Rockenfeller tops Hockenheim practice
|By Jamie O'Leary||Friday, April 29th 2011, 15:05 GMT|
Mike Rockenfeller topped the opening free practice session of the DTM season at Hockenheim, leading a 1-2-3 result for the Abt Audi squad.
Rockenfeller, who has been promoted to a current-spec A4 by Audi for 2011, set the benchmark time of 1m35.085s in the final minute of the session, beating his team-mates Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekstrom by just under half a second.
After the circuit had bathed in sunshine all day, a heavy rainstorm hit just as the 90-minute session got underway, covering the track in water and bringing out an early red flag.
The weather improved quickly, however, and after the brief stoppage, the cars filtered onto the still damp circuit to begin their programmes for the day.
It was not until the final 10 minutes of the session that the timesheets began to take on a representative shape. Bruno Spengler went quickest with 10 minutes to go in 1m35.804s in his HWA Mercedes.
But in the closing minutes the Audis came to the fore with first Scheider going top in 1m35.574s, and then his Abt team-mate Mattias Ekstrom leaping up to second shortly after. Rockenfeller then demoted the pair with his late effort.
Christian Vietoris was the best of the Mercedes drivers in his 2008-spec car run by Persson Motorsport in fourth, while fellow DTM debutant Edoardo Mortara was next up in his older-spec Rosberg Audi.
Ralf Schumacher was the best of the HWA Mercedes drivers in 2009 machinery. He was sixth, ahead of his team-mates Spengler and Gary Paffett, Miguel Molina's older-spec Abt Audi and Mortara's team-mate Filipe Albuquerque.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Mike Rockenfeller Abt Audi 1m35.085s
2. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m35.529s + 0.444s
3. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m35.697s + 0.612s
4. Christian Vietoris Persson Mercedes 1m35.702s + 0.617s
5. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m35.732s + 0.647s
6. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 1m35.761s + 0.676s
7. Bruno Spengler HWA Mercedes 1m35.804s + 0.719s
8. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m35.831s + 0.746s
9. Miguel Molina Abt Audi 1m35.926s + 0.841s
10. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m36.000s + 0.915s
11. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 1m36.049s + 0.964s
12. Martin Tomczyk Phoenix Audi 1m36.120s + 1.035s
13. Maro Engel Mucke Mercedes 1m36.272s + 1.187s
14. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 1m36.437s + 1.352s
15. Renger van der Zande Persson Mercedes 1m36.474s + 1.389s
16. Oliver Jarvis Abt Audi 1m36.511s + 1.426s
17. Susie Stoddart Persson Mercedes 1m36.976s + 1.891s
18. Rahel Frey Phoenix Audi 1m38.152s + 3.067s