Nordic pairing the quickest
In brilliant sunshine, with temperatures about 23° C, Audi works driver Tom Kristensen set the fastest lap time in Saturday morning’s free practice session. At the end of the day, the Dane’s 1.47.248-minute lap was 0.120 seconds faster than the one of second placed Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes C-Class). While Bernd Schneider, who had been the quickest on Friday, finished third, 0.287 seconds behind Kristensen.
RWhile Schneider was slower than yesterday, Bruno Spengler repeated his Friday time (1:47.660 minutes) to finish fourth, ahead of the fastest Opel driver, Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Yet, the other three Opel Vectra GTS V8 competing in DTM also made it to the top ten, with Manuel Reuter, Marcel Fässler and Laurent Aiello finishing seventh, ninth and tenth respectively.
The first half of the free practice session at the 5.388-kilometre ‘Istanbul Park’ was dominated by Reigning DTM Champion and current championship leader Mattias Ekström in his Audi A4 DTM. Yet, at the end of the day, the fastest of his 18 laps (1:47.791) was only the fifth fastest of the session. His rival in the battle for the title, Gary Paffett, completed only nine laps in the first 55 minutes of the session, failed to clearly improve in the closing stages and had to settle for 18th place, 1.335 seconds behind the quickest.
LPierre Kaffer had completed just eight laps when he had to return to the pits due to a gearbox failure. The Joest mechanics, however, did a great job and succeeded in completing the gearbox change before the session was over, thus offering Kaffer the opportunity of rejoining the action, completing another four laps and securing 16th position.
The German TV station ARD will cover the Istanbul race on Sunday live from 13:45hrs CET. To watch the qualifying session and the Super Pole, please switch to ARD on Saturday from 14:03hrs CET.