie Green            AMG-Mercedes C-Class  8   1:35.064  +0.416
 5. Bruno Spengler         AMG-Mercedes C-Class  8   1:35.156  +0.508
 6. Mattias Ekstrom        Audi A4 DTM           9   1:35.234  +0.586
 7. Marcel Fassler         Opel Vectra GTS V8    9   1:35.283  +0.635
 8. Jean Alesi             AMG-Mercedes C-Class  8   1:35.288  +0.640
 9. Martin Tomczyk         Audi A4 DTM           8   1:35.304  +0.656
10. Stefan Mucke           AMG-Mercedes C-Class  9   1:35.434  +0.786
11. Laurent Aiello         Opel Vectra GTS V8    8   1:35.435  +0.787
12. Christian Abt          Audi A4 DTM           9   1:35.464  +0.816
13. Frank Stippler         Audi A4 DTM           9   1:35.467  +0.819
14. Allan McNish           Audi A4 DTM           9   1:35.625  +0.977
15. Mika Hakkinen          AMG-Mercedes C-Class  6   1:35.697  +1.049
16. Alexandros Margaritis  AMG-Mercedes C-Class  8   1:35.756  +1.108
17. Manuel Reuter          Opel Vectra GTS V8    8   1:35.880  +1.232
18. Pierre Kaffer          Audi A4 DTM           9   1:35.915  +1.267
19. Heinz-Harald Frentzen  Opel Vectra GTS V8    9   1:35.967  +1.319
20. Rinaldo Capello        Audi A4 DTM           8   1:36.020  +1.372

Super Pole

Pos Driver                 Make                  Time       Gap
 1. Mattias Ekstrom        Audi A4 DTM           1:35.251
 2. Gary Paffett           AMG-Mercedes C-Class  1:35.283  +0.032
 3. Jamie Green            AMG-Mercedes C-Class  1:35.809  +0.558
 4. Marcel Fassler         Opel Vectra GTS V8    1:36.075  +0.824
 5. Jean Alesi             AMG-Mercedes C-Class  1:36.179  +0.928
 6. Bruno Spengler         AMG-Mercedes C-Class  1:36.191  +0.940
 7. Martin Tomczyk         Audi A4 DTM           1:36.222  +0.971
 8. Bernd Schneider        AMG-Mercedes C-Class  1:36.354  +1.103
 9. Tom Kristensen         Audi A4 DTM           1:36.489  +1.238
10. Stefan Mucke           AMG-Mercedes C-Class  1:36.587  +1.336

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