Filipe Albuquerque continued Audi’s fine recent form in the DTM by topping practice at the Nurburgring.
The Team Rosberg driver spent 20 minutes at the head of the pack during the middle of the hour-and-a-half-long session thanks to a 1m23.656s lap. But after being knocked back to the tail end of the top five, he produced a 1m23.491s marker with two minutes remaining to retake the top spot.
His lap half a second inside last year’s best qualifying time put him just three thousandths of a second ahead of Audi stablemate and championship leader Mike Rockenfeller.
Phoenix driver Rockenfeller had been the man deposed by Albuquerque, but then set his own personal best time on his final flying lap.
Marco Wittmann was strong throughout the session and ended up as the best BMW driver in third for the MTEK team. Abt Sportsline drivers Adrien Tambay and Timo Scheider were fourth and sixth, sandwiching the Phoenix car of Miguel Molina.
Scheider’s time came in spite of an early electrical problem that caused his on-board fire extinguisher to go off. Several minutes were lost as the spillage was cleaned up and the bottle re-filled.
Edoardo Mortara and Mattias Ekstrom made it seven Audis in the top eight; the latter recovering from a spin while exiting the final corner just beyond the hour mark.
Champion Bruno Spengler, who won at the Nurburgring last year, lay 16th with a few minutes left, but improved on successive laps to end up ninth.
Christian Vietoris was the best of the Mercedes drivers in 11th while his HWA team-mate Gary Paffett was 16th.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Filipe Albuquerque Rosberg Audi 1m23.491s 2. Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 1m23.494s +0.003s 3. Marco Wittmann MTEK BMW 1m23.554s +0.063s 4. Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 1m23.600s +0.109s 5. Miguel Molina Phoenix Audi 1m23.645s +0.154s 6. Timo Scheider Abt Audi 1m23.696s +0.205s 7. Edoardo Mortara Rosberg Audi 1m23.711s +0.220s 8. Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 1m23.719s +0.228s 9. Bruno Spengler Schnitzer BMW 1m23.797s +0.306s10. Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 1m23.823s +0.332s11. Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1m23.827s +0.336s12. Martin Tomczyk RMG BMW 1m23.834s +0.343s13. Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 1m23.848s +0.357s14. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Mercedes 1m23.899s +0.408s15. Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 1m23.944s +0.453s16. Gary Paffett HWA Mercedes 1m23.956s +0.465s17. Jamie Green Abt Audi 1m23.979s +0.488s18. Andy Priaulx RMG BMW 1m24.091s +0.600s19. Dirk Werner Schnitzer BMW 1m24.102s +0.611s20. Timo Glock MTEK BMW 1m24.124s +0.633s21. Joey Hand RBM BMW 1m24.314s +0.823s22. Roberto Merhi HWA Mercedes 1m24.858s +1.367s