In cold autumn weather, the DTM drivers took to the new, shortened circuit in Hockenheim for the first time on Friday afternoon. The French-Canadian Bruno Spengler coped best with the new conditions and set the fastest time with 1,20.623 minutes. Team mate Gary Paffett was hot on his heels, however. He lost just 22 hundredths of a second to Spengler.
Year-old cars mix in front with
Behind them, Maro Engel proved that the year-old cars are also competitive. The elected Monegasse completed the star trio at the top, 0.118 seconds behind the fastest time. With Alexandre Prémat, the best Audi driver follows in fourth place. In the Audi of the year-old car, he was fighting for fourth place with Engel, but in the end lost the duel by eight hundredths of a second.
In fifth and sixth positions were Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) and Jamie Green (Mercedes) two more year-old drivers. Paul di Resta, who chases Spengler in the title fight, did not get past seventh place. Ralf Schumacher moved up to ninth place between the year-old car drivers Miguel Molina and David Coulthard.
Audi has to improve
Audi's only remaining title candidate Mattias Ekström had to be content with twelfth place. And the other Abt pilots didn't seem to be aiming for the best times either. Oliver Jarvis just finished eleventh, Martin Tomczyk finished 14th, Timo Scheider took 16th place. If Audi wants to have a say about the championship, it should step up a gear in second free practice on Saturday at 9.30 a.m. at the latest.