Ralf Schumacher fastest in second DTM practice at Brands Hatch
|By Jamie O'Leary||Saturday, September 3rd 2011, 09:46 GMT|
Ralf Schumacher set the pace in an ultra-close final DTM practice session at Brands Hatch.
The German, who completed 40 laps during the session, hit the front at the one-hour mark with a lap in 42.185s, but was gradually knocked back to sixth as his HWA Mercedes team-mates took the top spot away from each other on successive laps.
However, the multiple grand prix winner still had something left in reserve and lapped in 41.948s with three minutes remaining, which was enough to put him on top for good.
Mercedes drivers had a small, but decisive edge in the session with Britain's Gary Paffett and Jamie Green both spending time on top and eventually coming second and third, just 0.009 and 0.013s adrift of their fellow HWA driver's benchmark time.
Mike Rockenfeller was the best-placed of the Audi drivers, the Abt man fourth with Filipe Albuquerque right behind him - and less than 0.1s off the pace - in his older-spec Rosberg A4.
Phoenix driver Martin Tomczyk - Audi's best-placed driver in the championship - was shuffled back from second to sixth in the dying minutes with series leader Bruno Spengler's HWA machine next up.
Spengler nearly made contact with his team-mate Green in the pitlane early on; the HWA team releasing him out of his garage and into the 'fast' lane just as Green was passing by. The latter had to slam on his brakes to avoid a collision.
Christian Vietoris' Persson Mercedes and the Abt Audis of Friday pace-setter Miguel Molina and Timo Scheider completed the top 10. Scheider survived a late trip through the gravel at Paddock and recovered to the circuit with only minimal damage to his car.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 41.948s 2. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 41.957s + 0.009s 3. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 41.961s + 0.013s 4. Mike Rockenfeller Abt Audi 41.963s + 0.015s 5. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 42.034s + 0.086s 6. Martin Tomczyk Phoenix Audi 42.085s + 0.137s 7. Bruno Spengler HWA Mercedes 42.091s + 0.143s 8. Christian Vietoris Persson Mercedes 42.111s + 0.163s 9. Miguel Molina Abt Audi 42.123s + 0.175s 10. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 42.143s + 0.195s 11. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 42.157s + 0.209s 12. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 42.185s + 0.237s 13. Maro Engel Mucke Mercedes 42.231s + 0.283s 14. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 42.236s + 0.288s 15. Oliver Jarvis Abt Audi 42.253s + 0.305s 16. Renger van der Zande Persson Mercedes 42.331s + 0.383s 17. Rahel Frey Phoenix Audi 42.494s + 0.546s 18. Susie Stoddart Persson Mercedes 42.649s + 0.701s