Clear the stage for the second DTM weekend in 2015
The first marks have been made, the first lap times have been set. First free practice of the DTM at Lausitzring gave at least a little indication of the potential for this weekend. When the chequered flag was out after 45 minutes, the time sheet showed quite a few surprising performances.
Rookie driver Tom Blomqvist dominated proceedings in the first encounter of the second DTM weekend of the 2015 season. With his lap time of 1:18.145 minutes, the youngster on BMW duty even beat the lap record from 2013, even though times achieved in free practice aren’t considered for the lap record. Thus, his result only helps to boost his self-confidence.
Still, the result should not only be a good sign for his team RBM, currently second-last in the teams’ standings, but will also give the people at BMW hope: after a lacklustre start into the season, a change is on the cards, because with Marco Wittmann in third place, another driver of the white-and-blue brand ranked among the top positions.
The second surprise: although the circuit is traditionally considered as a Mercedes track, there weren’t too many signs of a possible dominance by the brand from Stuttgart so far. In ninth place, Robert Wickens was the only driver from the Mercedes ranks to make it into the top ten.
On the other hand, the third conclusion that can be drawn from this first encounter didn’t come as a surprise to most people: Audi was able to confirm its strong showing from Hockenheim, at least for the time being. Not only did Mattias Ekström split the BMW sandwich by ending up second fastest, in total, six of the cars with the four rings ended up among the first ten.
Things will remain exciting: can BMW come back from the slight flaw in its performance and repeat the only Lausitzring win to date, achieved in 2012? Will stalwart Ekström keep cool and take his next victory? Does Mercedes still have an ace up its sleeve? These and further questions will be answered shortly when the 24 DTM cars take to the track again, first of all in second free practice on Saturday morning, before the battle for points and silverware starts in qualifying and the race in the afternoon. From 15.00 hrs, qualifying can be watched on the live stream at sportschau.de and here, the race starts at 18.05 hrs and will be broadcast live on the first German TV channel ARD as usual.