Paul di Resta repeated his 2009 Brands Hatch pole position in today's DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) qualifying, leading a Merceds lock-out of the front row of the grid.
"I made a mistake, but I was still fast enough for pole which is super," said di Resta of his qualifying shootout lap.
Di Resta beat out teammate and championship leader Bruno Spengler by just 0.052 seconds on his home track to take his second pole of the year, and the fourth of his career.
The 24-year-old Scot has been dominant on track all day, setting the fastest time in the morning practice, and then in every one of the four qualifying segments.
Spengler, for his part, is no fan of Brands Hatch, but the Canadian is very much at one with his C-Class even at this track. Third in morning practice, he was also third in two of the first three qualifying segments, and then slipped past 2008-2009 DTM champion Timo Scheider in the final segment.
"It is particularly important for me to qualify at the front," said Spengler. "I don't like this circuit so much and overtaking is not easy here."
Scheider, the lone Audi driver in the top five positions on the grid was well back of Spengler -- at least by DTM standards -- with a gap of 0.183 seconds. The German veteran feels good about his pace, but the challenge of overtaking on the Brands Hatch circuit remains.
"We are not giving up that easily," he mused. "Even though overtaking will be difficult here tomorrow, I will try. Making it into the first two grid rows was our goal and that is where we are."
Ralf Schumacher, who scored his first DTM pole position earlier this year at Norisring, was satisfied to make it into the top four, even if he didn't quite find the pace to beat Scheider. Now the challenge for the former F1 pilot is to finish well into the points so as to start moving up in the championship point standings.
Gary Paffett, second in the championship, couldn't quite muster the pace in the third qualifying segment to make it into the final-four shootout, and will start fifth, next to Audi's Mattias Ekstrom, who is the top Audi driver in the points standings.
Oliver Jarvis and Miguel Molina will occupy the fourth row of the grid, both in Audi A4s, while Jamie Green (Mercedes) and Martin Tomczyk (Audi) will start ninth and tenth, respectively.
Last year di Resta went on to convert his Brands Hatch pole position into a victory, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way as well. He's looking strong for a repeat performance tomorrow, but Spengler will be a threat as well. And Scheider's Audi will start behind the two, and will surely keep the two leading Mercedes drivers on their toes.