Ekstrom Claims Hockenheim Pole

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

Ekstrom Claims Hockenheim Pole

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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