Audi launch rearguard action

With their reigning Champion Mattias Ekstrom needing to win on Sunday to have any chance of retaining his title, Audi stepped up their efforts in free practice at the Hockenheim season-finale on Saturday morning

Audi launch rearguard action

Seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen lapped the German circuit in his Audi A4 in 1:34.636, just over a tenth quicker than Ekstrom. Martin Tomczyk made it an Audi 1-2-3, with Heinz-Harald Frentzen fourth in the leading Opel.

Christian Abt and Frank Stippler proved that the year-old Audis could play a role, by setting the fifth and sixth quickest times.

The leading Mercedes was that of Mika Hakkinen, who was only seventh fastest.

Ekstrom needs to win on Sunday with series leader Gary Paffett outside the points. Paffett was only 11th fastest on Saturday, but is refusing to panic ahead of qualifying.

Pos Driver Make Time Laps 1. Tom Kristensen Audi A4 DTM 1:34.636 21 2. Mattias Ekstrom Audi A4 DTM 1:34.785 + 0.149 18 3. Martin Tomczyk Audi A4 DTM 1:34.843 + 0.207 14 4. H.H. Frentzen Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:34.950 + 0.314 16 5. Christian Abt Audi A4 DTM 1:35.056 + 0.420 12 6. Frank Stippler Audi A4 DTM 1:35.069 + 0.433 18 7. Mika Hakkinen AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:35.111 + 0.475 16 8. Bruno Spengler AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:35.190 + 0.554 18 9. Laurent Aiello Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:35.311 + 0.675 13 10. Manuel Reuter Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:35.326 + 0.690 21 11. Gary Paffett AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:35.389 + 0.753 13 12. Pierre Kaffer Audi A4 DTM 1:35.467 + 0.831 19 13. Rinaldo Capello Audi A4 DTM 1:35.477 + 0.841 20 14. Jean Alesi AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:35.502 + 0.866 16 15. A. Margaritis AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:35.592 + 0.956 20 16. Marcel Fassler Opel Vectra GTS V8 1:35.798 + 1.162 14 17. Allan McNish Audi A4 DTM 1:35.809 + 1.173 14 18. Stefan Mucke AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:35.902 + 1.266 23 19. Jamie Green AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:35.994 + 1.358 6 20. Bernd Schneider AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse 1:36.112 + 1.476 14 
shares
comments
Paffett: Title to be Career Climax
Previous article

Paffett: Title to be Career Climax

Next article

Ekstrom misses vital Super Pole

Ekstrom misses vital Super Pole
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020