Having set just four laps on his previous day testing BMW Motorsport‘s Timo Glock managed to string together a much better session on the final day of DTM Series testing prior to the 2017 campaign starting next month.
By setting the fastest lap the German ended Mercedes’ run of ending the previous days on top.
Gary Paffett led the way on the first two days, holding an advantage of three tenths on both occasions, before team-mate Robert Wickens repeated the feat on the third day.
Paul di Resta had broken the lap record during the morning session on the final day but was edged out but Glock by 0.037 seconds.
Reigning champion Marco Wittmann made it two BMW drivers in the overall top three, lapping 0.061 seconds slower than his Team RMG team-mate Glock.
Ahead of his title defence Wittmann, commented: “It was a long winter break – but the break is not boring if you are the champion. These final tests were really important.
It is always better to be able to sort out any difficulties with the new car during preparation, instead of on the first race day. And it is great to conclude the test by setting the fastest lap time on the final afternoon.
So, I am really optimistic for the start of the season. The anticipation is growing with every passing day.”
The new generation of DTM cars lapped more than two seconds faster than its predecessors did in the final round of the 2016 season at the same venue, where pole time for Race 1 was 1 minute 32.344 seconds.
Teams will return to Hockenheim on 5-7 May for the opening round of the 2017 DTM Series.
There are big changes ahead for the series this year, not just the new generation of cars.
Former Formula One driver Gerhard Berger has taken over as boss of the series and has a clear idea of where he sees the category going.
“We are at home in Germany, and we will continue to focus here with additional visits in Europe, but I don’t believe the DTM should race in South America or China, far from its fans”
In addition, the race format has been adapted so that the two races a weekend are of equal length, with both requiring a mandatory pit stop.
Pit stops will be more crucial than ever now after the number of mechanics for a tyre change has been reduced, with only one wheel gun per side and the pit window has been eliminated meaning they can be served any time during the race.
Already renowned for its fan interaction the series has announced that from this year each manufacturer will have an open garage during pit walks so that fans can have a closer look at the teams’ work.