GruppeM Racing Fastest in Assen Free Practice
- Daniel Juncadella sets Friday pace with rapid lap time
- GruppeM Racing crew motivated for the weekend ahead
- Kenny Chen: "We will fight for as many points as possible"
Assen, Netherlands – A succession of quick laps from Daniel Juncadella set Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing on top of the Friday times ahead of this weekend’s DTM round at Assen.
Running on fresh Michelin tyres, Juncadella scaled the competitive 21-car order with a time of 1m 33.706 that came just before the 20-minute mark in the second of two 45-minute Free Practice sessions.
The Spanish ace then found more room for improvement on his next tour, lighting up the timing screens with three purple sectors that culminated in a 1m 33.353s flyer.
This put the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 from GruppeM Racing over half a second clear of the competition, and also positioned it as the fastest car in practice as a whole.
Despite several drivers making inroads in the latter stages of FP2 after a short red flag, Juncadella remained the leader all the way through to the end of proceedings.
Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing also worked on longer runs to gear up for its first race weekend at the historic 18-turn TT Circuit Assen course, which is located approximately 180 kilometres north-east of Amsterdam.
Juncadella banked more than 40 laps across the two sessions, equating to almost 200 km in total.
Both driver and team are equally keen to replicate their competitive form exhibited during the previous DTM weekend at Spielberg, where Juncadella charged through the field in race two before a time penalty unfortunately averted a points score.
With a good opening day’s work in the bank, Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing is motivated to pursue strong results in both 55-minute plus one lap races at Assen.
Qualifying for round 11 of the DTM season on Saturday gets underway at 10:15 a.m., while the race itself is due to start at 1:33 p.m. (both times CEST).
"It was a good day. We had a spare new set of tyres for Free Practice which we carried over from the first weekend at Monza, because we knew we were not going to be able to test at Assen. I think it was a good decision because now we have a much better feeling of what’s coming tomorrow in qualifying. The car felt good. I love the track. It has lot of fast sections with a lot of flow, so it’s mega. It’s looking good. We haven’t really done many changes to the car since FP1, so that’s always a good indicator of where we are with the balance. I’m very optimistic for this weekend."
"It is the first time for GruppeM Racing at Assen and we really like the track layout. Unfortunately we had no opportunity to test here prior to the race weekend like the others, but luckily we have now found a setup for Dani that he is happy and very confident with for the weekend. It also seems like we have finally found the best braking performance after making some adjustments. Today’s lap times including P1 in FP2 are absolutely motivating. We still have six races to run, and we will fight for as many points as possible."