Audi’s Mattias Ekström set the fastest time in Saturday’s second Duetsche Tourenwagen Masters free practice session at the Hockenheimring, posting a lap of 1:33.802 to beat Audi stablemates Mike Rockenfeller and Edoardo Mortara to the top time.
Ekström was 0.130 seconds faster than Rockenfeller, with Mortara 0.151 seconds off the pace in third. Schnitzer’s Dirk Werner was the top BMW driver in fourth.
Fifth fastest was Timo Scheider, ahead of the DTM’s most recent race winner Augusto Farfus in sixth.
There was a ray of hope for the struggling Mercedes-Benz camp, as championship leader Gary Paffett improved significantly on his first practice performance to post the seventh fastest time, 0.318 seconds off the pace. However Paffett was the only Mercedes driver to break into the top ten as the marque continues to struggle for performance.
Paffett’s main championship contender, BMW’s Bruno Spengler, was 12th fastest, having yesterday taken the top spot in first practice.
BMW team RMG’s Martin Tomczyk was eighth fastest, with the German enjoying his last weekend as the reigning DTM champion.
Abt Audi’s Adrien Tambay and RMG BMW’s Joey Hand completed the top ten.
The only other driver mathematically in with a chance of taking the title this weekend is Jamie Green, and the Mercedes pilot could only manage 14th fastest – third best of the Mercedes drivers.
The final qualifying session of the year takes place at 13:40 CET (12:40 BST).