Oliver Jarvis spared Audi's embarrassment over its works outfit's poor teamwork (see separate story)
at Zandvoort as he became the first driver to take pole position for a DTM race this year in an year-old car on Saturday afternoon.
Jarvis bettered former champion Gary Paffett's benchmark by half a second in the four-way pole position shootout, to secure pole for Audi on a day that its top drivers will want to forget.
Paffett, who admitted he was slightly surprised to be so high up, will join Jarvis on an all-British driver front row, while Bruno Spengler took third ahead of Mike Rockenfeller in another 2008 Audi.
Zandvoort has traditionally been a circuit that suits the Audis more than the Mercedes, as the manufacturer has locked up the top four places in the race for the past two years. But the highest-placed 2009-spec A4 on the grid for this year's race is Martin Tomczyk in eighth place.
His Abt Sportsline teammates (Mattias Ekstrom, Timo Scheider and Tom Kristensen) all failed to get past the second segment of qualifying, leading reigning champion Scheider to brand the session "a catastrophe."
Scheider had a scare in the pits as well, as he collided with Katherine Legge as the Briton came in to change tires just as the German was leaving his pit bay.
There were collisions between Mercedes drivers as well in the first part of qualifying -- with Mathias Lauda bashing into the side of Ralf Schumacher (who qualified last in the 19-car field) after the German had hindered his lap at the first corner.TIMES:
Pos Driver Car Time
1. Oliver Jarvis Audi 1m31.966s
2. Gary Paffett Mercedes 1m32.548s
3. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1m32.715s
4. Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1m33.394s
5. Paul di Resta Mercedes 1m31.751s
6. Alexandre Premat Audi 1m31.752s
7. Jamie Green Mercedes 1m31.836s
8. Martin Tomczyk Audi 1m31.876s
9. Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1m31.511s
10. Tom Kristensen Audi 1m31.652s
11. Timo Scheider Audi 1m31.731s
12. Markus Winkelhock Audi 1m31.958s
13. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 1m32.189s
14. Katherine Legge Audi 1m32.944s
15. Maro Engel Mercedes 1m32.928s
16. Tomas Kostka Audi 1m32.970s
17. Christian Bakkerud Audi 1m33.297s
18. Mathias Lauda Mercedes 1m33.453s
19. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 1m34.087s