Hockenheim DTM: Bruno Spengler dominates first practice
|By Jamie O'Leary||Friday, October 19th 2012, 14:00 GMT|
Bruno Spengler topped the opening free practice session for the DTM finale at Hockenheim on Friday while championship leader Gary Paffett was back in 16th.
Schnitzer BMW driver Spengler's best lap of 1m34.971s came late in the 90-minute session, and left him a huge 0.805 seconds clear of the similar RMG-run M3 of Martin Tomczyk.
In an unusually spread-out session, only the Audis of Phoenix driver Mike Rockenfeller and Abt's Mattias Ekstrom, and Augusto Farfus's RBM BMW lapped within a second of Spengler's marker.
Audis and BMWs made up the remainder of the top 10 with Filipe Albuquerque, Miguel Molina and Andy Priaulx ahead of Edoardo Mortara and Timo Scheider.
Mercedes drivers did not feature near the front during Friday's running. Paffett - who leads Spengler by only three points in the standings - was 16th and 1.7s off the pace.
Paffett's HWA team-mate Jamie Green, who trails his countryman by 18 points with just Sunday's race remaining, was a spot further back in 17th.
The session featured only a few minor incidents. Adrien Tambay was launched into the air after 30 minutes; the Frenchman running too wide out while exiting the Mercedes Arena and hitting a 'sausage kerb' hard in his Abt Audi.
Tambay later slid off at the Spitzkehre without hitting anything while Mercedes drivers Ralf Schumacher and Robert Wickens both outbraked themselves at the Sachs Kurve and put two wheels just off the circuit mid-corner.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1m34.971s 2. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 1m35.776s + 0.805s 3. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m35.785s + 0.814s 4. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m35.892s + 0.921s 5. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 1m35.967s + 0.996s 6. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 1m35.993s + 1.022s 7. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m36.039s + 1.068s 8. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 1m36.117s + 1.146s 9. Andy Priaulx RBM BMW 1m36.157s + 1.186s 10. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m36.239s + 1.268s 11. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m36.284s + 1.313s 12. Joey Hand RMG BMW 1m36.350s + 1.379s 13. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 1m36.356s + 1.385s 14. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1m36.367s + 1.396s 15. Robert Wickens Mucke Mercedes 1m36.627s + 1.656s 16. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m36.649s + 1.678s 17. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 1m36.667s + 1.696s 18. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 1m36.713s + 1.742s 19. Rahel Frey Abt Audi 1m36.720s + 1.749s 20. Roberto Merhi Persson Mercedes 1m36.748s + 1.777s 21. Susie Wolff Persson Mercedes 1m36.912s + 1.941s 22. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 1m36.957s + 1.986s