Moscow DTM: Gary Paffett takes pole in all-Mercedes top four

Gary Paffett claimed pole for the opening DTM race at Moscow Raceway in a damp but drying qualifying session in Russia

Moscow DTM: Gary Paffett takes pole in all-Mercedes top four

Paffett had been fast throughout the 20-minute session, and while others opted to gamble and pit for dry tyres, the ART Mercedes driver stuck with the wets and produced the fastest time with his final lap, beating Robert Wickens' previous benchmark by 0.605 seconds.

The pole is Paffett's first since the 2015 season finale at Hockenheim.

Behind the Briton, Wickens held on for second as Mercedes secured a 1-2-3-4 lockout.

Wickens had snatched back top spot with his own final lap at the end of the session and, while he faced a nervous wait as the first of the contenders to complete his final run, he held on for second after Paffett's improvement, with Paul di Resta less than a tenth back in third and Maximilian Gotz in fourth.

Mattias Ekstrom was the best-placed of the Audi contingent in fifth, a second off the pace, ahead of RBM's Maxime Martin, who was the leading BMW.

Timos Scheider and Glock recorded seventh and eighth for Audi and BMW respectively.

Poleman Paffett's ART team-mate Felix Rosenqvist, making his first appearance in the DTM after being called up to replace Formula 1-bound Esteban Ocon, was ninth-fastest in his first qualifying session in the series and will line up ahead of Jamie Green.

QUALIFYING TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Gary Paffett ART Mercedes 1m41.443s -
2 Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 1m42.048s 0.605s
3 Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes 1m42.130s 0.687s
4 Maximilian Gotz HWA Mercedes 1m42.164s 0.721s
5 Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m42.450s 1.007s
6 Maxime Martin RBM BMW 1m42.506s 1.063s
7 Timo Scheider Phoenix Audi 1m42.631s 1.188s
8 Timo Glock RMG BMW 1m42.631s 1.188s
9 Felix Rosenqvist ART Mercedes 1m42.647s 1.204s
10 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 1m42.870s 1.427s
11 Adrien Tambay Rosberg Audi 1m43.015s 1.572s
12 Edoardo Mortara Abt Audi 1m43.024s 1.581s
13 Bruno Spengler MTEK BMW 1m43.076s 1.633s
14 Augusto Farfus MTEK BMW 1m43.140s 1.697s
15 Antonio Felix da Costa Schnitzer BMW 1m43.472s 2.029s
16 Miguel Molina Abt Audi 1m43.500s 2.057s
17 Nico Muller Abt Audi 1m43.521s 2.078s
18 Lucas Auer Mucke Mercedes 1m43.660s 2.217s
19 Martin Tomczyk Schnitzer BMW 1m43.830s 2.387s
20 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 1m43.856s 2.413s
21 Tom Blomqvist RBM BMW 1m43.881s 2.438s
22 Daniel Juncadella HWA Mercedes 1m43.985s 2.542s
23 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m44.488s 3.045s
24 Christian Vietoris Mucke Mercedes 1m44.800s 3.357s


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Moscow DTM: Robert Wickens wins and takes championship lead

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