Augusto Farfus took his second Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters pole position in qualifying at the Hockenheimring, as title contenders Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler qualified second and third on the grid.
Mercedes-Benz’s title contender Gary Paffett had been the fastest driver in both Q1 and Q2, before Farfus took the best time in Q3. As the drivers did their individual laps in Q4 it appeared neck-and-neck between the Brit and the Brazilian. However a slight mistake by Paffett on his sole Q4 lap was enough to allow Farfus the advantage and to take his second career pole in the German series.
Crucially, Paffett’s closest contender in the fight for the title, Bruno Spengler, qualified third fastest. The Canadian is three points behind Paffett in the championship and therefore needs to beat his rival in Sunday’s race by at least two positions or finish inside the top two.
Mattias Ekström was the top Audi driver in fourth, continuing the Swede’s strong Hockenheim pace.
A shock fifth on the grid went to American Joey Hand, who produced his strongest performance of the year in his RMG-run BMW. Hand will share the third row of the grid with his team-mate Martin Tomczyk.
Dirk Werner qualified in seventh, with the German driver having qualified insdie the top ten at each of the last five events. He will be joined by fellow German Timo Scheider on the fourth row of the grid.
Edoardo Mortara was ninth, whilst Jamie Green qualified in tenth. Green still has an outside shot at the title, but must finish in the top two and hope that problems befall Paffett and Spengler in order to take the title.
Filipe Albuquerque and Mike Rockenfeller qualified in 11th and 12th for Audi, ahead of Mercedes’ Christian Vietoris in 13th and Andy Priaulx in 14th. Priaulx was the only BMW driver not to make the top ten.
The two drivers making their final appearance in the DTM this weekend, David Coulthard and Susie Wolff, make up the final row of the grid.
The final DTM race of 2012 takes place at 14:03 Berlin time on Sunday and is broadcast live on ARD1.