Martin Tomczyk leads Brands Hatch DTM practice for BMW
|By Jamie O'Leary||Friday, May 18th 2012, 14:33 GMT|
Martin Tomczyk set the pace for BMW in the opening free practice session for the Brands Hatch DTM round on Friday.
The defending champion sat at or near the top of the timesheets throughout the 90 minutes of track time, and lapped the 1.2-mile Indy circuit in less than 42.5 seconds on a number of occasions.
The Team RMG driver eventually got his time down to a 42.415s lap in his M3, which was enough to end the session 0.077s ahead of championship leader Gary Paffett.
Paffett had the most significant moment of the session as he ran straight on at the entrance to Surtees just after the midway point. The British driver's HWA Mercedes slowed to a crawl on the moist grass and cut out the entire final corner before taking to the pitlane to have the greenery removed.
Paffett had been outside the top 10 at that point, but climbed to second with his final lap of the session.
His lap demoted his team-mate Christian Vietoris to third, the German having been fastest in the first half of the session in 42.495s and then failing to improve later on as the threat of rain hung over the circuit.
Robert Wickens and Roberto Merhi were other Mercedes men to set quick late laps for the Mucke and Persson teams respectively, elevating the pair to fifth and sixth, ahead of Augusto Farfus' RBM BMW.
Mattias Ekstrom was the best of the Audi drivers in eighth for the Abt team while HWA duo Ralf Schumacher and Jamie Green completed the top 10.
Grand prix winner David Coulthard was 16th quickest for Mucke, one place ahead of Andy Priaulx's RBM BMW and three ahead of Susie Wolff's Persson Mercedes.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 42.415s 2. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 42.492s + 0.077s 3. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 42.495s + 0.080s 4. Robert Wickens Mucke Mercedes 42.497s + 0.082s 5. Roberto Merhi Persson Mercedes 42.503s + 0.088s 6. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 42.510s + 0.095s 7. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 42.517s + 0.102s 8. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 42.597s + 0.182s 9. Ralf Schumacher HWA Mercedes 42.632s + 0.217s 10. Jamie Green HWA Mercedes 42.669s + 0.254s 11. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 42.687s + 0.272s 12. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 42.708s + 0.293s 13. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 42.744s + 0.329s 14. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 42.774s + 0.359s 15. Joey Hand RMG BMW 42.804s + 0.389s 16. David Coulthard Mucke Mercedes 42.832s + 0.417s 17. Andy Priaulx RBM BMW 42.841s + 0.426s 18. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 42.844s + 0.429s 19. Susie Wolff Persson Mercedes 42.876s + 0.461s 20. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 42.877s + 0.462s 21. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 42.970s + 0.555s 22. Rahel Frey Abt Audi 43.201s + 0.786s