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Home hero Paffett fastest in first DTM Saturday practice

Saturday, May 19 2012

Local hero Gary Paffett was fastest in the first part of DTM practice ahead of today's qualifying session. The championship leader headed Mercedes team mate Christian Vietoris, with Edoardo Mortara's Audi heading a resurgence for the Ingolstadt marque after a disappointing Friday.

The pitlane was a hive of activity during the opening moments of the session, with just the Audis of Adrien Tambay and Rahel Frey setting meaningful times, albeit two seconds slower than Friday's best. Paffett and Green were the first to get under 43 seconds and into yesterday's ballpark.

Next to go quickest was BMW's Augusto Farfus, with Paffett pushing the margin down to a tenth over 42 seconds. As with yesterday's sessions, there were lots of improvements throughout the field but little in the way of a threat to the headline time. As a result, many of the drivers retired to the pits for adjustments, leaving the remaining runners with a clear track.

During the brief lull in the session, Miguel Molina made the most of this rare opportunity to lap a clear track to post the first sub-42 second lap of the weekend. This gradually teased everyone out of their garages and initial attempts by Paffett yielded little, until late on when he lowered the bar to 41.680 seconds. Christian Vietoris also improved, and took second place by half a tenth.

By now the session was almost over and with most drivers back in the pitlane, Mercedes were 1-2 in the times, with Audi improving on yesterday's performance, the highest BMW Tomczyk in ninth. The second 45-minute session starts after a ten minute break.

DTM Practice 2 part 1
1. Gary Paffett, GBR, HWA Mercedes, 41.680s
2. Christian Vietoris, GER, HWA Mercedes, +0.048s
3. Edoardo Mortara, ITA, Rosberg Audi, +0.142s
4. Ralf Schumacher, GER, HWA Mercedes, +0.151s
5. Mike Rockenfeller, GER, Phoenix Audi, +0.157s
6. Miguel Molina, ESP, Phoenix Audi, +0.197s
7. Jamie Green, GBR, HWA Mercedes, +0.320s
8. Filipe Albuquerque, POR, Rosberg Audi, +0.336s
9. Martin Tomczyk, GER, RMG BMW, +0.337s
10. Augusto Farfus, BRA, RBM BMW, +0.412s

Tickets for the DTM at Brands Hatch this weekend (19-20 May) are available on the gate for £15 on Saturday and £35 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.