Photo: Audi Sport

Albuquerque sets fastest time in Nürburgring free practice

Audi’s Filipe Albuquerque set the fastest time in free practice at the Nürburgring, ahead of championship leader, Mike Rockenfeller, and BMW rookie, Marco Wittmann.

Albuquerque showed front running speed throughout the morning, and knocked Audi stable-mate, Rockenfeller, off of top spot with two minutes of the 90-minute session remaining.

Rockenfeller had a relatively quiet time of things until 10 minutes of the session remained, when he jumped to the top of the time-sheets with a lap-time of 1m23.600s. Despite improving again with a 1:23.494, he was eventually demoted to P2 by Albuquerque who went quickest overall by a mere 0.003 seconds.

Rockenfeller’s main championship rival, Bruno Spengler, finished 9th in his Schnitzer BMW, whilst stable-mate, Martin Tomczyk, who had troubled the top-five earlier in the session, wound up 12th.

Augusto Farfus rounded out the top-1o with a late flyer in the closing minutes of the session.

Audi’s Miguel Molina was P1 for a large part of the morning, after he set the quickest time at around the 40-minute mark, and eventually ended the morning fifth.

Christian Vietoris was the best placed of the Mercedes drivers in 11th, whilst HWA team-mate, Roberto Merhi, propped up the time-sheets in 22nd.

Notable incidents of the session came courtesy of Audi’s former DTM title winners, Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider.

The Swede lost the rear end of his RS 5 coming onto the start finish straight, but the car was undamaged and he finished the 90-minute session in eighth.

Scheider’s joined the session relatively late after the fire extinguisher went off in his Abt Audi, but despite the problem, he still managed to set the sixth fastest time of the morning.

The entire 22-car field was separated by a mere 1.367 seconds, with just 0.332 seconds covering the top-10.

Top 10 Scorecard

01 Filipe Albuquerque 1:23.491
02 Mike Rockenfeller +0.003
03 Marco Wittmann +0.063
04 Adrien Tambay +0.109
05 Miguel Molina +0.154
06 Timo Scheider +0.205
07 Edoardo Mortara +0.220
08 Mattias Ekström +0.228
09 Bruno Spengler +0.306
10 Augusto Farfus Jr. +0.332