DTM testing at Hockenheim heralds new GT3 era

DTM Test at Hockenheimring Lawson Ferrari GT3 488 Red Bull

A new look DTM awoke from the preseason with testing at Hockenheim this week, the once super GT or GT1 concept is gone and replaced by the increasingly relevant GT3 class.

Gone are the silhouette prototypes, replaced by GT3 cars supported by Mercedes, Audi, Ferrari, McLaren and BMW. The official website reported: “DTM has awakened from hibernation.”

The report added that testing at Hockenheim gave fans a glimpse at the new-look series which some predict will die a slow death without the state-of-the-art cars that made the German series so popular with fans but under the leadership of former F1 driver Gerhard Berger is forging a new course

There were 17 drivers in action in 15 GT3s in preparation for the 35th season of the iconic series. However, persistent snowfall in the afternoon ended the first of two days of testing prematurely. In addition, temperatures just above freezing point did teams and drivers no favours.

Among those in the cockpit were axed Red Bull F1 driver Alex Albon in the Alpha Tauri AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3. He was sixth fastest, four-tenths down on the top time and a couple of tenths down on Liam Lawson in the Red Bull backed Ferrari.

A notable on duty was veteran Gary Paffett who ended the day ninth quickest in the Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-AMG entry,

Maximilian Götz, who set the fastest time of the day in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 that morning, said: “It’s a great feeling to be back in the DTM.”

Last year’s runner-up Nico Müller was the fastest in Team Rosberg’s Audi R8 LMS. “A lot is new,” said Müller. “I prepared for the season just as I always did, but spent more time with my team, especially with my new vehicle engineer.”

DTM TEST @ HOCKENHEIM, DAY 1: RESULTS

  1. Maximilian Götz (GER) Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT, 1:36.590
  2. Vincent Abril (FRA) Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT, 1:36.759
  3. Kelvin van der Linde (RSA) Audi R8 LMS, ABT Sportsline, 1:36.867
  4. Liam Lawson (NZL) Ferrari 488 GT3, Red Bull AF Corse, 1:36.897
  5. Nico Müller (SUI) Audi R8 LMS, Team Rosberg, 1:36.945
  6. Alex Albon (THA) Ferrari 488 GT3, Alpha Tauri AF Corse, 1:37.091
  7. Marco Wittmann (GER) BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport, 1:36.260
  8. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing, 1:37.264
  9. Gary Paffett (GBR) Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke Motorsport, 1:37.291
  10. Arjun Maini (IND) Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed Performance, 1:37.349