Promising Opening Day for GruppeM at Lausitzring
- GruppeM Racing back on track at round two of DTM
- Daniel Juncadella among front-runners in practice
- New banked first corner providing additional challenge
Lausitzring, Germany – Mercedes-AMGTeam GruppeM Racing logged a promising day of practice running at the Lausitzring on Friday to kick-start the second round of its 2021 DTM campaign.
After finishing in the points on its series debut at Monza last month, the Hong Kong-based team has been rigorous in its preparations for the pair of 55-minute races on Saturday and Sunday, with the intention to compete at the sharp end once again.
During the five-week gap between Monza and the Lausitzring, GruppeM took the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Spielberg for a test where it worked on the learning points from the season-opener and ensured its readiness for another crucial fixture.
Although the Lausitzring also staged one of the DTM’s official pre-season tests, notes from that event will only go so far due to the introduction of a new track layout.
The circuit in eastern Germany now incorporates an impressive high-speed banked first corner on the outer speedway loop in place of five technical sweepers.
The adjusted configuration is challenging teams to unearth the ideal setup covering both the fast oval section and the twisty infield. Turn 1 is also demanding expert skill and bravery from all drivers on the 19-strong grid.
GruppeM Racing successfully dialled itself in on Friday, starting with an additional practice session for drivers to get acquainted with the banked opening corner.
Juncadella was then on typically fine form in the first official practice session at midday, climbing to the top of the leaderboard with a time of 1m 32.145.
Subsequent improvements from other drivers meant the Spaniard ultimately finished fourth, however both Juncadella and the GruppeM team were pleased with their joint work.
The second official session saw Juncadella improve on his opening time, while the rest of the field also got quicker. Juncadella clocked in at 1m 31.959 as the GruppeM crew worked through their set of tasks ahead of Saturday’s competitive track action.
The third race of the DTM season, which will be the first of the year to be watched by spectators sat in the grandstands, gets underway at 1:33 p.m. CEST on Saturday.
The grid will be set during a qualifying session starting at 10:30 a.m.
"It was a good day! We focused on getting the car ready for qualifying and the races. We had very old tyres all day so it was hard to compare with our rivals, but I think we are looking very good. Turn 1 is super cool. It’s not quite flat so it’s a challenge for all the drivers, but I’m really enjoying it!"
"Everything is all going well and to our plan. We were happy with the progress today on old tyres and looking forward to qualifying in the morning. Using the banking on Turn 1 is a new experience for everyone but we are happy with all our preparation, both from our testing here and from all the hard work we have done since Monza. Tomorrow we will have fans back and this will be really great; we are excited to see them again."