After the retirement from DTM of Susie Wolff and David Coulthard, there are now three british drivers, Gary Paffett, Andy Priaulx and Jamie Green at Mercedes, BMW and Audi respectively. Also with the deparature of Rahel Frey, there are now no Female racers in the championship.
Brands Hatch is the second round of the season, following Hockenheim where Augusto Farfus won for BMW after starting second.
The three British drivers all entered the weekend with high hopes of succeeding but Qualifying was their first hurdle to achieving home success.
There are four sessions in DTM Qualifying with cars eliminated in each right down to the fourth and final session where four cars shootout for pole.
Jamie Green suffered an early blow when he wasn’t quick enough to go through after the first session, leaving him down in 18th spot, not right at the back but far from where Green would have liked to be.
In the end no British drivers made it through to the fourth session with the highest placed Brit being Andy Priaulx in 8th. Garry Paffett was the highest placed Mercedes but this still left him down in 12th. The driver who is originally from Kent, was mystified at his lack of pace;
“It is very strange. The car handled well, the balance was right, but the time wasn’t. We have to say: today, we were lacking speed. I do not expect to win on Sunday, but I will try at least to score some points,”
In the end after a tense shootout it was Martin Tomczyk who took pole in his BMW from Mike Rockenfeller’s Audi. Augusto Farfus was third in another BMW with US driver Joey Hand next up in fourth. Of the drivers that didn’t make the shoot out Bruno Spengler was the next best. Timo Schneider was the next best Audi in sixth with Early session pacesetter Marco Wittman in seventh, The previously mentioned Priaulx was eighth with Edorado Mortara and Miguel Molina rounding out the top ten in their Audi’s. BMW’s Rookie from F1, Timo Glock managed 11th just outside the top ten,
Martin Tomczyk was very happy with his pole and how the session had progressed;
“For us, it went well from the very beginning. I am incredibly lucky and I am really looking forward to the race. Qualifying was very close, it is about hundredths of a second here. A funny thing is that the three fastest drivers from qualifying will be flying to the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring after our race here tomorrow to have another good race there, too,”
It’s worth noting this season that the DTM is using F1 inspired option tyres and DRS. LED lights in the windscreen and left side windows indicate which driver is using them.
Tomorrow’s race gets underway from 12:30pm and if a British driver is to triumph this year, he’ll need to take full advantage of the option tyres and DRS as he fights his way from further down the grid. Priaulx realistically has the best shot but he has lots of indentical BMW’s ahead of him which wil be tough to pass. You can find out how him, Paffett and Green get on tomorrow. By Marc Waller
Martin Tomczyk wasn’t able to celebrate his maiden pole position for BMW for too long. After his fastest time in qualifying for the second DTM season round at Brands Hatch, it was found in scrutineering of his car that the 2011 champion’s BMW M3 DTM was underweight. As a result, the stewards of the meeting excluded the 31-year old from qualifying, but he is allowed to start the race on Sunday (12.30 hrs local time/13.30 hrs CET) from last place on the grid.