Changed conditions in the warm-up session
In Sunday morning’s warm-up session for the DTM race at the ‘Istanbul Park’ the drivers had to cope with completely different conditions. Usually, this session represents the last test prior to the race, but today, drivers and teams had to use the 30-minute session held on Sunday morning to adapt their cars to the changed weather conditions, with rain having turned parts of the track into a real slide. Marcel Fässler succeeded in coping best with the changed conditions: with his Opel Vectra GTS V8, the Swiss driver lapped the circuit in 2:01.445 minutes, thus setting the fastest lap time of the session.
Audi works driver Tom Kristensen took second place, 0.368 seconds behind the Opel driver. Bruno Spengler, who sensationally set the fastest time in the qualifying session and secured third grid position, in the Super Pole, completed the top three, with his 2004-spec AMG-Mercedes C-Class, thus making for a perfect brand mix at the front end of the field, with a car of each of the three brands involved in DTM taking one of the top three positions.
The two DTM Championship contenders, Mattias Ekström and Gary Paffett, delivered on different levels. While the Swede finished fourth with his Audi A4 DTM, Paffett was 3.162 seconds slower than Fässler and had to settle for 15th position. At the same time, two other Mercedes-Benz drivers caused a stir by making it to the top flight: behind the wheels of their 2004-spec AMG-Mercedes C-Classes, Stephan Mücke and Alexandros Margaritis finished fifth and seventh respectively, split only by Mika Häkkinen, who took the fastest of this year’s C-classes to sixth place. Opel’s Manuel Reuter (eighth), Mercedes-Benz driver Bernd Schneider (ninth) and Allan McNish (Audi) completed the top ten.