Duval and Wittmann top Misano practice sessions
Loïc Duval (Audi) and Marco Wittmann (BMW) came out on top in the two free practice sessions of the DTM at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. In the process, Wittmann’s time of 1m26.687s in second free practice was the fastest time of the day, almost a second faster than Duval’s time of 1m27.635s from the first session. MotoGP superstar Andrea Dovizioso did well in his first competitive sessions in the DTM with a pair of 16th places.
In blistering sunshine and high temperatures, the teams and drivers used the two practice sessions at the 4.226km long circuit on the Italian Adriatic coast to prepare for this weekend’s two races.
Audi drivers largely set the pace in first free practice with Loïc Duval followed by his fellow Audi drivers René Rast, Nico Müller, Jonathan Aberdein, Mike Rockenfeller and Robin Frijns in second to sixth place.
“First place is always a good start of the weekend, although the track is still pretty green,” said Duval. “I was quick on a single lap and also on a long run. Now we have to think about the set-up, but overall, this is a good start.”
Four Audi drivers incurred punctures on the left-hand side of their cars. A post-session inspection of the track revealed that loose screws from the speed bump kerbs in Turns 6 and 16 had caused the issues. The speed bumps were removed ahead of the second session.
R-Motorsport’s Ferdinand von Habsburg only completed one lap before being side-lined by gearbox issues.Hockenheim race winner Marco Wittmann topped the timesheets in the second session
Having been the fastest BMW driver in first free practice already, Marco Wittmann came out on top in the second session with the fastest time of the day. The German ended up 0.27 seconds ahead of Audi’s Robin Frijns. Zolder race winner Philipp Eng (BMW) was classified third from René Rast, who made it another BMW and Audi combination in third and fourth place.
“It was a good practice,” Wittmann commented. “Drivers were using different strategies. We have made some changes on the set-up that worked out quite well. Very positive for me, but the thing is to implement it tomorrow.”
MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso improved rapidly during both sessions, ending each in 16th position