First triumph of the new Audi A5 DTM
The Red Bull Ring is apparently a good track for premieres. After Audi Sport Team Phoenix had clinched its first DTM success at Spielberg last year, which laid the foundation for the subsequent title win, the time had come for Audi Sport Team Rosberg - the team founded by ex-Formula One World Champion Keke Rosberg - to do so this year - in an extremely thrilling race.
Despite a less than perfect start Edoardo Mortara in his Playboy Audi A5 DTM entered turn one as the race leader and controlled the pace at the front of the field throughout the entire 47 laps. After the second mandatory pit stop, Mortara had to fend off attacks by leader of the standings Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) and Martin Tomczyk (BMW) which involved a number of fierce duels. Mortara kept his cool in both attacks, though, managed to work out a small cushion again and ultimately crossed the finish line as the winner with a 1.068-second advantage.
"That was a fantastic weekend," beamed "Edo" after taking his first victory in what was only his 14th DTM race. "My first pole position yesterday and my first victory today - I’m simply super-happy. ‘Thank you’ to Audi Sport and ‘thank you’ to Team Rosberg - my guys worked incredibly hard in the past few weeks and months. This is the first reward today. I’m hoping for things to continue this way because I think we learned a lot here at Spielberg and made a major step forward. The battle with Gary (Paffett) was tough - but when you’re in contention for victory you won’t give in easily."
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline), too, had to fight hard for his fourth place which caused him to improve from third to second place in the standings. At the start, the Swede had taken the lead in his Red Bull Audi A5 DTM but then dropped all the way to fifth place in the commotion of the hectic first lap. He immediately managed to overtake Mercedes driver Jamie Green again, closed the gap to Gary Paffett in the final phase but could not pass him anymore.
An impressive race and the fastest lap were driven by Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM). The two-time DTM Champion advanced from position 16 on the grid to sixth place despite having to run through the gravel trap once after being hit by Augusto Farfus.
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM) thrilled the spectators with remarkable overtaking maneuvers as well. On positions seven and eight they caused a total of five A5 DTM cars to finish in the points.
A strong performance was also shown by Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM), who maintained her mid-field position before dropping to 15th place after a drive-through penalty imposed on her for having exceeded the speed limit in the pit lane.
Miguel Molina was forced to park his Red Bull Audi A5 DTM early after 17 laps after having been bumped several times. Even shorter was the race of Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM). The youngster was forced into the grass on the starting lap and had to retire.
"Winning such a thrilling race is particularly enjoyable," commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "That was first-class advertisement for the DTM, for the Red Bull Ring and for Audi. Our A5 DTM was the measure of all things here. We were running in front in all the practice sessions, posted the fastest race lap and ‘Edo’ perfectly converted his first pole position into his first victory. He had to fight a hard battle for this success that was a very important one for all of us. In the past few weeks, the entire team intensively worked on making us return to the very top of the DTM. Congratulations also to Audi Sport Team Rosberg that has been waiting for this day for a long time and worked hard for it as well."