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Paffett takes pole for home race

Gary Paffett has taken pole position for the British round of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at Brands Hatch, fending off Christian Vietoris, Bruno Spengler and Mike Rockenfeller.

Click here for the full Round 3 Qualifying results.

Current championship leader Paffett put his Mercedes-Benz on pole position after beating fellow Mercedes driver Vietoris by 0.144 seconds in Q4. Having been eighth quickest in Q1, Paffett improved to fifth and second in Q2 and Q3 respectively before going on to take his ninth pole in his DTM career.

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Vietoris’ second place in qualifying marks the 23 year-old’s best-ever DTM qualifying result – his previous best being a ninth at the Hockenheimring in 2010 on his DTM debut.

Bruno Spengler qualified in third for BMW, 0.196 seconds off pole position, whilst Mike Rockenfeller was the top Audi driver in fourth.

Reigning champion Martin Tomczyk was fifth fastest, having missed out on Q4 by the tiniest of margins – Tomczyk’s Q3 time was identical to Vietoris’ but since the young Mercedes driver had set his first he was allowed into Q4 whilst Tomczyk had to settle for fifth.

Filipe Albuquerque was sixth fastest, with Audi stablemates Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström just behind in seventh and eighth.

Augusto Farfus was ninth quickest, although the Brazilian had been third and second fastest in Q1 and Q2 respectively he was unable to maintain his form to break into Q4 for the second successive weekend.

Completing the top ten is Jamie Green, who was 0.264 seconds off Paffett’s pole position time around the short Brands Hatch Indy Circuit.

For the other three Brits in the field, qualifying proved to be a challenge. Andy Priaulx finished the session in 14th, just behind the BMW of American Joey Hand. David Coulthard and Susie Wolff will line up in 20th and 21st for tomorrow’s 98 lap race, after having been eliminated in Q1. Both Coulthard and Wolff were a mere four tenths of the fastest time in Q1, such is the competitiveness of the DTM field around such a short circuit.

A difficult qualifying session for the 2008 and 2009 champion Timo Scheider meant that the German was only able to qualify in fifteenth position. Ralf Schumacher was unable to go any further than Q1 for the second weekend in a row, with the former F1 star qualifying down in 18th.

Round 3 of the 2012 DTM takes place at 1303 GMT on Sunday (1403 Berlin time).

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