DTM Lausitzring: Mercedes returnee Wehrlein leads opening practice

Ex-Manor and Sauber Formula 1 driver Pascal Wehrlein continued his strong return to the DTM by topping the first practice session of the weekend at the Lausitzring in his Mercedes

The 23-year-old, who was DTM champion in 2015, set a fastest time of 1m39.344s to head a top 10 dominated by Mercedes in what remained a dry session.

The track, situated in the north east of Germany, near Dresden and the Polish border, was unaffected overnight by a tornado that had ripped through the western part of the country.

Audi has been worse-affected by off-season rule changes that mandated more spec-parts and reduced downforce, but had cause for optimism in FP1 as 2013 champion Mike Rockenfeller took second in the session.

Rockenfeller's time was 0.325 seconds adrift of Wehrlein's effort, as the top five remained largely unchanged after the early runs in the first half of the session.

Spaniard Daniel Juncadella did jump into fourth late on, behind Mercedes' Edoardo Mortara.

Nico Muller rounded out the top five in his Audi, while last year's Lausitzring race two winner Jamie Green made it three Audis in the top six with a late lap.

Series newcomer Philipp Eng was the top BMW in seventh, but only one of his stablemates - double DTM champion Marco Wittmann - joined him in the top 10. The 2014 and '16 champion visited the gravel on the exit of Turn 7.

Sandwiched between Eng and Wittmann was ex-F1 driver Paul di Resta in eighth.

Lucas Auer, a winner at this event last year, completed the top 10 for Mercedes ahead of Hockenheim race one winner Garry Paffett.

Reigning champion Rene Rast could only manage 16th out of 18 cars, with Audi counterpart Loic Duval propping up the leaderboard.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Pascal Wehrlein HWA Mercedes 1m39.344s - 16
2 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m39.669s 0.325s 19
3 Edoardo Mortara HWA Mercedes 1m39.896s 0.552s 19
4 Daniel Juncadella HWA Mercedes 1m39.993s 0.649s 16
5 Nico Muller Abt Audi 1m39.997s 0.653s 16
6 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 1m40.064s 0.720s 17
7 Philipp Eng RMR BMW 1m40.076s 0.732s 18
8 Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes 1m40.085s 0.741s 20
9 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 1m40.101s 0.757s 19
10 Lucas Auer HWA Mercedes 1m40.123s 0.779s 19
11 Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m40.190s 0.846s 20
12 Augusto Farfus RMG BMW 1m40.409s 1.065s 17
13 Robin Frijns Abt Audi 1m40.420s 1.076s 15
14 Timo Glock RMR BMW 1m40.497s 1.153s 18
15 Joel Eriksson RBM BMW 1m40.702s 1.358s 15
16 Rene Rast Rosberg Audi 1m40.841s 1.497s 17
17 Bruno Spengler RBM BMW 1m40.984s 1.640s 19
18 Loic Duval Phoenix Audi 1m41.271s 1.927s 16

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