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Mueller Heads Audi 1-2 in Second Imola Practice

Audi squads continue to show pace at scorching hot Imola…

Photo: DTM

Nico Mueller led the way in second practice for the DTM round at Imola, leading an Audi one-two ahead of Abt Sportsline’ Kelvin van der Linde.

Mueller posted a lap of 1:40.909 aboard his No. 51 Team Rosberg Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo to quickest.

The Swiss driver’s best effort proved enough to knock Van der Linde off the top of the timing sheets, with the gap between the two 0.110s.

Van der Linde would remain second throughout, having already lead the first session earlier on Friday.

Mueller’s best effort was notably faster than the 1:41.351 that Van der Linde posted during the opening running earlier in the afternoon.

Philipp Eng was third with his No. 25 Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, with Rene Rast posting a late improvement for Abt Sportsline to leap into fourth position.

Thomas Preining, after topping the session in the opening minutes, slipped back to fifth place.

The Austrian was the best-placed Porsche driver, posting a fastest lap of 1:41.238 behind the wheel of his No. 24 KUS Team Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Championship leader Sheldon van der Linde just missed out on the top five in sixth position, ahead of Mirko Bortolotti, Marco Wittmann and Marius Zug.

Dennis Olsen completed the top ten for SSR Performance, under half a second removed from Mueller’s fastest time.

The margins in the 28-car field were once again notably close, with a second separating 23 out of 28 runners.

Clemens Schmid’s No. 85 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo was shown as not having completed any laps or set a time, but the team stated that this was the result of a transponder issue and that the car did complete laps during the session.

Qualifying for the first DTM race of the season kicks off at 10:05 am CEST (4:05 am ET).

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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