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Rookie Zug Fastest in Hockenheim Pre-Season Test

Series newcomer puts Attempto Audi on top over the course of two-day test…

Photo: DTM

DTM rookie Marius Zug topped the series’ official pre-season test at Hockenheim, setting the quickest lap time across two days of running.

The 19-year-old set a time of 1:38:344s behind the wheel of Attempto Racing’s No. 66 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II during the second session on Tuesday afternoon, leaving him quickest after the opening day of running.

The second out of four total session provided the first proper glimpse at something resembling competitive laptimes from the grid, as the times during Tuesday morning’s running were impacted by cold temperatures and damp track conditions.

However, Zug’s time remained at the top of the overall leaderboard by the time running concluded on Wednesday evening.

Nico Mueller came closest to beating the rookie German during the fourth and final session of the week, topping the timesheets with a best effort of 1:38:532 in the No. 51 Team Rosberg Audi.

The Swiss factory driver’s time lacked 0.188 seconds behind Zug, with GRT Grasser Racing Team’s Mirko Bortolotti third fastest in his No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo.

The Lamborghini factory driver had himself topped the Wednesday morning by reeling off a 1:39:201 lap time before improving again in the afternoon and closing the day with a best lap of 1:38:644, just over a tenth behind Mueller.

Rene Rast, who makes his return to the series after a year on the sidelines, ended running in fourth place.

The three-time DTM champion initially sat second overall only behind Zug on Tuesday, but his 1:38:682 lap dropped him to fourth by Wednesday.

While mid-engined cars dominated the top four positions during the test, the remainder of the top ten was largely made up by Mercedes machinery.

Lucas Auer, set for another season behind the wheel of a Winward Racing-entered Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, took fifth ahead of series newcomer Mikael Grenier, Maro Engel and defending series champion Maximilian Götz.

Grenier, Engel and Götz all posted their fastest laps during the Wednesday afternoon session.

Marco Wittmann came in ninth overall as the fastest BMW runner, posting a best lap of 1:39:117 that stood as fifth fastest at the end of Tuesday.

He remained just two thousandths of a second clear of tenth-placed Nicki Thiim, driving the No. 95 T3 Motorsport Lamborghini.

Porsche runners notably failed to break into the top ten by the time running concluded at Hockenheim.

Laurens Vanthoor set the quickest Porsche lap during the two-day test, setting a 1:39:532 in the No. 92 SSR Performance 911 GT3 R.

DTM moves to Portimao for the opening round of the championship, which takes place on April 30-May 1.

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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