Audi Phoenix Racing driver Mike Rockenfeller was fastest of all in the first free practice session at the Red Bull Ring ahead of the BMW M3 of Dirk Werner and points leader Gary Paffett’s HWA Mercedes C-Coupé.
Rockenfeller’s best time of 1:27.271 was just under two-tenths of a second clear of Werner, in the Schnitzer Motorsport-run BMW, with the top 18 all covered within a second.
The split practice session saw a few excursions off track, including HWA Mercedes’ driver Gary Paffett in the first part. Susie Wolff, who led the times for the majority of the first session also went off in the first half of the session at Turn 3. Wolff went on to finish 12th fastest in the Persson Motorsport Mercedes.
In the second session, Edoardo Mortara span out at Turn 5 in his Team Rosberg Audi A5, which saw yellow flags reduce the opportunity for improvements for a number of drivers.
With Rockenfeller fastest and Audi with five cars in the top ten, the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer seem to strong early on in Austria where they’ll be chasing their first win of the season.
The next session is Free Practice 2, which takes place at 09:00 CET tomorrow.