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Spengler raises BMW hopes with fastest time in DTM warm-up

Sunday, May 20 2012

Bruno Spengler has raised hopes of a BMW victory in today's DTM race with fastest time in the morning warm-up session. The Lausitzring winner was the quickest of the top qualifiers, with pole position man Gary Paffett fifth.

The half-hour session commenced with drivers making their final adjustments before today's third round of the 2012 season. With all cars now racing on full tanks, lap times today are not expected to match Gary Paffett's pole position benchmark from yesterday and so Martin Tomczyk's early effort at 42.582 seconds set the scene.

Miguel Molina lowered the mark by a tenth for Audi, with Timo Scheider and Paffett also joining him at the top, but Roberto Merhi then entered the gravel at Clearways, neutralising this section of the track for a few minutes.

The Mercedes was quickly recovered and Edoardo Mortara and Mike Rockenfeller set their best laps of the session as the yellow flags disappeared. With the best qualifying Audi in fourth place, a much brighter day appeared to be dawning in Ingolstadt.

Of the British contingent, only Paffett graced the top ten for most of the session. Jamie Green sat just outside, whilst David Coulthard enjoyed slightly better fortunes than he did for qualifying. Susie Wolff and Andy Priaulx, however, were rather more subdued at this stage of the day and hoping to be more competitive once the lights go out later on today.

Towards the late stages of the session Bruno Spengler upped the ante with a lap half a tenth quicker than Mortara's. Fresh off the back of his win for BMW last time out at the Lausitzring, and with third place on the grid for the race, there were plenty of smiles in the BMW camp.

A trio of Audis behind the BMW ensures that they will be more competitive in the race, whilst Paffett's fifth place for Mercedes solidly backs up his qualifying form. Timo Scheider enjoyed the session with sixth place, from champion Tomczyk, Christian Vietoris, Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green, ensuring a mix of manufacturers at the top of the order.

Today's DTM race will take place at 1pm.

DTM Warm Up
1. Bruno Spengler, CAN, Schnitzer BMW, 42.267s
2. Edoardo Mortara, ITA, Rosberg Audi, +0.068s
3. Mike Rockenfeller, GER, Phoenix Audi, +0.091s
4. Miguel Molina, ESP, Phoenix Audi, +0.148s
5. Gary Paffett, GBR, HWA Mercedes, +0.180s
6. Timo Scheider, GER, Abt Audi, +0.185s
7. Martin Tomczyk, GER, RMG BMW, 0.185s
8. Christian Vietoris, GER, HWA Mercedes, +0.190s
9. Mattias Ekström, SWE, Abt Audi, +0.210s
10. Jamie Green, GBR, HWA Mercedes, +0.227s

Tickets for today's DTM race at Brands Hatch are available on the gate for £35, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.