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Testing report
DTM Portimao April testing

Audi leads Porsche on Day 1 of Portimao DTM night test

DTM rookie Ricardo Feller topped the opening day of the Portimao pre-season test for Abt Audi, leading the Bernhard 75 Porsche of Thomas Preining. 

Ricardo Feller, Team ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3

With the DTM completing set-up work for TV production during the day, the on-track running didn’t begin until 5pm in the evening and continued well into the dark - with the chequered flag waved at 10pm.

It was reigning ADAC GT Masters champion Feller who made the most of the conditions, lapping the Portuguese circuit in 1m41.573s to maintain Audi’s unbeaten run in pre-season testing so far. 

Preining put Porsche in second ahead of the Stuttgart-based manufacturer’s full-time debut in the DTM, finishing less than a tenth off the pace of Feller with a time of 1m41.658s.

Attempto Audi’s Mariuz Zug once again featured near the front of the pack after setting the overall quickest time in Hockenheim earlier this month, finishing third behind Feller and Preining with a 1m41.757s flyer.

Team Rosberg’s Nico Muller made it three Audis in the top four as he looks to bounce back from a difficult 2021 season, ending the day just over three tenths off the pace with the latest version of the R8 LMS GT3.

The BMW contingent was led by factory driver Sheldon van der Linde, the South African setting the fifth-quickest time in the new M4 GT3 ahead of Schubert teammate Philipp Eng.

The German manufacturers monopolised the top six spots on Day 1 of testing, with Lamborghini securing the honour for best-of-the-rest thanks to Nicki Thiim’s effort of 1m41.940s aboard the T3 Huracan GT3.

Mirko Bortolotti finished just two spots behind in a Lamborghini entered by the Grasser Racing Team, with two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann sandwiched between the two in eighth in his Walkenhorst BMW.

The top 10 was completed by three-time DTM title winner Rene Rast, who posted a solid time of 1m41.994s on his return to the series with Abt Audi.

Thomas Preining, KÜS Team Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3-R

Thomas Preining, KÜS Team Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3-R

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Mercedes had a fairly low-key session despite being present with eight factory-supported cars, with HRT’s new signing Luca Stolz the brand’s best representative in 16th with a time that was six tenths slower than Feller’s benchmark.

Reigning champion Maximilian Gotz was only 22nd in his Winward Mercedes, albeit only nine tenths slower than Feller as the majority of the field was separated by less than a second in an ultra-competitive session.

The two Red Bull-backed Ferraris also had a relatively average test at Portimao, with Felipe Fraga ending up 17th quickest and six tenths off the pace, and Nick Cassidy languishing in 23rd place in the sister AlphaTauri-liveried car.

Cassidy, who was still only 0.940s slower than the pacesetter, will hand over the car to WRC legend Sebastien Loeb on Wednesday ahead of the Frenchman’s DTM debut later this weekend at Portimao.

Elsewhere, Ben Green got to complete a maiden DTM test as a reward for winning the GT4-based DTM Trophy series last year. The British driver ended up 28th quickest in an HRT-entered Mercedes, beating the GRT Lamborghini of Formula 2 convert Alessio Deledda.

Of the 29 full-time cars entered for the full season, only the Winward Mercedes of Lucas Auer was absent from the day’s running. 

Portimao DTM test - Day 1 results:

Pos

Driver

Team

Time

Laps

Gap

Ricardo FELLER

ABT Sportsline

1:41.573

70

-

2

Thomas PREINING

KÜS Team Bernhard

1:41.658

66

+0.085

3

Marius ZUG

Attempto Racing

1:41.757

68

+0.184

Nico MÜLLER

Team Rosberg

1:41.882

37

+0.309

Sheldon VAN DER LINDE

  Schubert Motorsport

1:41.919

53

+0.346

Philipp ENG

  Schubert Motorsport

1:41.933

61

+0.360

Nicki THIIM

  T3 Motorsport

1:41.940

54

+0.367

Marco WITTMANN

  Walkenhorst Motorsport

1:41.947

59

+0.374

Mirko BORTOLOTTI

  GRT

1:41.976

56

+0.403

10 

René RAST

Team ABT

1:41.994

58

+0.421

11 

Esteban MUTH

  Walkenhorst Motorsport

1:42.020

78

+0.447

12 

Clemens SCHMID

  GRT grasser-racing.com

1:42.045

66

+0.472

13 

Kelvin VAN DER LINDE

ABT Sportsline

1:42.045

62

+0.472

14 

Laurens VANTHOOR

SSR Performance

1:42.054

61

+0.481

15

Dennis OLSEN

SSR Performance

1:42.068

57

+0.495

16

Luca STOLZ

  Mercedes-AMG Team HRT

1:42.167

44

+0.594

17

Felipe FRAGA

  Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse

1:42.172

71

+0.599

18 

Dev GORE

Team Rosberg

1:42.280

58

+0.707

19 

Arjun MAINI

  Mercedes-AMG Team HRT

1:42.338

42

+0.765

20 

Rolf INEICHEN

  GRT

1:42.433

54

+0.860

21 

Maro ENGEL

  Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM 

1:42.456

75

+0.883

22 

Maximilian GÖTZ

  Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD 

1:42.466

47

+0.893

23 

Nick CASSIDY

  Red Bull AlphaTauri AF Corse

1:42.513

73

+0.940

24 

Mikael GRENIER

  Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM 

1:42.535

57

+0.962

25 

Maximilian BUHK

  Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke

1:42.824

35

+1.251

26 

David SCHUMACHER

  Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD

1:43.320

50

+1.747

27 

Esmee HAWKEY

  T3 Motorsport

1:43.751

39

+2.178

28 

Ben GREEN

  Mercedes-AMG Team HRT

1:43.789

35

+2.216

29 

Alessio DELEDDA

  GRT grasser-racing.com

1:43.957

55

+2.384

30 

Lucas AUER

Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD

     

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