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DTM: Five Audis up front at Brands Hatch

DTM, Brands Hatch, Mattias Ekstrom

Gallery after the jump!

Led by Mattias Ekström, five Audi drivers locked out the first five places in first free practice on Friday. With his time of 42.019 seconds, the Swede not only set the fastest lap time, but also drove the highest number of laps: Ekström completed 76 laps at the 1.929 kilometres long circuit.

At the end of the 90 minutes’ session, Swede Ekström was followed by his fellow Audi drivers Timo Scheider, Miguel Molina, Alexandre Prémat and Markus Winkelhock in second to fifth place respectively. Gary Paffett was the fastest Mercedes-Benz driver. With his AMG Mercedes C-Class, the Briton was 0.198 seconds down on Ekström’s fastest time and ended up sixth ahead of his team-mate Paul Di Resta. The top 10 on Friday was completed by Oliver Jarvis (Audi), points’ leader Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) and Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) in eighth, ninth and tenth place. David Coulthard, who hasn’t raced at Brands Hatch since 1991, the year in which he won two Formula 3 races there, was classified 16th, 0.631 seconds down.

The DTM weekend at Brands Hatch promises a lot of excitement because the track was resurfaced only recently and the drivers first have to get used to the grip level of the circuit. “The new asphalt isn’t as rough as last year, but provides a similar level of grip, so that the required settings will change as a result”, says Dunlop manager Michael Bellmann.

After another free practice session on Saturday morning, DTM qualifying will follow at 12.45 h local time. As usual, the ARD is broadcasting the battle for the starting grid positions live from 13.30 h German time.

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