Audi Sport showed no sign of coasting towards the 2019 DTM Series Manufacturers’ Championship title, heading both Friday Free Practice sessions at the Laustizring.
Loïc Duval was the fastest man in the day’s first session with a best lap time of 1:35.985, just fractionally quicker than Jamie Green‘s best afternoon time of a 1:36.000.
Duval narrowly missed out on topping a fifth Free Practice session in 2019 and a Friday clean sweep, sitting just 0.004 seconds behind Green and 0.166s ahead of third-placed man Robin Frijns.
Green improved on his morning time by nearly half-a-second in pursuit of the late afternoon’s honours, as the sun started to drift into the drivers’ eye lines towards the end of the running.
Marco Wittmann provided a vague challenge to Audi for BMW Team RMG with second in Practice 1, five places ahead of the next best BMW Motorsport car, but fell to seventh in second practice – but remained the lead BMW.
First practice saw the early and unwanted interruption of a red-flag period for a loose advertising hoarding, thankfully causing no harm and just a brief delay.
Despite a few concerns from the Audi camp of a stronger BMW challenge at the Lausitzring, Friday’s running seemed to be a continuation of the Sunday pecking order at Brands Hatch two weeks’ ago – when all Audi cars qualified in the top eight.
Championship leader René Rast was the fifth fastest man in both sessions, but had the edge over his closest contender Nico Müller.
Müller struggled to eleventh in the opening session, nearly a second adrift of Duval’s pace, but the Swiss launched himself into the top six in Free Practice 2.
Jake Dennis‘s twelfth place in Free Practice 1 was the only highlight for Aston Martin/R-Motorsport, who otherwise occupied the bottom four places in the standings – but stayed inside two seconds of the ultimate pace in the afternoon.