DTM

Brands Hatch: Friday practices report

Kaffer fastest in first test The DTM drivers have completed the first one of two tests of 90 minutes each. Fastest in the session was Pierre Kaffer with the Castrol Audi A4 DTM from the previous year. With 43.623 seconds, Kaffer set the fastest...

Kaffer fastest in first test

The DTM drivers have completed the first one of two tests of 90 minutes each. Fastest in the session was Pierre Kaffer with the Castrol Audi A4 DTM from the previous year. With 43.623 seconds, Kaffer set the fastest time from his fellow-Audi-driver Tom Kristensen. The leader in the drivers' championship standings was 0.096 seconds behind Kaffer. With 43.738 seconds, local hero Jamie Green was third with the Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class.

In summerly conditions with temperatures around 25 degrees, the drivers still remained well over the current fastest time from pre-season testing. In March, Kristensen set the fastest time of the four-day session with 41.587 seconds.

Jeroen Bleekemolen put in a good performance upon his return into the DTM. With the 2004-spec Audi A4 DTM, the Dutchman immediately outpaced Mathias Lauda and Vanina Ickx and finished the test in 18th place. Susie Stoddart was even faster: the Scottish lady racer lapped the 1.973 kilometres long track in 44.108 seconds and ranked in 15th place.

Test 2: Experience and routine are paying off

As the second test session came to an end, the DTM stalwarts restored the order, at least from their point of view. Tom Kristensen set the fastest lap time of 43.159 seconds, Bernd Schneider ranked second after 90 minutes, 0.182 seconds down. Plenty of DTM experience also in the following positions: Mattias Ekström, Mika Häkkinen, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jean Alesi.

It was close at Brands Hatch in summery temperatures of about 30 degrees. At the end of the session, 19 drivers were within one second. Only Vanina Ickx was slightly slower in 20th place, 1.238 seconds down. Corresponding with the short length of the track, the number of laps completed was higher than at any other DTM event. The most prolific driver was Mika Hakkinen, who drove 78 laps with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class.

In the second test, DTM returnee Jeroen Bleekemolen came well to the fore. As of Brands Hatch, he takes over the cockpit of the Futurecom Audi A4, previously occupied by Oliier Tielemans. At the 1.973 kilometres long Indy circuit, the Dutchman completed 49 laps and eventually occupied 15th place, 0.574 seconds down.

-dtm-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Vanina Ickx , Bernd Schneider , Mattias Ekström , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Pierre Kaffer , Jamie Green