Reigning Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters champion Martin Tomczyk set the quickest lap around Brands Hatch in today’s first free practice session, with all 22 drivers covered by less than a second.
BMW’s Tomczyk was just 0.077 seconds faster than Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett, after completing 72 tours of the 1.929 kilometre Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Tomczyk was on top of the times for the majority of the session in his BMW Team RMG-run M3.
Paffett moved into second with his final lap of the session, having earlier pushed the track limits and gone wide at Surtees.
In fact the top six drivers were all covered by less than a tenth of a second, with Christian Vietoris (Mercedes) third, Robert Wickens (Mercedes) fourth, Roberto Merhi (Mercedes) fifth and Bruno Spengler (BMW) sixth.
Augusto Farfus finished the session seventh fastest and as the third best BMW driver, despite never having driven around the Indy circuit before.
A difficult first practice session saw Mattias Ekström finish as the top Audi driver in eighth and as the only driver for the Ingolstadt manufacturer inside the top ten.
Ralf Schumacher and Jamie Green completed the top ten for Mercedes, with both drivers still within three tenths of Tomczyk’s quickest time.
Switzerland’s Rahel Frey, who was the slowest driver in 22nd, was ‘only’ 0.786 seconds off the fastest time, once again proving the competitiveness of the 2012 DTM.
The second free practice session takes place on Saturday 19th May 2012 at 0900 GMT (1000 Berlin time).