Reigning champion Martin Tomczyk put BMW on top of the times in the first free practice session for the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the Lausitzring, as Joey hand went second quickest to prove BMW’s pace around the circuit in eastern Germany.
Tomczyk was just 0.017 seconds faster than American Hand, who is this weekend competing in only his second-ever DTM race.
Third fastest was Audi’s Mattias Ekström, a mere seven thousandths of a second further back. The times from practice show that the DTM field is extremely closely matched so far in 2012, with all three manufacturers within a tenth of a second of each other inside the top four positions.
Mercedes-Benz drivers were fourth and fifth, with young German Christian Vietoris also within a tenth of the leading pace. Scot David Coulthard was fifth fastest.
Spaniard Miguel Molina posted the sixth fastest lap, whilst Augusto Farfus made it three BMW’s inside the top ten with seventh. Eighth was Mercedes’ Roberto Merhi, followed by Filipe Albuquerque and Timo Scheider to complete the top ten.
The top twenty cars were all covered by less than a second in an extremely competitive session – with Brit Andy Priaulx, who finished sixth for BMW last time out at the Hockenheimring, the last of the drivers inside a second of Tomczyk in 20th.
The second free practice session takes place at 0915 Berlin time on Saturday.