Formula One veteran David Coulthard is poised to join grand prix newcomer, and fellow Scot Paul Di Resta, in the DTM after delivering an impressive performance during testing in Valencia.
Coulthard, who retired from his Red Bull team at the end of 2008 to become an F1 pundit with BBC, outpaced established DTM stars like Ralf Schumacher and former champs Mattias Ekstrom and Timo Scheider in the Spanish test.
The 13-time grand prix winner, driving a year-old spec Mucke Motorsport Mercedes finished the test just 0.059 seconds slower than the Audi of Frenchman Alexandre Premat.
Bathgate’s Di Resta tested at Valencia last week before heading to Melbourne where he will drive the Mercedes-powered Force India car in tomorrow’s practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
And while 38-year-old Coulthard continues to delay confirming he will contest the 10-round DTM series, which starts at Hockenheim on April 25 before finishing in Shanghai in October, his pace in the test highlighted his competitiveness.
Driving a year-old car, the Scot’s fastest time of 1min 28.725secs was quicker than Mercedes’ established driver Bruno Spengler. The Canadian, driving a 2010-spec car, was only fourth-fastest, 0.224s behind the Scot.
“Nothing is finalised,” Merc motorsport boss Norbert Haug, who worked with Coulthard when he raced with McLaren-Mercedes in F1, said today. “We’ll make an announcement before the start of the season.”
Significantly, none of the 10 DTM dates clash with grands prix which would allow Coulthard to continue his role as BBC F1 pundit.