Ekström sets the pace in the rain
Rain had been forecasted for the region around the rich in tradition circuit at Spa-Francorchamps, and rain was falling indeed, during DTM’s free practice session. In the wet session, all the three makes involved, Audi, Mercedes and Opel, made it to the top three, with the reigning champion, Mattias Ekström, being the quickest: on the wet track, nobody was able to beat the Audi driver’s 2:31.230-minute lap.
LBehind the wheel of his AMG-Mercedes C-Class Jamie Green came second, just 0.241 seconds slower than Ekström, with Opel’s Heinz-Harald Frentzen in third position completing the brand mix at the front end of the field. While Alex Margaritis, the fastest driver of a 2004 spec car, finished seventh.
Due to the wet conditions, the times set in the free practice session were clearly slower than those achieved in yesterday’s tests – Ekström’s fastest lap at the 6.973-kilometre circuit was about 13 seconds slower than the one Green had set on Friday – but the gaps between the drivers were smaller. At the end of the 60-minute session, twelve drivers lay within one second.
Christian Abt, who had been forced to miss out the second test session as the rear of his car had caught fire following a suspension failure, could rejoin the action on Saturday morning and finished 13th.
According to the forecasters, the qualifying will also be held in wet conditions, with the rain probability lying at 90 percent.