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Hockenheim DTM: Mercedes' Lucas Auer on pole for season-opener

Mercedes' Lucas Auer will start Saturday's DTM season opener from pole after qualifying fastest at Hockenheim

Auer had trailed fellow Mercedes man Gary Paffett after the first set of runs during the 20-minute session, but produced his best effort in the final two minutes to jump to the top of the times.

The Austrian, who had earlier topped the second practice session, recorded a fastest time of 1m30.849s to beat Paffett to pole by 0.193 seconds - despite the Briton also improving on his final run.

Mercedes new boy Edoardo Mortara ensured the marque's lockout of the top positions continued onto the second row and will start his first race after his switch from Audi from third, while Timo Glock was the best of the BMW drivers in fourth.

Glock had produced a personal best first sector and fastest time of all through sector two on his best lap, but ran wide towards the end of his run and ended up 0.312s down on Auer's time.

Maxime Martin qualified his RBM BMW M4 fifth ahead of practice one pacesetter Paul di Resta, while series returnee Maro Engel was seventh.

Nico Muller, Tom Blomqvist and Robert Wickens completed the top 10, with 2016 champion Marco Wittmann set to start the defence of his second title from 11th.

Audi's Rene Rast, who will contest a first full campaign in the series this season, was 14th while fellow Audi man Loic Duval will start his first DTM race from 18th and last after qualifying 1.601s away from pole.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Lucas Auer HWA Mercedes 1m30.849s -
2 Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m31.042s 0.193s
3 Edoardo Mortara HWA Mercedes 1m31.120s 0.271s
4 Timo Glock RMR BMW 1m31.161s 0.312s
5 Maxime Martin RBM BMW 1m31.247s 0.398s
6 Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes 1m31.275s 0.426s
7 Maro Engel HWA Mercedes 1m31.309s 0.460s
8 Nico Muller Abt Audi 1m31.490s 0.641s
9 Tom Blomqvist RMR BMW 1m31.510s 0.661s
10 Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 1m31.538s 0.689s
11 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 1m31.662s 0.813s
12 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 1m31.805s 0.956s
13 Bruno Spengler RBM BMW 1m31.834s 0.985s
14 Rene Rast Rosberg Audi 1m31.871s 1.022s
15 Augusto Farfus RMG BMW 1m31.915s 1.066s
16 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m31.965s 1.116s
17 Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m32.082s 1.233s
18 Loic Duval Phoenix Audi 1m32.450s 1.601s


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