Tom Kristensen is due for a win!
Audi A4 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline), Tom Kristensen
Free practice of the DTM at the Nürburgring promised excitement for qualifying in the evening: after 60 minutes, the first 16 drivers were within one second. In the battle for the best grid positions on Saturday, fractions of a second will decide once more about making it into the next heat or not. Fastest in the final practice session was once more Tom Kristensen with his Audi A4 DTM, who had already topped the time sheets in the first test on Friday. The Dane set the fastest time with 1.24.176 minutes.
With two minutes remaining, Kristensen already declared his free practice finished in an entirely relaxed way. His fastest time remained unbeaten by Bruno Spengler and Bernd Schneider in the closing stages. The two Mercedes-Benz drivers ranked second and third, 0.155 seconds and 0.229 seconds down on Kristensen’s time respectively. Separated by only three thousandths of a second were Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) and Timo Schneider (Audi). Local hero Scheider was fifth behind Green. Fastest driver with a year-old car was Mike Rockenfeller in seventh place. Martin Tomczyk, who won in the Eifel last year, ranked sixth. The top ten was completed by Mattias Ekström, Christijan Albers (both Audi) and Paul di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) in eighth, ninth and tenth place respectively.
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz), for whom the race in the Eifel is also his home race, was now eleventh, after his sixth place from Friday. The former F1 driver was 0.749 seconds short of Kristensen’s fastest time. Katherine Legge drove the highest number of laps in the 60 minutes’ session. The Audi driver completed 24 laps at the track in the Eifel, the fastest one of them in 1.25.714 minutes. With this time, she ranked one place ahead of Susie Stoddart (Mercedes-Benz).
Because of the TV broadcasting of the final weekend of the Tour de France, qualifying for the seventh round of the 2008 DTM will start only at 18.48 h on Saturday instead of the usual time of 13.28 h. The race on Sunday will start at 17.35 instead of 14.00 h. For the first time, dtm.tv will be broadcasting the DTM data channel live on the internet in qualifying on Saturday.