DTM

Oschersleben: Friday practices report

Morning A double lead for Audi with Ekström and Luhr In the first DTM test in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Audi ace Mattias Ekström continued where he stopped after the DTM season opener at Hockenheim: the 2004 DTM champion came out...

Morning A double lead for Audi with Ekström and Luhr

In the first DTM test in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Audi ace Mattias Ekström continued where he stopped after the DTM season opener at Hockenheim: the 2004 DTM champion came out first in the first 90 minutes' test on Friday morning. The Swede lapped the new redesigned track near Magdeburg, that now has a length of 3.696 kilometres, in 1:23,593 minutes.

Second place behind Ekström was occupied by fellow Audi-driver, Lucas Luhr. On his fastest lap, the Audi rookie was only 0.029 seconds down on the Swede. Fastest driver with an AMG Mercedes C-Class was Bruno Spengler in third place. The Canadian came 0.062 seconds short on Ekström's fastest time.

Adam Carroll of the Futurecom TME team had a good start into his second DTM weekend. With the 2005-spec Audi A4 DTM, the rookie was fourth behind Ekström, Luhr and Spengler, almost one tenth of a second down. "That was a really good start and a good session," said Carroll. "We still have quite some work to do, but I am optimistic."

Mike Rockenfeller also has reason to be optimistic after finishing fifth behind Carroll with a lap time of 1:23.753 minutes. "We already tested at Oschersleben three weeks ago and still have to sort out a few minor things", Rockenfeller said and explained: "We didn't want to do too many laps in order to save our tyres. We will do a long run this afternoon."

Paul di Resta started quite late. A throttle problem kept the Scot stuck in the pit box for quite a long time. He only managed seven laps to finish 15th. This made Di Resta quicker than the two Audi stand-ins Marco Werner and Frank Biela. Werner did 37 laps, the quickest one in 1:24.653 minutes. Biela came 1.455 seconds shot of the fastest time and was last.

Afternoon Ekström also fastest in the afternoon

Mattias Ekström didn't give in during the swecond DTM test at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. After Mika Häkkinen had been on top of the time sheets for a long time in the Friday afternoon session with his AMG Mercedes C-Class, the Swede once again got back onto the track with a few minutes to go and set a fastest lap time of 1:23.417 minutes, a margin of 0.223 seconds over Häkkinen. Once again, Adam Carroll from the Futurecom team was quick. The Brit claimed third place with his 2005-spec Audi A4 DTM, onle three tenths of a second slower than Ekström with the curent car.

Behind Carroll, Audi drivers, Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider completed the top five. Second-fastest Mercedes driver in the afternoon was Bernd Schneider in sixth. Behind the reigning champion, there were five more Mercedes drivers from seventh to eleventh place with Daniel La Rosa, Bruno Spengler, Mathias Lauda, Jamie Green and Gary Paffett.

Susie Stoddart and Frank Biela were sidelined early on Friday afternoon. For Stoddart, the session was over after an excursion into the gravel trap at the Hotel corner, from which she couldn't get out on her own. Frank Biela had to park his Audi A4 DTM in the pits after twelve laps due to an oil leak.

"Getting some more mileage would have been nice", the 1991 DTM champion said. "Too bad, but we will see again tomorrow morning." Although he ended up only 19th, the resident of Monaco was positive about the new A4: "The current Audi is much more pleasant to drive than the car I drove in 2004." And with a smile, he added: "Every time I am on the asphalt, it is going well..."

The Persson crew did a quick service job: after Paul di Resta already had to cope with steering problems in the first session, his mechanics had to change the steering system in the second test. With ten minutes to go, the Scot finally hit the track for an installation lap. In the end, he managed to do 13 laps, enough for 15th place.

-credit: dtm

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Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Frank Biela , Martin Tomczyk , Timo Scheider , Mattias Ekström , Marco Werner , Bruno Spengler , Adam Carroll , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Mike Rockenfeller , Mathias Lauda , Jamie Green