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Oct 07, 2012 - 05:56 PM
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Motorsport Newsletter 39/2012: Audi Factory Drivers In Worldwide Demand
Posted by: newsla on Oct 07, 2012 - 05:55 PM
Sports Cars
Motorsport Newsletter 39/2012: Audi Factory Drivers In Worldwide Demand

In what was a race-free week for them, the Audi factory drivers were in high demand as interview guests, participants and partners at trade fairs, awards ceremonies and a TV event.


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Five DTM racers and "die Sendung mit der Maus:" A total of around 800 children experienced an unforgettable day in Ingolstadt on Wednesday. At Audi, the fans of the popular German TV children’s program had the opportunity to take a peek into rooms that are normally closed to the public at the so called "Door Opener Day." Whether at the wind tunnel, at the clay model in the design studio, in the color-and-trim department or as passengers of an Audi factory driver on the test track: the youngsters received some exciting insights into automotive development. Filipe Albuquerque, Miguel Molina, Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Scheider and Adrien Tambay on their part took great pleasure in dealing with the young fans.

Two appearances in Paris: Benoît Tréluyer was a guest at the event hosted by TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear on Wednesday. The company celebrated its tenth anniversary billed as "A decade of innovation inspired by motor racing." The Audi factory driver received a special gift presented by Giorgio Sarne, International General Manager of TAG Heuer, and Pascal Brouard, Director General of Logo (responsible for production and sales of the eyewear products): a pair of the TAG Heuer Squadra Eyewear glasses engraved with "Benoît Tréluyer, Le Mans winner 2011 & 2012." A day later, the Frenchman visited the booth of Akrapovič, a partner of Audi in motorsport like TAG Heuer, at the Paris Motor Show. An Audi R18 e-tron quattro could be admired at the muffler manufacturer’s booth as well.

Expertise wanted: Mattias Ekström is again a member of the judging panel for the "Golden Steering Wheel." Audi’s two-time DTM Champion has been a member of this panel for several years. The accolade is awarded every year by "Bild am Sonntag" and "Autobild" and is one of the leading automotive awards. In Balocco, Italy, the Swede participated in the rating of important new automobiles last week. The award winners will be honored in Berlin on November 7.

Accolade for young racers: TAG Heuer rewarded the best Japanese young racer with an award at the "Japan Motor Racing Hall of Fame 2012" on Wednesday. The "Best Young Driver Award" was presented to Ryo Hirakawa at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tokyo by Audi factory driver André Lotterer. Hirakawa had convinced the judges with his results in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, in the Formula Challenge Japan and in a one-make cup.

Champion’s celebration postponed: After the penultimate race weekend of the Portuguese GT Championship at Estoril, César Campaniço and Carlos Vieira are now about to win the title. By finishing the first race in fourth place, Campaniço/Vieira barely missed the podium. Despite a drive-through penalty in the second race the front runners in the Audi R8 LMS ultra managed the leap onto second place. The season’s finale will take place at Jarama (E) on October 27/28.

In eager anticipation of the next weekend: Timo Scheider is again flinging himself into the TV Total Stock Car Crash Challenge 2012. Next Friday and Saturday, the DTM racer will be a guest at Stefan Raab’s TV show in the Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

A word from ... Rahel Frey

A week ago, at Valencia, you achieved your best performance in the DTM. You drove Dirk Werner into making a mistake, prevailed against World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx as well, and finished in seventh place. What was the nicest battle of your race weekend?
I’d planned not to drive so defensively any more this year. I think that in the battle with Andy Priaulx I put that plan on track pretty well. I’m definitely a little proud of this duel. In the DTM, you’ve simply got to counter. Because both of us had very little steering angle in this maneuver, there wasn’t much of a risk for the technology of our cars. Only the bodies were affected a bit. This nice competition has further boosted my self-confidence.

This has been your best personal result in qualifying, your best personal DTM race result, the first points scored by a woman in the latest DTM touring car generation and the first points of a female Audi driver in the DTM. Do any of these achievements mean more to you than the others?
All of these aspects are equally important to me. I’d been planning for some to time to make it into Qualifying 2. I also wanted to finish a race in the points. That it now turned out to be the first points for a woman in the latest DTM generation probably helps to further strengthen our position in this sport. All of these aims are important by themselves. To have achieved them on a single weekend makes it even better.

Your family was on location on the race weekend at Valencia. On Monday, you took a tour of Valencia together. Do this city and its race track now have a special place in your career?
My parents, my sister and a few friends from Switzerland had traveled to Spain with me. After the race weekend, we jointly experienced the city and visited the Oceanogràfic. Europe’s biggest aquarium is pretty impressive. Obviously, Valencia has a special meaning for me and I’ll always remember it. Just like the many congratulations. Not only my Abt squad but Teams Phoenix and Rosberg applauded as well. Even the security staff hugged me. An unforgettable weekend!

Coming up next week

Oct 13 Navarra (E), round 6, Blancpain Endurance Series
Oct 14 Fuji (J), round 7, WEC
Oct 14 Tarumã, (BR), round 6, Brazilian GT Championship

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