Audi does it again: Ekström sets the fastest time
The Nürburgring seems to suit the Audi A4 DTM well. In the second 90-minute test session, once again a car of the Ingolstadt based manufacturer succeeded in securing the top position on the time sheets. In changeable conditions, reigning DTM Champion Mattias Ekström succeeded in outclassing his opponents by lapping the circuit in 1:26.166 minutes. In today’s second test session, Ekström’s brand-mate, Frank Stippler, secured second place. Yet, behind the wheel of his 2004 spec Audi A4 DTM, the second placed local hero from Bad Münstereifel was more than half a second slower than Ekström. Marcel Fässler (Opel Vectra GTS V8), who had finished second in the morning session, completed the top three.
Gary Paffett, the current championship leader, finished fifth behind Audi’s Allan McNish (1:27.014 minutes), thus turning out to be the fastest AMG-Mercedes C-Class driver. Apart from Frank Stippler, the following drivers of 2004 spec cars also made it to the top ten: Pierre Kaffer (7th), Christian Abt (8th) and Bruno Spengler (10th). Opel’s Heinz-Harald Frentzen had been the quickest for quite a while, but at the end of the session he had to settle for 9th place.
The busiest man of the session, Tom Kristensen, completed 33 laps on the Nürburgring’s 3.629-kilometre sprint circuit and finished 13th. While Mika Häkkinen, who had won the 1998 European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring on the way to securing his maiden F1 World Championship, had to make do with 19th position.