Mercedes leads first day of DTM testing with GT3 cars

Maximilian Gotz led a 1-2 finish for Mercedes in a snow-disrupted opening day of DTM pre-season test at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany.

Mercedes leads first day of DTM testing with GT3 cars

Following the demise of the Class One era, Wednesday’s test day marked the first official DTM running with GT3 cars that will form the basis of the championship in 2021.

A total of four sessions were held during the day, two of them shared with the GT4-based DTM Trophy, with a total of eight hours on-track action available to the teams - although the afternoon session was cut-short due to snowfall.

DTM newcomer Kelvin van der Linde set the early pace for the Abt Audi team on a cold wintry morning, setting a time of 1m36.867s to lead the AlphaTauri-livered Ferrari of 2020 Red Bull Formula 1 driver Alex Albon.

Haupt Racing driver Gotz sat third early on but improved to a 1m36.590s in the second morning session to snatch the top spot, and his time remained unbeaten in the afternoon.

Gotz’s teammate Vincent Abril was the only other driver to beat Audi GT3 ace van der Linde’s early benchmark, ending the session second-fastest with a best time of 1m36.759s.

Red Bull-backed Liam Lawson finished fourth-fastest behind van der Linde in the lead AF Corse-run Ferrari, but ahead of the Team Rosberg Audi of last year’s runner-up Nico Muller and teammate Albon.

Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann led the charge for BMW, ending up six tenths off the pace in Walkenhorst’s sole M6 GT3.

Sheldon van der Linde was eighth for Rowe Racing BMW, while Gary Paffett ended up ninth on his return to the DTM with Mucke Mercedes.

GetSpeed’s test driver Fabian Scheller, sharing the team’s #2 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Arjun Maini, completed the top 10 with a time of 1m37.349s.

2013 champion Mike Rockenfeller was classified 11th after taking over from Abt teammate van der Linde in the afternoon, while Lucas Auer (Winward Mercedes) and Timo Glock (Rowe BMW) finished 14th and 16th respectively.

The final session of the day was delayed by snowfall, with organisers waiting until 5:10pm local time before allowing cars to venture out on track again. However, most of the drivers elected to stay in the garage, with Albon the only exception as he completed two installation laps before returning to the pits.

Only 15 cars were present at Hockenheim on Wednesday, with Rowe Racing only bringing a single BMW M6 GT3 and Abt Audi running two cars for its trio of drivers. JP Motorsport, which is running a part-campaign in the DTM with a McLaren 720S GT3 driven by ex-F1 driver Christian Klien, was absent from the test.

The Hockenheim pre-season test continues for a second day on Thursday, with another eight hours of running scheduled across four sessions.

Hockenheim DTM test - Day 1 results:

1. Maximilian Gotz (Haupt-Mercedes) 1:36.590
2. Vincent Abril (Haupt-Mercedes) 1:36.759
3. Kelvin van der Linde (Abt-Audi) 1:36.867
4. Liam Lawson (AF-Corse-Ferrari) 1:36.897
5. Nico Muller (Rosberg-Audi)1:36.945
6. Alex Albon (AF-Corse-Ferrari) 1:37.091
7. Marco Wittmann (Walkenhorst-BMW) 1:37.260
8. Sheldon van der Linde (Rowe-BMW) 1:37.264
9. Gary Paffett (Mucke-Mercedes) 1:37.291
10. Fabian Schiller (GetSpeed-Mercedes) 1:37.349
11. Mike Rockenfeller (Abt-Audi) 1:37.641
12. Daniel Juncadella (GruppeM-Mercedes) 1:37.737
13. Philip Ellis (Winward-Mercedes) 1:37.875
14. Lucas Auer (Winward-Mercedes) 1:38.127
15. Sophia Floersch (Abt-Audi) 1:38.394
16. Timo Glock (Rowe-BMW) 1:38.466
17. Arjun Maini (GetSpeed-Mercedes) 1:38.753
18. Dev Gore (Rosberg-Audi) 1:38.831

shares
comments

Related video

Who is driving in the GT3-based DTM this year?
Previous article

Who is driving in the GT3-based DTM this year?

Next article

Auer, Mercedes fastest at Hockenheim as DTM test ends

Auer, Mercedes fastest at Hockenheim as DTM test ends
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Prime

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in.

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream" Prime

How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet.

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Prime

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020