Saturday 13 October 2012

Audi travels to DTM finale as leader of the manufacturers’ standings

Audi travels to DTM finale as leader of the manufacturers’ standings

·         31-point advantage over Mercedes-Benz, 41 over BMW
·         Audi A5 DTM returns to the venue of its race debut
·         Winning the manufacturers’ championship is the aim

Ingolstadt/Hockenheim, October 12, 2012 - World Champion in the sports prototype category, winner of the 24-hour classics at Le Mans, at the Nürburgring and at Spa: In endurance racing, Audi was the number one in the 2012 season. In the DTM, the brand with the four rings still has the chance of winning the manufacturers’ title at the Hockenheimring finale on October 21.

The Audi A5 DTM is returning to the venue of its debut. At the Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg, the new Audi race touring car started into its first race at the end of April - from the top spot on the grid. At the premiere, Mattias Ekström clinched the first pole position and the first podium for the A5 DTM. In the meantime, the tally reflects three fastest times in qualifying, two victories, nine podium results and 327 points. With that, Audi is leading the manufacturers’ standings before the last race of the season - 31 points ahead of Mercedes-Benz and 41 ahead of BMW. A manufacturer can still achieve a maximum of 88 points at Hockenheim.

Audi has scored the majority of the points in the second half of the season. This underscores the fact that following a first half of the season that was less than perfect, the 1990, 1991, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 champion has regained its traditional strength after the summer break - not least thanks to the continuous further development of the A5 DTM. Consequently, the engineers and technicians of Audi Sport are particularly eager to see how the lap times and relative strengths have changed compared with the season opener.

Winning the manufacturer’s championship is the primary aim of the automobile manufacturer from Ingolstadt at Hockenheim. Among the Audi squads there are a few more stakes involved: Who will finish the season as the best Audi driver? Which squad will be the best Audi team?

All Audi drivers have scored points this year. This has never been the case before ever since the brand returned to the DTM with a manufacturer’s commitment in the 2004 season. And the three Audi Sport Teams Rosberg, Abt Sportsline and Phoenix are separated by only seven points in the teams’ classification.

So far, Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) has scored the largest number of points for Audi this year. The 2010 Le Mans winner was on podium twice and at Zandvoort barely missed his first victory of the season. The second-best Audi driver in the overall classification is Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline), who won the DTM show race at the Munich Olympic Stadium in July. Trailing him by a narrow margin is Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg), winner of the races at Spielberg and Zandvoort.

42 laps have to be completed in the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring. Tickets are available on the internet at ARD will broadcast the qualifying session (Saturday, October 20 starting at 13:25, local time) and the race (Sunday, October 21, starting at 13:45) live as usual on "Das Erste." In addition, the ARD motorsport program "Benzin im Blut" will celebrate its debut on race day. From 13:15, "Das Erste" will get fans in the mood for the eagerly awaited DTM finale with its new motorsport format.

Quotes by the officials

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
"At Valencia, we achieved our stage-win and took over the leadership in the manufacturers’ championship. Our aim for Hockenheim is to extend this lead with a similarly positive team performance. We’re going to give everything to make this happen."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "Hockenheim is the grand finale of the DTM, which promises suspense galore. After the great result at Valencia, there’s just one aim for our team: we want to clinch the last victory of the year."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "It’s incredible how fast the season has passed. So now we’re returning to Hockenheim. When the season started we weren’t perfectly sorted there yet. We’ll leave no stone unturned to clinch a victory at the end of the season and to secure the manufacturers’ championship for Audi."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "Hockenheim is our home race and naturally we’re looking forward to it with particularly eager anticipation. We’ve already had a very good season but now we’d like to put a dot on another ‘i’. If at all possible, we want to shake off the misfortune we often suffered at Hockenheim and forcefully strike once more."

Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers

Filipe Albuquerque (27/P), TV Movie Audi A5 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)

- Has scored points at seven of the nine races in 2012
- Advanced into the top ten of the overall standings at Valencia
"My performance at Valencia was strong even though the race didn’t go perfectly. I’m totally motivated for the finale. At Hockenheim, we’ve now got to demonstrate continuity. My maxim is all-out attack!"

Mattias Ekström (34/S), Red Bull Audi A5 DTM #3 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
- Clinched the first pole position for the new Audi A5 DTM at the season opener
- Has celebrated as many as two DTM wins at the Hockenheimring
"Hockenheim has always been one of my favorite tracks. Now the finale is around the corner. So we’ve got another season behind us and it would be nice to end the year with a highlight. In the past two races, in terms of balance, we leveled the car at ten out of ten possible points. For Hockenheim, our aim is to achieve these ten points as early as in qualifying."

Rahel Frey (26/CH), E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM #17 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
- Finished in seventh place at Valencia and scored her first points in the DTM
- Celebrated her DTM debut at the Hockenheimring at the beginning of 2011
"I’m looking forward to Hockenheim and want to go flat-out again there once more. We’ve already been to Hockenheim this season, so we know what we’ve got to do better this time. Since the race at the Nürburgring my crew and I’ve experienced an upswing. Obviously, I want to take that with me to Hockenheim again and am hoping to be able to continue the performance we showed at Valencia."

Miguel Molina (23/E), Red Bull Audi A5 DTM #10 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
- Started from the pole position at the Hockenheim finale last year
- Has clinched his only podium result in the DTM to date at Hockenheim
"The last round of the season at Hockenheim is coming up and I’m hoping for a good result for Audi and for myself. Last year, I drove a good race here and of course I’d like to repeat that now."

Edoardo Mortara (25/I/F), Playboy Audi A5 DTM #21 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
- Has clinched the only two victories with the Audi A5 DTM to date
- Has never scored points at the Hockenheimring before
"I’m really hoping for us to be competitive again at Hockenheim and that we won’t have any technical problems with the car. And of course I’m also hoping that the car will be as fast again there as it was last was at Valencia."

Mike Rockenfeller (28/D), Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
- Is starting into the DTM finale as the Audi driver with the highest points score
- In third place, achieved his so far best result at Hockenheim in 2010
"At the last race of the season, my maxim is: all-out attack. We’re highly motivated after the good performance at Valencia. I’ll be giving all I can to score as many points as possible for the championship and to be in contention for victory too."

Timo Scheider (33/D), AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM #4 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
- Is the only Audi driver to have won the DTM finale at Hockenheim to date
- Secured his two DTM titles (2008 and 2009) at the Hockenheimring
"Even though, obviously, everyone is focused on the decision for the drivers’ title, the main focus for us at Audi is the title in the manufacturers’ championship. At Valencia, we delivered a very strong team result. It would simply be nice to finish the season finale with another good result and, if at all possible, to win the manufacturers’ title for Audi. If we manage to do that, then we’ll have managed to close the season on a positive note. In any event, I’m looking forward to the finale at Hockenheim. It’ll probably be a real thriller. Besides that, it’s always a special thing to drive there in front of a great audience."

Adrien Tambay (F/21), Audi ultra A5 DTM #18 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
- Clinched his first podium result in the DTM at Valencia
- Is driving his tenth DTM race at the Hockenheimring
"After the brilliant result at Valencia, I’m obviously now looking forward to the finale of my fantastic first DTM season with particularly eager anticipation. Hockenheim is a nice track; I’ve won races there before. I want to take the momentum from Valencia with me and am convinced that we’ll again be able to achieve a good result if we manage to do all the right things straight from the start."

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: 19; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 2nd place); fastest laps: 0; points: 35; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Hockenheim: 10

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: 123; pole positions: 19; victories: 17; fastest laps: 12; points: 615; DTM titles: 2 (2004, 2007); best result, DTM Hockenheim: 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: 19; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 7th place); fastest laps: 0; points: 6; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Hockenheim: 15

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: 30; pole positions: 2; victories: 0 (best result: 3rd place); fastest laps: 1; points: 34; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Hockenheim: 3

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: 19; pole positions: 1; victories: 2; fastest laps: 0; points: 95; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Hockenheim: 11

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: 60; pole positions: 1; victories: 1; fastest laps: 2; points: 159; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Hockenheim: 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: 128; pole positions: 10; victories: 6; fastest laps: 9; points: 373; DTM titles: 2 (2008, 2009); best result, DTM Hockenheim: 1

Adrien Tambay (F): * Feb 25, 1991 in Paris (F); residence: Lochau (A); single; height: 1.81 m; weight: 69 kg; Audi driver since 2012; DTM races: 9; pole positions: 0; victories: 0; (best result: 2nd place); fastest laps: 0; points: 28; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Hockenheim: -

DTM drivers’ standings after 9 of 10 rounds
1 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) 127 points
2 Bruno Spengler (BMW) 124 points
3 Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) 109 points
4 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) 85 points
5 Mattias Ekström (Audi) 81 points
6 Edoardo Mortara (Audi) 74 points
7 Martin Tomczyk (BMW) 69 points
8 August Farfus (BMW) 54 points
9 Adrien Tambay (Audi) 28 points
10 Filipe Albuquerque (Audi) 26 points
11 Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) 24 points
12 Dirk Werner (BMW) 19 points
13 Timo Scheider (Audi) 19 points
14 Andy Priaulx (BMW) 18 points
15 David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz) 14 points
16 Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) 14 points
17 Miguel Molina (Audi) 8 points
18 Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) 8 points
19 Rahel Frey (Audi) 6 points
20 Joey Hand (BMW) 2 points

DTM manufacturers’ standings
1 Audi 327 points
2 Mercedes-Benz 296 points
3 BMW 286 points

DTM team standings
1 THOMAS SABO/Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG 151 points
2 BMW Team Schnitzer 143 points
3 Mercedes AMG 117 points
4 Audi Sport Team Rosberg 100 points
5 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 100 points
6 Audi Sport Team Phoenix 93 points
7 BMW Team RBM 72 points
8 BMW Team RMG 71 points
9 Audi Sport Team Abt 34 points
10 DHL Paket/stern Mercedes AMG 28 points

Audi DTM statistics

Champion’s titles: 8 (in 15 years)
Victories: 63 (in 203 races)
Pole positions: 67 (in 168 qualifying sessions)
Fastest laps: 54 (in 203 races)

All Hockenheim winners (finale)

2000 Uwe Alzen (Opel)/Uwe Alzen (Opel)
2001 Bernd Mayländer (Mercedes-Benz)2002 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)2003 Jean Alesi (Mercedes-Benz)2004 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2005 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2006 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz)2007 Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz)
2008 Timo Scheider (Audi)
2009 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2010 Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz)
2011 Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz)

2011 flashback: Six Audi drivers in the points

After the early win of the drivers’ championship, Audi secured the position of the runner-up in the championship and won the team classification as well on the Audi A4’s last run. With Martin Tomczyk, Miguel Molina, Mike Rockenfeller, Mattias Ekström, Timo Scheider and Oliver Jarvis in positions two to four and six to eight, six Audi racers scored points. For Miguel Molina, this marked the first podium in his still young DTM career. The decision was made right at the start, which Mercedes driver Jamie Green decided in his favor and then went on to drive a lonely race at the front of the field. The race of the two Audi drivers Martin Tomczyk and Miguel Molina that ended in positions two and three was similarly solid.

Track info

Track length: 4.574 km
Race distance: 42 laps = 192.108 km
DTM qualifying record on this track: Mattias Ekström (Audi), Oct 25, 08, 1m 32.244s = 178.509 km/h
DTM race record on this track: Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz), Oct 26, 08, 1m 33.576s = 175.968 km/h
Pole position, season opener 2012: Mattias Ekström (Audi), Apr 28,12, 1m 34.680s (173.900 km/h)
Fastest lap, season opener 2012: Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz), Apr 29, 12, 1m 34.901s (173.511 km/h)
Turnout 2011: 120,000
TV live rating 2011: 1.26 million / 9.3 % market share (source: ARD)

Mattias Ekström about the Hockenheimring: "The mix of turns makes the track particularly interesting. There are some very slow corners, such as turn 2 or the hairpin, as well as some very quick bends such as turn 1 or the entrance to the Motodrom. Ever since the track was modified ten years ago I’ve been particularly fond of the layout. In the Parabolica turn that was introduced back then, you can perfectly prepare for overtaking maneuvers. In the past, we used to measure the gaps at Hockenheim in terms of half-seconds. This was reduced to tenths over the years. And with the new vehicle generation as of 2012 we’ve got to start searching in the range of hundredths to recognize the differences. The atmosphere at Hockenheim is particularly nice. A large crowd flocks to the venue for the finale year after year."


Friday, October 19
09:45-10:15 Roll-out
10:15-10:20 Starting practice
13:40-15:30 Free practice 1
15:30-15:35 Starting practice

Saturday, October 20
09:00-10:50 Free practice 2
13:40-14:50 Qualifying

Sunday, October 21
10:20-10:50 Warm-up
14:00 Race

TV schedule ("Das Erste" live)

Saturday, October 20
13:25-15:00 Qualifying

Sunday, October 21
13:45-15:45 Race

Audi Sport.


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