Warm up: Abt blitzes the times

Christian Abt recorded the fastest lap of the weekend thus far at the Sachsenring in warm up for today(Sunday)'s fourth round of the DTM, while Opel showed its improved performance yesterday was no flash in the pan with Michael Bartels setting the third quickest time

Warm up: Abt blitzes the times

In fact, it was the first time this year that Audi, Mercedes and Opel have shared the top three places on a DTM timesheet. Abt's Audi was streets ahead of the opposition, however, a whopping 1.336secs quicker than Marcel Fassler's AMG Merc and the Holzer-run Astra of Bartels.

Although it was held in dry conditions, rain soaked the circuit immediately after the warm up, and further heavy showers are forecast for this afternoon in this hilly region of Saxony.

Mattias Ekstrom, who will start from the front row for the first time in his Audi TT-R this afternoon, was a confidence boosting fourth quickest in the warm up, ahead of the second Opel Astra of Timo Scheider. Pole sitter Peter Dumbreck (AMG Mercedes) was sixth fastest, ahead of fellow Briton Darren Turner, who was a surprisingly quicker than Dumbreck's team mate Bernd Schneider.

Those to go off the road in the session included Kris Nissen's Audi, which crashed into the gravel at the new Sachsenkruve, while Marcel Tiemann (Manthey Merc) and the flu-ridden Peter Mamerow (Opel) also suffered spins. The comedy moment of the warm up came from Joachim Winkelhock, who spun into the pit lane entrance and then caused Schneider to take evasive action as he made a less-than-smoking three point turn in the middle of the start/finish straight.

Stay tuned to Autosport.com this afternoon as the qualifying race begins at 14.35 local time (13.35 BST) before the main event begins at 15.15 (14.15 BST).


Christian Abt, 2001 Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R 1m20.078s
Marcel Fassler, 2001 Warsteiner Mercedes CLK, 1m21.414s
Michael Bartels, 2001 Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, 1m21.470s
Mattias Ekstrom, Abt Sportsline Audi TT-R, 1m21.544s
Timo Scheider, Holzer Opel Astra Coupe, 1m21.694s
Peter Dumbreck, 2001 D2 Mercedes CLK, 1m21.708s
Darren Turner, 2000 Rosberg Mercedes CLK, 1m21.967s
Bernd Schneider, 2001 D2 Mercedes CLK, 1m22.066s
Christian Albers, 2000 Persson Mercedes CLK, 1m22.097s
Patrick Huisman, 2001 Manthey Mercedes CLK, 1m22.124s

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