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Hand tops Spielberg Practice for BMW

Photo by ITR e.V.Joey Hand in the BMW Team RBM M3 DTM finished the 90 minute free practice session for the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters in first ahead of round three at Spielberg, Austria.

The American, who secured his best DTM result last time out at Brands Hatch, lapped the Spielberg circuit in 1m25.467s to knock early pace setter Felipe Albuquerque off top spot with a matter of seconds.

Albuquerque was demoted to third by the end of the 90 minute session as Championship leader and fellow Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller put his Team Phoenix RS5 second.

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Marco Wittmann made it two BMW’s inside the top 4 as the rookie finished fourth fastest for BMW Team MTEK with Edoardo Montara completing the top five in the Team Rosberg Audi RS5 – Montara had earlier learnt how to fly having taken too much of the kerb at turn one and been launched into the air.

Adrien Tambay and Jamie Green in the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5’s were sixth and seventh fastest ahead of a trio of BMW’s, lead by former Marussia F1 driver Timo Glock in the sister MTEK BMW M3, reigning Champion Bruno Spengler in the BMW Team Schnitzer car and Martin Tomczyk for RMG.

Mercedes struggled once again with Daniel Juncadella the best placed driver in 15th, despite an excursion through the gravel exiting turn 5, with his team-mate Pascal Wehrlein finishing his session early having ground to a halt where Juncadella had previously spun.

Christian Vietoris in the HWA Mercedes almost caused a collision as he went to pass Green heading up to turn 2, as his team-mate Roberto Merhi had ducked to the inside to allow both Green and himself through. Vietoris ducked back in behind Green to avoid any contact.

The whole 22 car field was covered by 1.6 seconds ahead of qualifying, which takes place at 17.50 CET (16.50 GMT).

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