Gary Paffet the quickest in the warm-up
Following yesterday’s torrential rain, the weather gods displayed more mercy for both the enthusiasts and the drivers, this morning. When the 20 DTM drivers went out to contest the warm-up, at Spa-Francorchamps, they were welcomed by a nearly dry circuit. Therefore, a lot of action was going on at the 6.976-kilometre Ardennes rollercoaster, during the course of the session. And Gary Paffett, the winner of the previous DTM round at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, was the quickest on the nearly dry track. Behind the wheel of his AMG-Mercedes C-Class, he set a fastest lap time of 2:13.718 minutes.
Yet, pole-sitter Mika Häkkinen was only one tenth of a second slower than his British brand-mate while Manuel Reuter took his Opel Vectra GTS V8 to third position, just one hundredth of a second behind Häkkinen. The fastest Audi driver in the warm-up was Allan McNish who finished fifth.
Bernd Schneider finished fourth, while Allan McNish, Marcel Fässler, Tom Kristensen, Laurent Aiello, Mattias Ekström, Christian Abt, Alexandros Margaritis and Rinaldo Capello completed the top twelve, with Gary Paffett’s lead on 12th placed Rinaldo Capello adding up to less than a second.
In the very last second, Heinz-Harald Frentzen leaped up to first place, but the Mönchengladbacher’s fastest lap was belatedly disallowed as he had disregarded a yellow flag – 15th position.