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Gary Paffett secures 110th DTM pole for Mercedes
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Gary Paffett secures 110th DTM pole for Mercedes  • Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) took his ninth DTM pole position in his home race at Brands Hatch

• Mercedes-Benz junior team member Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) on the front row for the first time

• 110th pole position and 65th double pole for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM

Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) is on pole position for his home race at Brands Hatch on Sunday. This is the third race of the 2012 DTM season (Starts 2pm and has live coverage on ARD, Germany from 13:35pm). The Brit drove a lap of 41.266 in the final shoot-out segment of qualifying. It is his ninth DTM pole position and his first at Brands Hatch. Mercedes-Benz drivers have achieved four pole positions at Brands Hatch since its inaugural DTM race in 2006. Mercedes Benz drivers have started from first place on the grid seven times in DTM races in England (since 1991 there have been 19 races in Brands Hatch, Donington and Silverstone). Mercedes-Benz has had a total of 110 DTM pole position starts. This is the new DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé's first pole position.

Gary Paffett secures 110th DTM pole for Mercedes  

Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé / 41.410) will be next to Paffett on the grid. He has secured a position on the front row for the first time in his 14th DTM race. This is the 65th double pole for Mercedes-Benz since the factory began contesting the DTM in 1988, and a Mercedes-Benz driver will be on the front row for the fourth time this season.

Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) drove a time of 41.284 seconds in the third qualifying section. This was only 0.264 seconds slower than the fastest qualifying time. Green, who came second in the opening race in Hockenheim, will start from tenth on the grid.

Qualifying Part 1: Jamie Green posted the second fastest time in the first part of qualifying. Robert Wickens (stern AMG Mercedes C-Coupé / 41.584) and Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 41.587) in 17th and 18th position missed progressing into Q2 by two thousandths and five thousandths of a second respectively. David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 41.657) and Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 41.677) finished 20th and 21st. Only 0.431 seconds separated positions one and twenty-one.

Qualifying Part 2: Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 41.524) will start the third race of the season from 16th position on the grid. Again in Q2, there were only four and a half tenths of a second between P1 and P16.

Comments on qualifying:

Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Pole Position (41,266):

„Pole position is important in every race, but pole is doubly important at this track, because overtaking is so difficult. My THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Coupé ran really well and the team did a great job – qualifying was just fantastic. The race is long, almost 100 laps, and there's no chance to relax, every lap has to be perfect, without any mistakes. What's really nice is securing fastest time in qualifying before my home race. After achieving victory at the opener in Hockenheim and second place in the Lausitz, we're in with a really good chance of securing another good result tomorrow.'

Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Second (41,410):

„Qualifying went just as I had imagined. I feel really at ease at this track and I'm well placed for the race in second position. Overtaking is very difficult around this circuit and the weather is still a bit of an unknown quantity – let's just see what tomorrow brings but I have to say, I'm very pleased with today.'

Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Tenth (41,284):

„It's a shame. I had reckoned on doing better today. I try to be in contention at the end of every qualifying session, so I am obviously very disappointed with this result. I hope I can manage to push further forward during the race and take away as many points as possible.'

Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 16th (41,524):

„I am really pleased with our progress. We are improving with each qualifying session and I just hope this continues throughout the next races. My Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was very good today. It was very tight in the first qualifying session but we managed to get into the second session. I'd like to build upon this great result during the race.'

Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 17th (41,584):

„I missed going through to Q2 by only two thousandths of a second. What a pity, especially as overtaking is very difficult at Brands Hatch. I realise that I'm in for a tough race tomorrow starting from 17th position on the grid but I will do my best to achieve a decent result.'

Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 18th (41,587):

„18th on the grid is obviously a disappointing result. Unfortunately, things did not go my way today and I missed going through to Q2 by the smallest of margins, five thousandths of a second. I proved in the last couple of races that I can still finish in the points even from way down the field, but it won't be easy at this track. I'll do my level best tomorrow to improve my result.'

David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 20th (41,657):

„That was a very close qualifying session – just four and a half tenths of a second between 1st and 21st. I'm still having a few problems with the tyres and paid the price today as the field was so tightly bunched. We'll see in the race, though, what I can do from my grid position.'

Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 21st (41,677):

„It is, of course, a big disappointment to be so far down the field for the start of my home race in Brands Hatch. I had hoped to do better before qualifying got underway, but now I'll just have to make the most of my starting position. It won't be easy, but I will do everything I can to achieve a great race for all my fans.'

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

„That was no ordinary qualifying. It was a real thriller of a session, the likes of which we've never seen before, so gripping, so exciting. BMW set the pace in the second qualifying session with Martin Tomczyk, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler, then Audi and Mike Rockenfeller piled on the pressure in Q3, posting a fantastic time out on the track. But it was our turn in Q4 with Gary Paffett and Christian Vietoris. We achieved the fastest times, a double pole and front row lock-out.

Hitchcock himself might have scripted today's events since no-one could have predicted the outcome of this thriller. It is really terrific to have this result under our belt and to have set the scene for success in tomorrow's race.

Our thanks go to Gerhard Ungar and his team, to Christian and Gary – you were super cool today and that gives us the impetus to go for the maximum possible tomorrow.'

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