Tom Kristensen made a stunning start to his DTM return by topping the first free practice session at the Lausitzring. The Dane, who is replacing Mike Rockenfeller at Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline as the German recovers from his Le Mans shunt, beat Spielberg winner Martin Tomczyk of Audi Sport Team Phoenix by 0.026 seconds.
Timo Scheider wasn’t far off, just 0.056 seconds off Kristensen. Rookie Christian Vietoris was the quickest of the Mercedes drivers in his Persson-run older spec machine in fourth place. Filipe Albuquerque was fifth in his Rosberg Audi, ahead of Mucke Mercedes driver David Coulthard.
Renger van der Zande was seventh in his Persson-run Mercedes, ahead of Abt Audi driver Oliver Jarvis. Susie Stoddart was ninth in her Persson Mercedes with Miguel Molina rounding out the top ten for Abt.
The HWA Mercedes quartet were all relatively off the pace, with Gary Paffett the best of them in 13th, with Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green just behind. Ralf Schumacher was 17th of the 18 runners, but he was just 0.872 seconds off Kristensen in an extremely close session.
First free practice session results:
1. Tom Kristensen (Abt Audi) 1:19.412
2. Martin Tomczyk (Phoenix Audi) +0.026
3. Timo Scheider (Abt Audi) +0.056
4. Christian Vietoris (Persson Mercedes) +0.160
5. Filipe Albuquerque (Rosberg Audi) +0.216
6. David Coulthard (Mucke Mercedes) +0.316
7. Renger van der Zande (Persson Mercedes) +0.318
8. Oliver Jarvis (Abt Audi) +0.388
9. Susie Stoddart (Persson Mercedes) +0.427
10. Miguel Molina (Abt Audi) +0.487