Alexandre Prémat (Audi) came out on top in first free practice at the Adria International Raceway in Italy. At the 2.702 kilometres long track, the Frenchman set the fastest time in the final second. With a lap time of 1:10.912 minutes, he secured himself first place from his fellow Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller. David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz) ended up third.
Remarkable: after the 90 minutes’ free practice session, six 2008-spec cars ended up on the first six places. Behind Prémat, Rockenfeller and Coulthard, Maro Engel, Jamie Green (both Mercedes-Benz) and Miguel Molina (Audi) occupied fourth to sixth place. Seventh-placed Mattias Ekström (Audi) was the first driver with a 2009-spec car. On his personal fastest lap, the Swede was 0.611 seconds down on Prémat’s time.
The three candidates for the 2010 DTM title were unusually far down the order: behind Markus Winkelhock and Martin Tomczyk (both Audi) in eighth and ninth place, Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) ended up tenth. Gary Paffett and Paul Di Resta (both Mercedes-Benz) were 15th and 16th respectively. The gap to the front was significant: both were over a second slower than Prémat. Bernd Schneider still holds the lap record at the Adria International Raceway. In 2003, the former DTM driver set a fastest lap time of 1:11.342 minutes during the race.
On Saturday morning, action continues for the DTM stars with second free practice from 9.15 h onwards. The battle for the best grid positions starts at 13.47 h. ARD is broadcasting live from Italy from 13.35 h.