Saturday 6 August 2011

60th pole position for Audi in the DTM

60th pole position for Audi in the DTM

• Mattias Ekström at the Nürburgring again on grid position one
• Strong: Six Audi A4 DTM cars on the top eight grid positions
• First pole position of the year for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline

Ingolstadt/Nürburg, August 6, 2011 – Jubilee for Audi: Mattias Ekström clinched
the 60th pole position in the DTM for the brand with the four rings at the
Nürburging. In changeable weather the Swede from Audi Sport Team Abt
Sportsline set the fastest time by far in Saturday’s qualifying. With six A4 DTM
cars on the top eight grid positions Audi showed a strong overall team
Mattias Ekström is back: A week after winning the 24-hour race at Spa-
Francorchamps at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS together with Timo Scheider and Greg Franchi the Swede secured the pole position for the sixth round of the DTM.
Ekström last started into a race from the top grid position exactly one year ago, also
at the Nürburgring.
“Today simply everything fit perfectly and my team always made exactly the right
decisions,” raved the two-time DTM champion. In view of the difficult conditions this
was anything but an easy feat. Drizzling rain repeatedly set in. Particularly the first
and last qualifying segments became a gamble.
As early as in Q3 Ekström was the front runner although he only drove one timed lap
in order to save his tires for the final shoot-out for pole. On the partially moist track
he subsequently put a more than three-second gap between himself and Mercedes
driver Jamie Green.
Ekström’s team-mate Mike Rockenfeller secured position three on the grid. In Q4
the 2010 Le Mans winner made a mistake in turn one. In the end he was merely
lacking 298 thousandths of a second to position two. “Naturally, it would have been
even nicer to start from the front row together with ‘Eki’,” said “Rocky.” “But third
place is also a good starting base for the race.”

Another Audi driver, Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg), almost managed
the leap into the top four as well. A small mistake at the beginning of his second
timed lap in Q3 though cost the crucial time. By clinching position five the DTM
rookie nonetheless achieved the second-best qualifying result in his still young
Miguel Molina, Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Timo Scheider
completed Audi’s strong qualifying result. Tomczyk, the runner-up in the standings,
was the quickest driver in Q1 and second in Q2, but then failed to achieve his
personal best time again in Q3. “It was very difficult today in the changing
conditions,” said Tomczyk. “But anything is still possible from position seven.”
Filipe Albuquerque is starting from position twelve. Oliver Jarvis in Q1 went out too
late again on the track as it was drying off after a rain shower and thus dropped to
position 15. By taking position 16 Rahel Frey equalized her so far best qualifying
result in the DTM in difficult conditions.
“It was very difficult for everyone today and Q4 was no doubt a bit of a gamble,”
commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “But before then we
already had six Audi cars in the top eight. That ‘Eki’ clinched pole in the end by
delivering a perfect lap in these difficult conditions was a fantastic performance.”

Audi Sport.

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