René Rast tops first DTM practice at the Nürburgring by nearly half...

René Rast tops first DTM practice at the Nürburgring by nearly half a second

Photo: Audi

Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast topped the first DTM practice session at the Nürburgring, with Audi locking out top seven positions.

The 2017 series champion returns to the circuit that saw him kickstart six consecutive race wins in the final three rounds of 2018.

Rast set the fastest time of 1 minute 20.438 seconds in the first 15 minutes of the session, and remained top as drivers turned their focus to long runs.

Overcast skies left drivings fighting to generate temperature in their Hankook tyres, resulting in a number slipping off the track.

The tricky Turn 1 saw a number of drivers run wide, however no-one suffered any damage. With the current Class One-spec cars, the drivers are arriving at speeds higher than previous years.

Rast was over four tenths faster than Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Mike Rockenfeller who finished the session second fastest.

The 2013 DTM champion was 0.010 seconds faster than Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Müller who in turn was just four thousandths faster than Audi Sport Team WRT’s Jonathan Aberdein.

The second Team Rosberg driver Jamie Green was fifth fastest, nearly eight tenths slower than his teammate, and was lucky to avoid a collision with BMW Team RMG’s Bruno Spengler after locking up into the first corner.

Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval was sixth fastest with a time of 1 minute 21.313 seconds, ahead of Abt Sportsline’s Robin Frijns whow as 0.921 seconds slower than Rast.

BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann was eighth fastest, and the best placed BMW driver, some nearly a second slower than the fastest time as the BMW brand look to again suffer a deficit to Audi.

Pietro Fittipaldi finished the session ninth fastest for Audi Sport Team WRT as R-Motorsport’s Paul Di Resta rounded out the top ten. The Scotsman’s fastest time of 1 minute 21.699 seconds was 1.261 seconds slower than Rast.

Practice two gets underway at 16:20 CEST (15:20 BST).

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 28 1:20.438 0.000
2 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 30 1:20.874 0.436
3 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 28 1:20.884 0.446
4 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 29 1:20.888 0.450
5 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 27 1:21.231 0.793
6 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 30 1:21.313 0.875
7 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 23 1:21.359 0.921
8 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 25 1:21.408 0.970
9 21 Pietro FITTIPALDI Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 29 1:21.636 1.198
10 3 Paul DI RESTA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 29 1:21.699 1.261
11 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 28 1:21.944 1.506
12 23 Daniel JUNCADELLA R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 29 1:22.030 1.592
13 7 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 26 1:22.275 1.837
14 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 29 1:22.412 1.974
15 47 Joel ERIKSSON BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 30 1:22.435 1.997
16 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 23 1:22.795 2.357
17 76 Jake DENNIS R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage DTM 24 1:22.889 2.451
18 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 14 1:22.979 2.541