Wittmann Gets Flying Start On First Day


The final four-day test got underway, as all three manufacturers began the final stretch towards the eventual fine-tuning of their cars, where preparations will cconclude this coming Friday. The conditions around Hockenheim were changeable as well as low temperatures not providing an optimum track to give the drivers the best set-up possible, but BMW’s Marco Wittmann still ended up fastest, with the rookie setting a time of 1:33.023.

2011 Champion Martin Tomczyk was just over 4 tenths down, with 2005 Champion Gary Paffett being top of the Mercedes-Benz drivers, saying that he is learning from the young drivers about the way they can look at sections of the track, as well as having a good feeling behind the wheel: “The test is running well, and for us, it is now about discovering and optimising the handling with DRS and the option tyres.”

Le Mans winner from 2010, Mike Rockenfeller, posted the best time from an Audi driver with a 1:34.805, as well as racking up just under 550 kilometres, which was the highest mileage covered by any driver on the day. The Audi veteran said that they were able to sort some set-up issues, but found the weather in the morning to be a bit unexpected: “Basically, the car ran well, we were able to sort out a couple of things. The wet afternoon was quite prolific as well, because conditions were consistent. Often, conditions are changing all the time in the rain. Today, that wasn’t the case and thus, we were able to acquire some valuable experience in the rain, too.” 

Wittmann quickly dismissed his pace in the mixed weather conditions, but was able to make sure that the best was made of the dry track time they had, before the rain reappeared in the afternoon: “In the afternoon, it was raining again, but we were doing well in these conditions, too. Then, I lost some time, because we had to work on the car. Nevertheless, we can be happy with the first day. Off the track, there was plenty of action, too, many journalists attended the DTM media day. It is just great to see how big the interest for our series is.”

Pos Driver Car Time
1 Marco Wittmann (GER) BMW M3 DTM 1m33.023s
2 Martin Tomczyk (GER) BMW M3 DTM 1m33.437s
3 Gary Paffett (GBR) Mercedes C-Class Coupe DTM 1m33.890s
4 Dirk Werner (GER) BMW M3 DTM 1m34.344s
5 Augusto Farfus (BRA) BMW M3 DTM 1m34.694s
6 Daniel Juncadella (ESP) Mercedes C-Class Coupe DTM 1m34.752s
7 Mike Rockenfeller (GER) Audi RS 5 DTM 1m34.805s
8 Roberto Merhi (ESP) Mercedes C-Class Coupe DTM 1m34.865s
9 Filipe Albuquerque (POR) Audi RS 5 DTM 1m34.926s
10 Jamie Green (GBR) Audi RS 5 DTM 1m35.064s
11 Mattias Ekstrom (SWE) Audi RS 5 DTM 1m35.270s