Mattias Ekström fastest in morning
His only second DTM race and already fastest: in the two 90-minute test sessions at EuroSpeedway Lausitz, Audi driver Pierre Kaffer sprung the surprise by delivering the best time of the day. The 28-year-old DTM rookie at the wheel of the Audi A4 DTM entered by Audi Sport Team Joest was the second-quickest in the morning session, then topped this result in the afternoon by achieving his very first best time of the day in Europe's most popular Touring Car series. This also meant that Kaffer gave Reinhold Joest's team its first best time in the "new" DTM. In the morning, title defender Mattias Ekström had clocked the fastest time. On Friday, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline - using different programmes - fully concentrated on gathering as much data as possible for the race.
Qualifying at EuroSpeedway is scheduled to start at 1.30 p.m. on Saturday. ARD will broadcast live from the circuit starting at 2 p.m.
Quotes after Friday's tests
Pierre Kaffer (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #15)
2nd place / 1st place, 1m 16.644s
"Being the quickest driver is a great feeling, especially since I had not expected this in my first DTM season and driving a car from last year. I am proud of my boys, who did a super job. The Audi A4 is a dream to drive at the EuroSpeedway. The many fans that had come to the DTM Day in Frankfurt/Oder last Saturday gave me additional motivation. I'm hoping now to get it right on the dot in tomorrow's qualifying as well."
Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt #5)
10th place / 5th place, 1m 16.923s
"Yet again my team did a fantastic job, they worked day and night rebuilding my car completely from scratch again after I'd gotten sandwiched in the first turn at Hockenheim. Thanks and well done! The car is running perfectly. Today we tested different things for the race. The data we collected with our four new cars should enable us to get to the front of the field tomorrow."
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #1)
1st place / 8th place, 1m 17.176s
"I really like the revised circuit at the EuroSpeedway. When braking into the tight corner towards the infield there is lots of room for outbraking but still overtaking probably won't be easy. In both of Friday's tests, we concentrated on finding a set-up for the race and were able to come up with a very good solution as well. I'm sure that the spectators will be in for a thrilling hour on Sunday."
Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #14)
3rd place / 9th place, 1m 17.196s
"I'm very satisfied. Just like at Hockenheim, we're completely sorted out as early as on Friday. We have also determined the strategies for the qualifying session and the race. I like the new circuit, it now offers another opportunity for overtaking. That's good for both the drivers and the audience."
Frank Stippler (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #19)
4th place / 11th place, 1m 17.323s
"We tried out a relatively large number of different things in order to gain experience. Unfortunately, that somewhat went in the wrong direction. We're going to return to the same set-up we had at the beginning. Then, things should be working out quite well for us tomorrow."
Allan McNish (Audi Sport Team Abt #6)
11th place / 13th place, 1m 17.703s
"The track kept developing more and more grip and, consequently, the times got faster and faster. In the afternoon, I drove a good long run. The car was very consistent. Unfortunately, I didn't manage a good lap with new tyres in the end. But generally speaking, I'm pretty satisfied with the way things went today."
Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #2
6th place / 18th place, 1m 17.792s
"We're not yet where we'd like to be. We tried out many things and worked in a number of different directions. We're now seeing a trend that shows us the direction in which we have to work on this circuit and hope that all of us will be among the front runners tomorrow."
Rinaldo Capello (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #18)
14th place / 15th place, 1m 17.866s
"On used tyres the car had perfect balance. In the long run the car was consistently fast and that makes me optimistic for the race. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to improve my performance with new tyres. I had hardly any front grip as well as strong understeer, I suppose I didn't warm-up the tyres in an optimum way."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): "Of course we'd prefer being at the very front tomorrow or Sunday. Still, I'm happy about our best time. In both test sessions our four cars were running with absolutely no problems, which meant we were able to run through all of our programmes like clockwork. Our cars were fast here from the very beginning. Now, we need to apply this in tomorrow's Qualifying. Naturally, it would be great to have more than one car in the Super Pole."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "As always on Friday, our four drivers completely kept their cool going through their programme of practice and prepared their Audi A4 DTM cars for the race on Sunday. I'm satisfied with the long runs and the data we gathered. Tomorrow morning, in the free practice session, we're going to concentrate one hundred percent on the qualifying session in order to clinch the best possible starting position for the race."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "I think the new circuit is proving to work well. In both of today's tests we concentrated on finding the best possible set-up for our cars, and we managed to do this. Now, we need to translate this into a respectable qualifying result."