Spielberg DTM: Joey Hand fastest for BMW in practice

Joey Hand set the pace for BMW in free practice for this weekend's DTM round at Spielberg on Saturday morning

Spielberg DTM: Joey Hand fastest for BMW in practice

The American, who took the best result of his DTM career with fifth place last time out at Brands Hatch, went to the top of the timesheets for RBM with just seconds of the 90-minute session remaining, knocking Filipe Albuquerque off the top spot.

Hand's lap of 1m25.467 was 0.225 seconds faster than championship leader Mike Rockenfeller's best, as the Phoenix Audi driver knocked Albuquerque's Team Rosberg RS5 down to third by the chequered flag.

The season's star rookie, Marco Wittmann, was fourth in his MTEK BMW with Edoardo Mortara completing a good session for Team Rosberg in fifth, despite being launched a long way into the air after clobbering a 'sausage' kerb at Turn 1 late on.

Abt Audi team-mates Adrien Tambay and Jamie Green were next up with the BMWs of Timo Glock (MTEK), champion Bruno Spengler (Schnitzer) and Martin Tomczyk (RMG) completing the top 10.

The best of the Mercedes drivers was Daniel Juncadella in 15th, this despite the RSC Mucke driver taking a trip through the gravel after locking his rear to prevent a spin exiting Turn 5.

His team-mate Pascal Wehrlein finished the session watching from the side of the track after his C-Coupe ground to a halt at the same point on the track with a few minutes remaining.

Andy Priaulx was another to go through the gravel; the RMG BMW man repeating Juncadella's earlier excursion.

There was nearly a nasty accident early on when Christian Vietoris pulled out from behind Green to pass the Briton approaching Turn 2.

Vietoris failed to realise that his HWA Mercedes team-mate Roberto Merhi had slowed on the inside to let both by and had to quickly duck back in behind the Audi to avoid a collision.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Joey Hand RBM BMW 1m25.407s 2. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m25.632s + 0.225s 3. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m25.664s + 0.257s 4. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW 1m25.688s + 0.281s 5. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m25.724s + 0.317s 6. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 1m25.735s + 0.328s 7. Jamie Green Abt Audi 1m25.738s + 0.331s 8. Timo Glock MTEK BMW 1m25.798s + 0.391s 9. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1m25.815s + 0.408s 10. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 1m25.856s + 0.449s 11. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 1m25.913s + 0.506s 12. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m25.976s + 0.569s 13. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m26.021s + 0.614s 14. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 1m26.047s + 0.640s 15. Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 1m26.230s + 0.823s 16. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW 1m26.237s + 0.830s 17. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes 1m26.303s + 0.896s 18. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1m26.429s + 1.022s 19. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m26.497s + 1.090s 20. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 1m26.527s + 1.120s 21. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes 1m26.869s + 1.462s 22. Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 1m27.047s + 1.640s 
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Series DTM
Author Jamie O'Leary
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