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Mattias Ekström takes Hockenheim pole

Mattias Ekström has taken pole position for the first Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters race of the year at the Hockenheimring, beating Mercedes-Benz’s Jamie Green and BMW’s Dirk Werner to pole.

Click here for the full Round 1 Qualifying Result.

The Swede, a former double DTM champion, set a time of 1:34.680 to beat the opposition in his new Audi A5 DTM. The top three positions were filled by drivers from the three different makes competing in the German series in 2012, with Jamie Green in second for Mercedes-Benz and Dirk Werner in third for BMW.

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Ekström’s pole lap was much more controlled than those of his rivals, allowing him to take a 19th career pole position in the series. Edoardo Mortara did not complete a flying lap in Q4 as he pitted at the end of his only run.

Green, Ekström’s closest challenger, had topped the times in Q3. However the Brit was unable to hook together a lap to secure pole position. Nevertheless, Green, the winner last time out at the Hockenheimring in 2011, will start from the front row.

Mike Rockenfeller qualified fifth fastest. The German driver had been quickest in Q1. He will be joined on the third row of the grid by Mercedes’ Gary Paffett in sixth.

Making his début in the series, Andy Priaulx will start his first DTM race from seventh. The former triple World Touring Car Champion progressively improved through each qualifying position to finish as the second-best BMW driver. Alongside him in eighth will be Timo Scheider in his Audi A5 DTM.

Bruno Spengler will start from ninth for BMW, despite the Canadian having topped the times in Q2. Alongside him will be defending champion Martin Tomcyzk in the RMG-run BMW.

Starting in 11th will be Ralf Schumacher, who just missed out on getting through to Q3 after being demoted by Priaulx. He has DTM rookie Adrien Tambay alongside him.

An extremely close first qualifying session of the year saw four Audi’s, four BMW’s and two Mercedes-Benz’s make it into the top ten. Former F1 drivers Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard qualified 11th and 18th respectively, whilst former WTCC race winners Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus qualified in 7th and 19th respectively. The two female drivers in the series, Susie Wolff and Rahel Frey, will together make up the back row of the grid having qualified in 21st and 22nd.

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