The first session of the DTM Series weekend at Circuit Park Zandvoort ended with Lucas Auer leading a Mercedes 1-2-3.
Behind the Austrian were second and first placed men in the championship Edoardo Mortara and Gary Paffett.
It was a better start to the weekend for Audi with four of their drivers in the top ten, the brand expect to be more competitive at this track than others they have already visited this season.
However, it was not so good for BMW with none of their drivers in the top ten as Marco Wittmann was best placed in twelfth.
It was a difficult session for Mike Rockenfeller who in his opening laps found himself facing the wrong way towards the barriers but was able to continue.
As the session progressed and the drivers got more settled on the track times began to start tumbling with reigning champion René Rast leading the early part.
Mercedes soon seized the advantage with Paffett leading a Mercedes 1-2 from Pascal Wehrlein at the half way point.
It remained this way well into the closing stages of the session with Paffett still in P1, as those behind fought over position.
Auer went fastest with just minutes left on the clock with Mortara jumping to second just behind him.
Things got even worse for Rockenfeller who was in the barriers as the session drew to its close after running wide and plowing through the gravel.
As a result a slow zone was deployed meaning there was no improvements on times.
This meant Auer ended the session fastest from Mortara. Paffett held on to take third ahead of the Audi duo of Nico Müller and Loïc Duval the latter of whom holds the lap record for the DTM at Zandvoort.
Wehrlein was sixth with two more Audi’s behind in the form of Rast and Rockenfeller despite his problems.
Mercedes duo Paul di Resta and Dani Juncadella completed the top ten, and subsequently meant all Mercedes’ featured in the top ten.
The remaining two Audis of home driver Robin Frijns and Jamie Green were eleventh and thirteenth.
Wittmann was the best placed BMW in twelfth as his brand mates claimed positions fourteenth to eighteenth.
Free practice takes place tomorrow at 9.20 local time before Qualifying 1 at 11.15 with Race 1 starting at 13.30.
2018 DTM Series Results: Zandvoort – Free Practice 1
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