Final DTM weekend kicks off in mixed conditions During the first test of the 2006 season's final DTM weekend, held at the Hockenheimring Baden-WÃ¼rttemberg, the 20 Audi and Mercedes-Benz drivers had to cope with mixed track conditions. Prior to...
Final DTM weekend kicks off in mixed conditions
During the first test of the 2006 season's final DTM weekend, held at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the 20 Audi and Mercedes-Benz drivers had to cope with mixed track conditions. Prior to the 85-minute session, the circuit had been hit by a rain shower and the track dried only partially, over the course of the session. AMG-Mercedes C-Class driver Mika Häkkinen turned out to be the one who succeeded in coping best with these conditions.
On his fastest lap, the two-time Formula 1 World Champion lapped the 4.574-kilometre circuit in 1:48.955 minutes, with Bernd Schneider finishing second, 0.035 seconds behind the Finn. Third position on the time sheets was secured by the quickest Audi driver, Christian Abt. Yet, with his 2005-spec Audi A4 DTM, the German was more than six tenths of a second slower than Häkkinen.
Tom Kristensen finished fourth, behind Abt. The Dane, who is going to battle it with Bruno Spengler for the runner-up position in the championship, completed a total of 22 laps and set a personal fastest lap time of 1:49.715 minutes, while Spengler finished eleventh, 1.529 seconds behind his Mercedes-Benz brand-mate Häkkinen. In the drivers' championship, Spengler (53 points) holds second position, three points ahead of Kristensen (50).
Jamie Green, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Mattias Ekström came fifth, sixth and seventh respectively, with two other 2005-spec car drivers also making it to the top ten: Timo Scheider finished eighth and Alexandros Margaritis secured tenth position, while Martin Tomczyk set the ninth fastest time. Thed Björk, who made a great DTM debut at Le Mans, succeeded in impressing again: as the fastest of the 2004-spec Audi drivers, he finished twelfth.
Following an off-track moment of Audi's Frank Stippler, the session had to be red-flagged for eight minutes. When the German went off, the front of his car was massively damaged, thus preventing him from continuing his practice work. But when the car was salvaged and the track cleaned, the session could be continued.
Spengler sets fastest time of the day in second test
In the second DTM test, the autumn showed itself from its sunny side. In the morning, conditions were still changing, but it became friendlier later on. With temperatures ranging around 20 degrees, the track already dried off after a few minutes.
The times from the morning session didn't say very much, but Bruno Spengler set the fastest lap of the afternoon session and the fastest time of the day with his AMG-Mercedes C-Class, lapping the track within 1.34.992 minutes. With his Audi A4 DTM, Mattias Ekström closely followed the three times' race winner. In his fastest lap, the Swede was 0.188 seconds down on Spengler's best time. Mika Häkkinen, who had been fastest in the morning, was now third.
85 minutes - no particular incidents and business as usual: the second heat went as planned, drivers and teams completed their test programmes and did long-runs. Martin Tomczyk in fourth and Pierre Kaffer in fifth place were faster than the new DTM champion Bernd Schneider, who was sixth. Audi-driver Kaffer was also the fastest with year-old machinery with his 2005-spec Audi A4 DTM. The top 10 was completed by Jean Alesi in seventh, Stefan Mücke in eighth, Heinz-Harald Frentzen in ninth and Timo Scheider in tenth place.
After his accident early in the first test, Frank Stippler could join the action again in test 2. His Rosberg-team got his car in order again in time. He set a personal fastest lap time of 1.35.930 minutes.
Thed Björk was quick once more: in 15th place, the Swede was again the best-placed driver with a 2004-car. The battle of the DTM ladies was won by Susie Stoddart (18th place). On her fastest lap (1.36.812 minutes), the Scottish lady racer was 0.652 seconds faster than Vanina Ickx, who ranked in 20th position.