Duval leads Mueller in Assen DTM Practice

by Harry Slade
Loic Duval

Loïc Duval led the opening practice session for DTM‘s fifth round of the season in Assen, with championship contender Nico Mueller just over two tenths down in second. His fellow Audi Abt Sportsline teammate Robin Frijns rounded out the top three.

Audi dominated the session on Dutch soil as all of the leading trio of drivers were supported by the German marque. However, Timo Glock was the lead BMW driver in fourth. The five-time race winner in the series still found himself 0.415s away from table-topping Duval. BMW Team RMG driver and double series champion Marco Wittman completed the top five.

DTM Rookie Pietro Fittipaldi was sixth, adding to the Audi form shown in this opening practice session – just ahead of the lead Aston Martin of Daniel Juncadella, who performed admirably to place a creditable seventh for R-Motorsport II. Fittipaldi’s teammate, Jonathan Aberdein was eighth. The South African driver showed promising pace as he aims to score his first points since Misano.

However, in spite of Audi’s supreme early form, championship leader René Rast struggled down in ninth in the session, 1.315 seconds down on Duval. But still in the lead Audi Sport Team Rosberg as teammate Jamie Green struggled down in sixteenth.

Duval’s teammate, Mike Rockenfeller rounded out the top ten, but the German needs vast improvements to get on terms with his French teammate.

There were no Audi powered cars on the fringes of the top ten other than the aforementioned Green; Bruno Spengler found himself eleventh, with Ferdinand Habsburg twelfth in the second of the four Aston Martin cars. Habsburg was just ahead of his fellow Aston Martin incumbent Jake Dennis who managed to get his R-Motorsport I car up to thirteenth.Joel Eriksson was fourteenth for BMW Team RBM. His teammate Sheldon Van Der Linde resided down in seventeenth as they were split by Phillip Eng as well as Green.

Brit, Paul Di Resta completed the contenders down in eighteenth and last of the runners in Assen.

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