Bathgate’s Paul Di Resta struck the first psychological blow ahead of Sunday’s German Touring Car Championship shoot-out at Hockenheim when he posted the fastest time in free practice with his final lap of the day.
In doing so the 22-year-old Scot deposed his championship rival, Timo Scheider, who leads Di Resta by just two points. After a frantic end to the session, the Audi driver was eventually relegated to fourth, 0.399secs behind the Scot.
“We achieved everything we wanted to achieve today,” Di Resta, who was only 12th-fastest in the morning session but was the only driver to duck under 1min 33secs in the afternoon with his time of 1:32.783s, explained afterwards.
“We took our time this morning just finding our feet, but we knew we had the pace. This afternoon was all about timing that final run to make sure we could top the timesheets, and that’s exactly what we managed to do.”
But the Scot, who was watched by his dad Louis and will lift the title if he wins Sunday’s 60-minute race, isn’t taking anything for granted.
“We know the rest of the weekend is going to be tough,” he continued. “Qualifying is crucially important tomorrow and I’d love to start the race from pole position and then dominate the race.
“But we can only do what we can tomorrow and hope we maximise the performance of the car. Then we have to get our preparations right for the race. It’s shaping up to be a hell of a weekend.”