Mortara fastest in warm-up
On September 27, 1925, district administrator Dr. Otto Creutz was one of the people who laid the foundation for the Nürburgring. Exactly 90 years later, the 24 DTM drivers headed out for warm-up at the world’s most legendary and one of the most prestigious race tracks. The second day of racing of the penultimate DTM weekend of the year could very well become a day that goes down in history again. Pascal Wehrlein has the chance to wrap up the title, even before the final two races at Hockenheim. In excellent outside conditions – a clear, blue sky and crisp temperatures – the 20-year-old Mercedes-Benz driver only ended up in 16th place (1:23.377 minutes). His fiercest rival Edoardo Mortara, on the other hand, was really quick. The Audi driver completed his fastest lap of the 3.629 kilometres long sprint circuit in 1:22.975 minutes and thus ranked at the top of the time sheets. Local hero Christian Vietoris and Miguel Molina posted exactly identical times (1:23.146 minutes) and were second-fastest in the morning session.
The race winner from Saturday was the best-placed BMW driver in warm-up. Maxime Martin reached a time of 1:23.229 minutes, ended up seventh and thus was the only BMW driver in the top ten. Mattias Ekström, third in the drivers’ standings, was eleventh-fastest. Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett came to an early halt almongside the track in warm-up with smoke coming out of his car. The team hopes to be able to change the engine as quickly as possible in order to participate in the remaining sessions. For qualifying, the lap times in warm-up only have little significance. For instance, in second free practice on Friday, the BMWs ended up at the back of the field, only to strike back in first qualifying.
Whether this will be the case on Sunday as well, will become apparent from 10.55 hrs. Then, the starting grid positions for the one-hour race from 13.35 hrs in the afternoon will be determined. As usual this season, thousandths of a second will be decisive when the drivers are battling for the best grid positions in qualifying. Only Martin Tomczyk already knows that he will have to start the race from the back of the grid. In free practice on Friday, the BMW driver was found to have used an engine that was unsealed. On Saturday, he didn’t run at all due to technical issues and therefore will only get his grid penalty for the second race in the Eifel.