There is just one day of pre-season testing at Hockenheim, before the wait begins for lights out for the beginning of the 2014 DTM season. The man representing the “Stars and Stripes” once again in the series, Joey Hand, set the fastest time around the Baden-Württemberg circuit.
The American, who is now set for his third year with BMW Motorsport, was three-tenths faster that Audi Sport’s Edoardo Mortara, with 2011 Champion Martin Tomczyk a fraction behind.
All three drivers were the only ones to break the 1m33 barrier, with Timo Scheider and Miguel Molina rounding out the top five, with eight tenths of a second between them.
All four rookies were on track today, with Belgian ace Maxime Martin ahead of Nico Müller, Vitaly Petrov and Antonio Felix da Costa. The Infiniti Red Bull Racing test driver clocked up the most laps during the day’s running, just four laps short of his team mate Timo Glock yesterday.
Pascal Wehrlein led the remaining Mercedes-Benz drivers of Robert Wickens and 2005 Champion Gary Paffett to complete the times for the day, with Molina setting the best time of the morning session.
Mortara, who suffered a dismal season last year, said that the work does continue ahead of the first race on May 4th, as he explained that a lot of different configurations were tested on the Audi RS5 DTM: “We must now analyze the data to see what has worked and what hasn’t. Now it’s time to find the right solutions and get the best package together for the first race at Hockenheim.”
Hand says that the new M4 DTM is a car well suited to his style of driving, as he feels that the speed has gotten better : “The car feels very good when it comes to balance. Plus I love Hockenheim, as it is my “home” track in Europe, where I’ve done the most laps and got my best results.”
Twelve of the drivers will take to the track for the final time tomorrow, as testing comes to its eventual close. There will be the work that will be carried out behind the scenes ahead of the season opener, so stay tuned for TCF’s forthcoming season preview new week.