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A perfect start for René Rast (36) with new employer BMW: the three-time champion started the DTM 2023 at the Test and Media Days at the Red Bull Ring in Austria by recording the best time of the day in the M4 GT3. In the second of three sessions, the BMW works driver from Schubert Motorsport posted the fastest lap time of the day, 1:28.469 minutes. “I have familiarised myself very quickly with my new surroundings at BMW and Schubert Motorsport. I am getting on great, gaining in confidence in the car with each lap that I drive with the BMW M4 GT3. Today, we were focusing on simulating a race weekend. We tried out a range of set-ups. It is great that we were able to finish it off with first place,” said Rast. At the current Formula 1 circuit, the teams are preparing for the season-opener at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben from 26th to 28th May.

Cool temperatures and dry conditions welcomed the drivers to the 4.318-kilometre circuit in the morning as they prepared for the eagerly awaited DTM season. In the first session of the day, South African driver Kelvin van der Linde (26/Abt Sportsline) in the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II claimed first place with a time of 1:28.989 minutes. “It feels good to be climbing back into the DTM car after the long winter break. I am really looking forward to another year with Abt Sportsline. Opening the season with a best lap time is always helpful in terms of self-confidence. During the Test and Media Days, we are primarily focusing on getting the best set-up for the car for the season-opener in Oschersleben. We are on the right course,” said van der Linde. The fastest lap from Arjun Maini (25/IND/Mercedes-AMG Team HRT) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo was 0.249 seconds slower than van der Linde. In another Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, Luca Stolz (27/D/Mercedes-AMG Team HRT) completed the top three (+0.303 seconds).

Rast posted the best time in the second session, closely followed by David Schumacher (21/D/Winward Racing, +0.304 seconds) in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. Van der Linde finished in third place (+0.436 seconds). Van der Linde prevailed in the afternoon’s final training session. His best lap (1:28.481 minutes) was just 0.012 slower than Rast, the fastest driver of the day. His Abt team-mate Ricardo Feller (22/CH) drove the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II to second place (+0.032 seconds). Schumacher finished the day in third position. The son of former Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher chalked up a fastest lap of 1:28.741 minutes.

In 2023, the DTM will be using standardised tyres from premium manufacturer and Formula 1 supplier Pirelli. “I am already familiar with Pirelli rubber from other race series and I have plenty of experience with those tyres. I am a big fan of Pirelli tyres,” explained van der Linde. DTM debutant Luca Engstler (23/D/Liqui Moly Team Engstler Motorsport) completed the most laps with the new tyres (147) on Saturday.

Three more testing sessions are scheduled for Sunday, with around seven hours of driving. The DTM will present all the new features for the 2023 season at 11:15.

Source. ADAC


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