Moscow DTM: Paffett heads Mercedes 1-2-3-4 in wet Saturday qualifying

Mercedes locked out the first two rows of the grid for the Saturday DTM race at Moscow Raceway, as Gary Paffett took his first pole of 2016.

Moscow DTM: Paffett heads Mercedes 1-2-3-4 in wet Saturday qualifying

Paffett reigned supreme on the drying Volokolamsk track, storming to pole by more than half a second over teammate Robert Wickens.

While second practice on Saturday took place in wet conditions after heavy rainfall in the morning, the inclement weather had largely subsided in time for qualifying, although the surface remained moderately wet.

As such, the wet tyre was the preferred choice for the drivers for most of the session, inaugural Moscow Raceway DTM race winner Maxime Martin sitting atop the timesheets at halfway point with a time some 14 seconds off Friday practice pace.

His time was then bettered by Paffett, who improved to a 1m43.010s with less than five minutes to go and then to a 1m42.881s shortly thereafter.

The pace was increased dramatically in the final seconds of the session, with a number of cars gambling on slick tyres.

However, both Paffett and Wickens stuck to the wet compound and occupied the front row at the end, the Briton's pole time a 1m41.443s.

Paul di Resta and Maximilian Gotz, who both went with the slick gamble, took third and fourth - and were the final drivers within a second of Paffett.

Mattias Ekstrom was best of the rest for Audi in fifth, ahead of the lead BMW of Martin, Timo Scheider and Timo Glock.

Felix Rosenqvist was a superb ninth in his debut DTM qualifying, and will be joined on the fifth row by championship contender Jamie Green.

Green and fellow Audi title hopeful Edoardo Mortara in P12 will both get a shot at making up ground on points leader Marco Wittmann in Saturday's race, the BMW driver qualifying a subdued 20th.

Qualifying results

Pos.#DriverCarTimeGap
1 2 Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'41.443  
2 6 Robert Wickens Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'42.048 0.605
3 3 Paul di Resta Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'42.130 0.687
4 84 Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'42.164 0.721
5 5 Mattias Ekström Audi RS5 DTM 1'42.450 1.007
6 36 Maxime Martin BMW M4 DTM 1'42.506 1.063
7 10 Timo Scheider Audi RS5 DTM 1'42.631 1.188
8 16 Timo Glock BMW M4 DTM 1'42.631 1.188
9 88 Felix Rosenqvist Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'42.647 1.204
10 53 Jamie Green Audi RS5 DTM 1'42.870 1.427
11 27 Adrien Tambay Audi RS5 DTM 1'43.015 1.572
12 48 Edoardo Mortara Audi RS5 DTM 1'43.024 1.581
13 7 Bruno Spengler BMW M4 DTM 1'43.076 1.633
14 18 Augusto Farfus BMW M4 DTM 1'43.140 1.697
15 13 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW M4 DTM 1'43.472 2.029
16 17 Miguel Molina Audi RS5 DTM 1'43.500 2.057
17 51 Nico Müller Audi RS5 DTM 1'43.521 2.078
18 22 Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'43.660 2.217
19 100 Martin Tomczyk BMW M4 DTM 1'43.830 2.387
20 11 Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM 1'43.856 2.413
21 31 Tom Blomqvist BMW M4 DTM 1'43.881 2.438
22 12 Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'43.985 2.542
23 99 Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 DTM 1'44.488 3.045
24 8 Christian Vietoris Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 1'44.800 3.357

 

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