Scheider tops final practice
|By Jamie O'Leary||Saturday, April 30th 2011, 09:10 GMT|
Timo Scheider set the pace in the final DTM practice session for this weekend's opening round of the season at Hockenheim.
The two-time series champion leapt to the top of the timesheets on his final flying lap of the 90-minute session to lead an Audi clean sweep of the top three positions.
While most drivers attempted qualifying simulations late in the session, Ralf Schumacher looked as if he would end up quickest in his HWA Mercedes, but the Audi boys had other ideas.
First Martyn Tomczyk put his older-spec Phoenix Audi at the head of the times with a 1m33.813s lap with two minutes of the session left, and then Abt driver Scheider knocked him back to second with a lap 0.186s quicker after the chequered flag had fallen.
Miguel Molina was an impressive third quickest in his older-spec Abt machine while Schumacher ended up as the quickest Mercedes driver in fourth.
Friday pace-setter Mike Rockenfeller (Abt Audi) was fifth, ahead of HWA Mercedes driver Gary Paffett and the Persson Mercedes of DTM debutant Christian Vietoris.
Fellow rookie Filipe Albuquerque (Rosberg Audi) was, along with Molina, consistently the quickest driver in the middle sector as the championship's new Hankook rubber appeared to remain in peak condition for a lap and a half in qualifying trim.
Abt driver Oliver Jarvis lost a good deal of track time after understeering off and into the tyre barrier at the Sachs Kurve midway through the session, but at least he fared better than Bruno Spengler.
The Canadian failed to complete a single flying due to a problem with his HWA Mercedes. Early in the session, the front end of his car was bouncing around excessively under braking for the Spitzkehre, leading to him spending long periods in the pits.
The HWA mechanics could be seen investigating first the front bodywork, and then the internals, but were unable to cure the problem before the end of the session.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m33.627s 2. Martin Tomczyk Phoenix Audi 1m33.813s + 0.186s 3. Miguel Molina Abt Audi 1m33.922s + 0.295s 4. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 1m34.001s + 0.374s 5. Mike Rockenfeller Abt Audi 1m34.036s + 0.409s 6. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m34.178s + 0.551s 7. Christian Vietoris Persson Mercedes 1m34.188s + 0.561s 8. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m34.236s + 0.609s 9. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m34.303s + 0.676s 10. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 1m34.466s + 0.839s 11. Maro Engel Mucke Mercedes 1m34.529s + 0.902s 12. Renger van der Zande Persson Mercedes 1m34.564s + 0.937s 13. Oliver Jarvis Abt Audi 1m34.668s + 1.041s 14. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m34.915s + 1.288s 15. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 1m34.933s + 1.306s 16. Susie Stoddart Persson Mercedes 1m34.950s + 1.323s 17. Rahel Frey Phoenix Audi 1m35.151s + 1.524s 18. Bruno Spengler HWA Mercedes