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DTM NEWS 

Martin Tomczyk leads Brands Hatch DTM practice for BMW

Martin Tomczyk (GER)  BMW M3 DTM, BMW Team RMG), 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
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