Ekstrom misses vital Super Pole

Any hopes that reigning DTM Champion Mattias Ekstrom had of retaining his title appear to have gone up in smoke in qualifying at Hockenheim, when he missed out on getting into the top 10 Super Pole

Ekstrom misses vital Super Pole

Ekstrom will start Sunday's season-finale from 15th on the grid.

Pre-qualifying was wet at Hockenheim, and Ekstrom's Audi appeared to suffer the same basic lack of speed that he displayed in similar conditions at Istanbul three weeks ago. His best time of 1:51.003 was three-tenths of a second shy of the pace he needed to make it into Super Pole - the first time that he has failed to do so in his DTM career.

The German's last lap, which should have been his fastest as the track dried, was a lacklustre 1:51.699.

"We just went in a completely wrong direction with the set-up," said Ekstrom. "I'm not normally two seconds too slow. Qualifying was too short to change the direction another way, so I had to try and make the best out of it, but it just wasn't enough."

Gary Paffett, who starts the final race nine points ahead of Ekstrom, was fifth quickest.

Bernd Schneider was fastest and is favourite for pole as he will run last in the single-lap session, and the sun is now gradually drying the Hockenheim track.

Pos Driver Make Time Laps 1. Bernd Schneider AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:49.585 9 2. Jamie Green AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:50.066 + 0.481 8 3. H.H. Frentze Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:50.079 + 0.494 8 4. Tom Kristensen Audi A4 DTM 1:50.227 + 0.642 8 5. Gary Paffett AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:50.245 + 0.660 9 6. Frank Stippler Audi A4 DTM 1:50.446 + 0.861 9 7. Marcel Fassler Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:50.503 + 0.918 9 8. Mika Hakkinen AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:50.665 + 1.080 9 9. Laurent Aiello Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:50.709 + 1.124 8 10. Martin Tomczyk Audi A4 DTM 1:50.788 + 1.203 9 11. A. Margaritis AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:50.789 + 1.204 9 12. Manuel Reuter Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:50.809 + 1.224 9 13. Bruno Spengler AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:50.845 + 1.260 9 14. Jean Alesi AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:50.943 + 1.358 9 15. Mattias Ekstrom Audi A4 DTM 1:51.003 + 1.418 9 16. Allan McNish Audi A4 DTM 1:51.020 + 1.435 8 17. Rinaldo Capello Audi A4 DTM 1:51.173 + 1.588 9 18. Christian Abt Audi A4 DTM 1:51.358 + 1.773 7 19. Pierre Kaffer Audi A4 DTM 1:51.578 + 1.993 9 20. Stefan Mucke AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:52.239 + 2.654 9 
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Series DTM
Drivers Mattias Ekström
Author Charles Bradley
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