Rainy start of DTM Norisring powered by BMW M: on Friday, the first of three event days during the DTM summer highlight in Nuremberg, drivers completed most of their laps on a wet surface. Fastest driver of the day in DTM was Austrian Thomas Preining with the KÜS Team Bernhard Porsche, who posted a time of 49.705 seconds in the first session during which the rain wasn’t so intense yet. For the two following days, warm and sunny weather has been forecast for Norisring again. Ideal conditions, therefore, for a top-notch racing spectacular around the stone grandstand with the DTM races on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1.30pm.
After summerly hot days, rain set in on Friday as forecast. As a result, most of the drivers from DTM, DTM Trophy and the partner series particularly used the practice sessions on Friday to familiarize themselves with the only street circuit on the calendar. For detailed set-up work with a view to the qualifyings and the races, the practice sessions were only of limited use as fine summer weather has been predicted again for Saturday and Sunday.
“Rain weather is Porsche weather,” is an old adage in motorsport and Thomas Preining proved it once again on the DTM practice day. The Austrian, on course for a podium finish for a long time at Imola most recently, posted the fastest time in first practice, ending up 0.084 seconds faster than René Rast (GER, Audi, Team ABT). With Dennis Olsen (NOR), another Porsche driver with the SSR Performance 911 ended up third from Ayhancan Güven (TUR), who has his first DTM outing with the AlphaTauri AF Corse Ferrari at Norisring. In second practice, times were over four seconds slower. In this session, Indian Arjun Maini came out on top with a time of 54.057 seconds with the HRT Mercedes-AMG, followed by newcomer Franck Perera (FRA), who is standing in for the ill Rolf Ineichen (SUI) in the GRT Lamborghini this weekend.
In DTM, Brazilian Tiago Vivacqua was fastest in both sessions with the Audi R8 of the Heide-Motorsport team, his time of 57.353 seconds from first practice being the fastest of the day. His South African teammate Mikaeel Pitamber was second-fastest while American J.P. Southern completed the clean sweep of the top three for Audi drivers with the R8 run by the EastSide Motorsport team. Fastest non-Audi driver was Daniel Gregor (GER) with the KÜS Team Bernhard Porsche in fourth from his teammate Ricky Capo from New Zealand.
For the participants in the DTM Classic Cup, who have their second race weekend of the year following their season opener at Lausitzring, first free practice was stopped after a few minutes already as two drivers had put a trace of oil on track. Late in the afternoon, the Classic drivers were given a second chance to prepare. Among the participants in DTM Classic at Norisring, there are no less than seven ex-DTM professionals while the classic touring cars from the years between 1984 and 2007 also add to the fascination at the track with its long-standing history that will be hosting the 49th and 50th DTM races at Norisring this weekend.