Tomczyk tops practice in Shanghai

Martin Tomczyk topped the first DTM free practice of the weekend on the streets of Shanghai, while a massive accident for Maro Engel brought the session to an early finish

Tomczyk tops practice in Shanghai

Tomczyk only started to feature towards the top of the times with just over 20 minutes remaining. Prior to that, he had been one of the slowest cars on track, but then set consistent quick laps for the rest of the session.

Engel, who had been one of the pace-setters throughout, briefly knocked Tomczyk back to second, but the Audi driver responded with 14 minutes to go and would remain on top until the end.

The session was stopped four minutes early when Engel smashed into the end of the pit wall. The track's pit entry had raised some concerns before the session, as the wall - protected by tyres - starts in the middle of a very narrow section of track.

Engel's accident was caused when he clipped the wall on the opposite side of the track, sending him straight into the end of the pit wall. The impact destroyed the right hand side of his car, leading to concerns that he won't be able to race this weekend due to the damage.

Behind Tomczyk, title contenders Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett were next up after both looked strong throughout the session.

Paffett can also be credited with save of the day, as he caught a huge slide in the middle of the long final corner when he hit a bump at high speed.

Miguel Molina and Engel completed the top five in their 2008-spec cars, while championship leader Bruno Spengler was sixth fastest.

The Canadian, who leads di Resta by three points and Paffett by nine going into this weekend's decider, made a cautious start to the session. He only found his feet with 20 minutes to go and then started to show a front-running pace.

David Coulthard took advantage of most of the field making a cautious start to the session by spending some time as the pace-setter early on. The Scot eventually finished the day in 10th, half a second adrift of Tomczyk.

 Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Martin Tomczyk Audi 1m00.858s 44 2. Paul di Resta Mercedes 1m00.887s +0.029 48 3. Gary Paffett Mercedes 1m00.916s +0.058 51 4. Miguel Molina Audi 1m00.963s +0.105 44 5. Maro Engel Mercedes 1m00.979s +0.121 39 6. Bruno Spengler Mercedes 1m00.996s +0.138 44 7. Timo Scheider Audi 1m01.136s +0.278 36 8. Markus Winkelhock Audi 1m01.175s +0.317 42 9. Oliver Jarvis Audi 1m01.322s +0.464 44 10. David Coulthard Mercedes 1m01.387s +0.529 40 11. Katherine Legge Audi 1m01.482s +0.624 47 12. Jamie Green Mercedes 1m01.523s +0.665 38 13. Mike Rockenfeller Audi 1m01.530s +0.672 36 14. Ralf Schumacher Mercedes 1m01.743s +0.885 35 15. Mattias Ekstrom Audi 1m01.790s +0.932 44 16. Susie Stoddart Mercedes 1m01.911s +1.053 39 17. Cong Fu Cheng Mercedes 1m01.977s +1.119 46 18. Darryl O'Young Audi 1m02.458s +1.600 36 

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