Hot summer at Audi Sport
· Audi A5 DTM is subjected to intensive testing and further development
· Second half of the season starts at the Nürburgring on August 19
· Mattias Ekström is traveling to the Eifel circuit as the Audi driver with the highest points scoreIngolstadt/Nürburg, August 10, 2012 - Summer break in Germany - except at Audi Sport: the squad around Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich is working hard these days. In the second half of the DTM season that starts at the Nürburgring on August 19, the team is aiming to regain its usual strength.
Audi can already look back on a successful 2012 motorsport season at this juncture. The Audi R18 has remained unbeaten so far in the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). By achieving the first victory of a hybrid vehicle at the Le Mans 24 Hours the brand with the four rings wrote another chapter of motorsport history. Plus, the Audi R8 LMS ultra triumphed in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring and most recently at Spa-Francorchamps.
The new Audi A5 DTM on the other hand, with a tally that to date reflects two pole positions plus the victories at the Red Bull Ring and the DTM show event at Munich’s Olympic Stadium, has been beaten "below value." This is to change in the second half of the season.
Since the homologation of the A5 DTM on March 1, Audi Sport has not only been feverishly working on the assembly of eight race cars and ensuring spare parts supply. Since then, the A5 DTM has been subjected to continual further development as well - a truly major feat in view of the tight schedule in the first half of the season.
Therefore, Audi is now using the official summer break for numerous other activities. At Audi Sport and the three Audi Sport Teams, Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg, the A5 DTM cars received the latest technical update. In addition, in tests at Magny-Cours (France), all eight Audi drivers again had the opportunity to extensively test their cars and can now hardly wait to reap the fruit of the labor of the past few weeks and to convert it into results.
The first opportunity to do so will present itself on August 19, on the sprint track of the Nürburgring, on which Mattias Ekström took a pole-to-flag victory last year. In 2011, this marked the beginning of a strong second half of the season in which the Audi racer advanced from seventh to second place in the standings, winning three out of five races.
In 2012, the Swede from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, with a score of 47 points before the last five races of the season, is the best-placed Audi driver. Following him by narrow margins are Mike Rockenfeller (39 points/Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Edoardo Mortara (31 points/Audi Sport Team Rosberg).
As usual, ARD will air live coverage of the qualifying session and the race from the Eifel circuit on "Das Erste" (Saturday, August 18, from 13:30 and Sunday, August 19, from 13:45 - local times). DTM tickets are available at www.audi.de/dtm. Only a week later, the DTM will visit Zandvoort on the Dutch North Sea coast.
Quotes by the officials
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "At the Nürburgring and at the subsequent races, our aim is to continue the performance we showed at the Red Bull Ring - because in my opinion, we were beaten ‘below value’ at the Norisring. I’m optimistic that we’ll receive confirmation of the fact that we worked very hard and that the guys will be rewarded for their hard work with good results."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "We know that the first half of the season was less than perfect - but last year we showed that the second half of the season suits us well. Audi with the vehicle and we as a team want to show our potential and drive for victories. I’m hoping for us to jointly make this happen."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "Things haven’t been going so well for us at our home race in recent years. We want to change this. ‘Rocky’ loves the track; we’ve got a home round and are fully motivated. The same goes for Miguel (Molina), who wants to show what he was showing in the second half of the season last year. After the tests at Magny-Cours, we’ve got good prerequisites for clinching a good result."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "The Nürburgring is a home race for me. I was born not far from here and have very fond memories. Actually, the track should be suiting us. I’m confident that we’ll be able to do well."
Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers
Filipe Albuquerque (27/P), TV Movie Audi A5 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
- Between Munich and the Nürburgring, contested the 24-hour race at Spa
- Has scored points as many as four times in 2012
"I really like the Nürburgring a lot. It’s one of my absolutely favorite tracks. Our speed is continually increasing. The tests we did in between went well. I’m highly motivated for the second half of the season."
Mattias Ekström (34/S), Red Bull Audi A5 DTM #3 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
- Has already won twice at the Nürburgring (in 2005 and 2011)
- Won the DTM show event in Munich in July
"The Nürburgring was a very good weekend for me last year. I clinched the pole position and won the race. I like the track. It’s important to achieve a good result at the first race of the second half of the season and to make up a few points to the colleagues in front of us. As always, I’ll be doing my best."
Rahel Frey (26/CH), E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM #17 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
- In 2009, won a Formula 3 Cup race at the Nürburgring
- Defeated BMW driver Dirk Werner in a direct duel in Munich
"I’ve got ambitious aims for the second half of the season. I’m looking forward to the Nürburgring; the track suits me really well. In 2009, I won there in a Formula 3 car. That’s why I’m expecting quite a bit. I’ve got to continue to move forward. I’m hoping to be able to do that at the Nürburgring."
Miguel Molina (23/E), Red Bull Audi A5 DTM #10 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
- In 2011, clinched two pole positions in the second half of the season
- Is contesting his first season with Audi Sport Team Phoenix which is based at the Nürburgring
"The Nürburgring is my team’s home race. We’ll try and get everything together there and to have a good weekend. The Nürburgring is one of my favorite tracks. After Munich, we’ve had a long break but we used it to work for the second half of the season. I’m optimistic."
Edoardo Mortara (25/I/F), Playboy Audi A5 DTM #21 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
- At the Red Bull Ring, scored the first victory for the Audi A5 DTM
- In 2010, was victorious in the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Nürburgring
"I’m excited to see what we can achieve at the Nürburgring. I’m hoping for us to be strong there. We’ve continued to develop and test the car and are hoping for a successful second half of the season. In general, the Nürburgring has always been a good track for Audi. I’m hoping for this to be the case again this year."
Mike Rockenfeller (28/D), Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
- Was the only Audi racer to score points at the Norisring
- Mounted the podium at the Nürburgring last year
"The Nürburgring is a highlight for Team Phoenix and for me. For both of us, it’s a home race. I’m very much looking forward to the second half of the DTM season. I’m very optimistic that we’ll be successful. I can hardly wait to run at the Nürburgring."
Timo Scheider (33/D), AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM #4 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
- In Munich, together with Adrien Tambay, made it into the final of the team race
- Last mounted the podium at the Nürburgring in 2009
"The Nürburgring is my home track. Many friends and fans living close to the circuit come to see the race. I’m looking forward to traveling there at the season’s midpoint. We took a lot of positive things home from Munich. We managed to make a mark. I’m hoping that now we’ll be able to convert this motivation into results when the race is about scoring points again. I’m quite optimistic."
Adrien Tambay (F/21), Audi ultra A5 DTM #18 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
- In Munich, won his first trophy at a DTM event.
- In 2007, in Formula BMW, immediately mounted the podium in his first race at the Nürburgring
"I’m particularly looking forward to the race at the Eifel circuit. I love the region and have always been good on this track in other categories. I can hardly wait to be driving there. I’ll again try and score my first DTM points. For this, I’m going to work hard with my team and give everything."
The Audi drivers in the 2012 DTM
Filipe Albuquerque (P): * Jun 13, 1985 in Coimbra (P); residence: Coimbra (P); single; height: 1.74 m; weight: 64 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 15; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 2nd place); fastest laps: 0; points: 17; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: 9
Mattias Ekström (S): * Jul 14, 1978 in Falun (S); residence: Salenstein (CH); single (partner Heidi), one son (Mats); height: 1.83 m; weight: 77 kg; Audi driver since 1999; DTM races: 119; pole positions: 19; victories: 17; fastest laps: 12; points: 581; DTM titles: 2 (2004, 2007); best result, DTM Nürburgring: 1
Rahel Frey (CH): * Feb 23, 1986 in Niederbipp (CH); residence: Aedermannsdorf (CH); single; height: 1.63 m; weight: 50 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 15; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 12th place); fastest laps: 0; points: 0; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: 16
Miguel Molina (E): * Feb 17, 1989 in Girona (E); residence: Lloret de Mar (E); single; height: 1.75 m; weight: 62 kg; Audi driver since 2010; DTM races: 26; pole positions: 2; victories: 0 (best result: 3rd place); fastest laps: 1; points: 34; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: 12
Edoardo Mortara (I/F): * Jan 12, 1987 in Geneva (CH); residence: Geneva (CH); single; height: 1.82 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 15; pole positions: 1; victories: 1; fastest laps: 0; points: 52; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: 7
Mike Rockenfeller (D): * Oct 31, 1983 in Neuwied (D); residence: Altnau (CH); single (partner Susanne); height: 1.75 m; weight: 67 kg; Audi driver since 2007; DTM races: 56; pole positions: 1; victories: 1; fastest laps: 2; points: 113; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: 3
Timo Scheider (D): * Nov 10, 1978 in Lahnstein (D); residence: Lochau (A); single (partner Jessica), one son (Loris); height: 1.78 m; weight: 74 kg; Audi driver since 2006; DTM races: 124; pole positions: 9; victories: 6; fastest laps: 9; points: 370; DTM titles: 2 (2008, 2009); best result, DTM Nürburgring: 2
Adrien Tambay (F): * Feb 25, 1991 in Paris (F); residence: Aix-en-Provence (F); single; height: 1.81 m; weight: 69 kg; Audi driver since 2012; DTM races: 5; pole positions: 0; victories: 0; (best result: 12th place); fastest laps: 0; points: 0; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: -
DTM drivers’ standings after 5 of 10 rounds
1 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) 95 points
2 Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) 69 points
3 Bruno Spengler (BMW) 58 points
4 Martin Tomczyk (BMW) 54 points
5 Mattias Ekström (Audi) 47 points
6 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) 39 points
7 Edoardo Mortara (Audi) 31 points
8 Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) 24 points
9 August Farfus (BMW) 16 points
10 Timo Scheider (Audi) 16 points
11 David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz) 14 points
12 Andy Priaulx (BMW) 14 points
13 Miguel Molina (Audi) 8 points
14 Filipe Albuquerque (Audi) 8 points
15 Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) 7 points
16 Joey Hand (BMW) 2 points
17 Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) 2 points
18 Dirk Werner (BMW) 1 point
DTM manufacturers’ standings
1 Mercedes-Benz 211 points
2 Audi 149 points
3 BMW 145 points
DTM team standings
1 THOMAS SABO/Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG 119 points
2 Mercedes AMG 76 points
3 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 63 points
4 BMW Team Schnitzer 59 points
5 BMW Team RMG 56 points
6 Audi Sport Team Phoenix 47 points
7 Audi Sport Team Rosberg 39 points
8 BMW Team RBM 30 points
9 DHL Paket/stern Mercedes AMG 16 points
Audi DTM statistics
Champion’s titles: 8 (in 15 years)
Victories: 62 (in 199 races)
Pole positions: 66 (in 164 qualifying sessions)
Fastest laps: 54 (in 199 races)
All Nürburgring winners since 2000
2000 2 x Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz), 2 x Manuel Reuter (Opel)
2001 Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi)
2002 Uwe Alzen (Mercedes-Benz)
2003 Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz), Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi)
2004 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2005 Mattias Ekström (Audi)
2006 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz)
2007 Martin Tomczyk (Audi)
2008 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2009 Martin Tomczyk (Audi)
2010 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz)
2011 Mattias Ekström (Audi)
2011 flashback: commanding victory for Mattias Ekström
Audi in the duel against Mercedes-Benz increased its score of victories to 4-2 at the Nürburgring in 2011. In front of a crowd of 86,500 spectators (throughout the weekend) Mattias Ekström in the Audi A4 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline was in a class of his own. After starting from the pole position, the Swede achieved an advantage of 5.533 seconds over leader of the standings Bruno Spengler and celebrated his 15th DTM victory unchallenged. Almost up to race end, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline was even heading for a one-two result. Up to the penultimate lap, Mike Rockenfeller was running on position two before, under pressure from Spengler, the wheels of his Audi A4 DTM locked as Rockenfeller was braking to enter turn one.
Track length: 3.629 km
Race distance: 49 laps = 177.821 km
DTM qualifying record on this track: Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), August 06, 2005, 1m 23.161s (157.098 km/h)
DTM race record on this track: Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz), August 08, 2010, 1m 24.372s (154.843 km/h)
Pole position 2011: Mattias Ekström (Audi), 1m 32.066s (141.903 km/h)
Fastest lap 2011: David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz), 1m 25.558s (152.696 km/h)
Turnout 2011: 86,500
TV live rating 2011: 1.58 million / 10.9 % market share (source: ARD)
Adrien Tambay about the Nürburgring: "The first turn, which is very technical, is one of the key places. The last chicane is important too. Good balance and optimal traction for the slow corners are crucial for being able to overtake at the end of the long straight. I like this track very much. In 2007, I finished on the podium for the first time in a junior formula series held as part of the Formula One Grand Prix supporting program, so I’ve got fond memories of the Nürburgring. Up to now, I’ve only competed in formula cars there. Now, I’m eager to experience the track in a touring car. Being able to run over the kerbs will probably be the biggest difference. The weather in the Eifel region can change very quickly, which adds even more suspense to this race."
Friday, August 17
10:15-10:20 Starting practice
13:20-15:10 Free practice 1
15:10-15:15 Starting practice
Saturday, August 18
09:00-10:50 Free practice 2
Sunday, August 19
TV schedule ("Das Erste" live)
Saturday, August 18
Sunday, August 19