DTM practice day in Portimão: Nico Müller fastest in the Algarve

2022 DTM Portimão

Nico Müller (Team Rosberg, Audi) proved to be in excellent form in the DTM season opener at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão and set the fastest time of the day.

With the Audi R8, the Swiss set his fastest lap of the 4.653 kilometer circuit on the Algarve coast in 1m 40,793s during the first free practice session. In the second free practice, South African Sheldon van der Linde led the time registration with 1m 40,807s, just 0.014 seconds behind Müller’s fastest time.

2022 DTM Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão

There was enormous brand variation in the top positions: in the first practice there were four different brands in the first six places with Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and BMW, while BMW, Porsche, Audi, Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG even added five different brands the top six in the second session. The first two of this season’s 16 DTM races will be held in Portimão this weekend. Races start on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 PM CEST. In the German-speaking countries, ProSieben will broadcast live on Saturdays from 12.30pm CEST and on Sundays from 1pm CEST, while ServusTV will stream the international feed from 1.15pm CEST on both days, as well as grid.dtm.com and the DTM YouTube channel is also all Stream DTM sessions.

“Today was a good day for us”, summarized Nico Müller after Friday’s two practices. “We focused on ourselves and tried to sort out the final details before qualifying and the race. But most drivers won’t really put their cards on the table until tomorrow, so that’s when we really know where we stand. The feel compared to last year’s car is significantly better. On the one hand there is the evo package, but on the other hand we have also taken a number of steps in the right direction as a team. In any case, this was a good start and the anticipation for tomorrow’s race is huge.”

2022 DTM: season opener in Portimão with record field

Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Schubert Motorsport) first place in the second free practice session was the first fastest time in DTM for the new BMW M4. “It shows that the new car has great potential,” said Van der Linde. “Obviously it’s still early, but it’s a great feeling to be there on opening day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow!”

The Porsche drivers also proved strong: with Belgian Laurens Vanthoor (SSR Performance) in first and Austrian Thomas Preining (KÜS Team Bernhard) in second free practice, a DTM newcomer finished second in each of the sessions. Two other DTM rookies were also strong: German Marius Zug, the youngest driver in the field at 19, was fourth fastest with the Attempto Audi in the second session, while Brazilian Felipe Fraga was classified fifth with the Red Bull Ferrari. For Fraga’s team-mate, rally superstar Sébastien Loeb, who was racing in DTM for the first time, twelfth place in practice two was his best result.

Result 1st free practice

2022 DTM Result 1st free practice

Result 2nd free practice

Foto: Gruppe C Photography