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Kaffer Fastest in Final Test

Pierre Kaffer took the Audi to the top of the overall times on a dry track at the final day of DTM testing at Spa Francorchamps

With rain in the morning it seemed that the final day was going to follow in the path of the previous two days, but after lunch the sun shone and dried the track, allowing slicks to be put onto the cars which brought times tumbling.

With the fastest man of the previous three days, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, having his programme cut short in favour of preparing for his drive this weekend in a gas cell prototype Opel Zafra at the Rallye Monte Carlo for Fuel Cell and Hybrids this weekend, the rest of the field was given an opportunity to top the times. Every single driver put in a lap faster than Frentzen managed in the morning.

"I am genuinely happy to be fastest in the DTM test," Kaffer noted afterwards. "It's a fantastic feeling. For AUDI sport and Team Joest it was the perfect conclusion to the test. I now look forward to racing, and still more to the qualifying - in qualifying trim in particularly our car is so much fun for me!"

The Opel drivers concentrated on long runs on the final day, which meant that they were never in the running for lap time honours on the day. One man who was is Gary Paffett, who ran respectably to finish fourth on the time sheets.

"Yesterday and this morning it was too wet for drying tires and too dry for rain tires", said the Briton, "but from the early afternoon the track was drying and became much quicker. We could drive constant times with the car, and are happy with the test this week."

The teams will appear in Hamburg at the public season launch on April 5 ahead of the season opener on April 17 at Hockenheim.

DTM Spa Francorchamps Test - Day Four:
Pos Driver                 Make                  Time      Laps
1. Pierre Kaffer Audi A4 DTM 2:13.689 69 2. Bruno Spengler AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:13.749 66 3. Rinaldo Capello Audi A4 DTM 2:14.086 68 4. Gary Paffett AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:14.260 80 5. Manuel Reuter Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:14.943 74 6. Christian Abt Audi A4 DTM 2:14.948 61 7. Alex Margaritis AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:15.069 57 8. Jamie Green AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:15.137 57 9. Marcel Fässler Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:15.488 61 10. Laurent Aiello Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:15.496 51 11. Mika Häkkinen AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:16.462 37 12. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:17.490 26 Best Times Overall
Pos Driver                 Make                  Time     Laps  Day
1. Pierre Kaffer Audi A4 DTM 2:13.689 15 4 2. Bruno Spengler AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:13.749 22 4 3. Rinaldo Capello Audi A4 DTM 2:14.086 13 4 4. Gary Paffett AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:14.260 11 4 5. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:14.312 13 1 6. Jamie Green AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:14.701 18 1 7. Jean Alesi AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:14.721 12 1 8. Manuel Reuter Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:14.943 21 4 9. Christian Abt Audi A4 DTM 2:14.948 13 4 10. Alex Margaritis AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:15.069 11 4 11. Stefan Mücke AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:15.148 10 1 12. Frank Stippler Audi A4 DTM 2:15.329 57 1 13. Allan McNish Audi A4 DTM 2:15.357 74 1 14. Laurent Aiello Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:15.378 15 1 15. Bernd Schneider AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:15.454 10 1 16. Marcel Fässler Opel Vectra GTS V8 2:15.488 22 4 17. Mika Häkkinen AMG-Mercedes C-Class 2:16.462 85 4 18. Tom Kristensen Audi A4 DTM 2:17.720 10 1 19. Martin Tomczyk Audi A4 DTM 2:19.371 69 1 20. Mattias Ekström Audi A4 DTM 2:30.936 61 3

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