Promising free practice session
Following the course of the first free practice session for the 2005 season, thrilling action may be expected during the qualifying session and the Super Pole on Saturday – thus representing a perfect foretaste of what we will witness over the course of the 2005 DTM season. At the end of the day, there was just a one-second gap between the quickest and the 20th fastest, while the tenth placed driver’s gap to the leader added up to just five tenths of a second. The man who succeeded in securing the top spot on the time sheets in Saturday morning’s free practice session was Martin Tomczyk. In his Audi A4 DTM, the German set a fastest lap time of 1:34.970 minutes, thus defeating experienced Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes C-Class) by just five thousands of a second. Gary Paffett was 0.046 seconds slower than Tomczyk and finished third, while Marcel Fässler, the fastest Opel driver, completed 19 laps and came tenth.
During the free practice session, Motorsport Directors Hans-Jürgen Abt and Volker Strycek predicted the course of the session via the circuit’s sound system and the live stream available at www.dtm.de: At the beginning of the session, the teams focused on their preparation programmes for the qualifying session taking place early this afternoon. But in the closing stages, the times were improved again and again, thus allowing a first assessment regarding the balance of power on this year’s DTM grid.
Audi works driver Frank Stippler was the fastest driver of a 2004 spec DTM car. In his Audi A4 DTM (2004), the German finished remarkable sixth, directly behind Tom Kristensen and reigning DTM Champion Mattias Ekström who finished fourth and fifth respectively, behind the wheels of their 2005 spec Audis.