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Feb 03, 2013 - 05:25 PM
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Audi Drivers Are Guests At Ball Of Sport
Posted by: newsla on Feb 03, 2013 - 05:24 PM
American Le Mans Series News
Audi Drivers Are Guests At Ball Of Sport

DTM stars meet with sport stars

1,800 invited guests - including the two Audi factory drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider - attended the 43rd "Ball of Sport" celebration hosted by the German Sport Aid Foundation in Wiesbaden. Together with fellow racers from the DTM they showed sport stars such as fencing Olympic gold medalist Britta Heidemann and star gymnast Fabian Hambüchen how to change the wheels on a DTM car during the gala. At several activity stations, with instructions provided by top-caliber athletes, the two drivers had the opportunity to personally try out sports like archery, curling or hockey. The guests at the charity event then went on to party at the "DTM Race Club" until the early morning hours.


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Abt squad honored for best pit stops

While the four racers of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline did not enter their names on the winners’ lists as a matter exception in 2012 the mechanics in the pit lane topped those of all other teams by a wide margin. For the quickest pit stops throughout the season, the Kempten-based squad was recognized with the "Best Pit Stop Award" by tire partner Hankook this weekend. The presentation of the trophy was followed by a team evening including a hike in the dark with torches and sledge rides in the Oberjoch region organized by Hankook as a reward.

Victory on ice

Audi factory driver Adrien Tambay’s foray into the "Trophée Andros Electrique" ended in a victory at the finale in Super Besse. For the youngster from the DTM, this marked an amazing third success in the French ice racing series for electric vehicles. In the overall standings, Tambay finished as the runner-up with a score of 340 points and seven podium places at 13 rounds. "The ice racing series was a very good way of spending the winter," said the 21-year-old. "The races are a lot of fun and good practice in terms of vehicle control. I’ll profit from that in the DTM too."

International program

The Portuguese Audi customer team Novadriver will not only defend its title in the Portuguese GT Championship with the Audi R8 LMS in the 2013 season. The team around César Campaniço also contests the FIA GT Series and the new Supercars International Series. César Campaniço, Carlos Vieira and Mikko Eskelinen are currently confirmed as drivers.

Touring car World Champion in Audi R8 LMS

A total of seven Audi R8 LMS ultra sportscars contest the 12-hour race at Bathurst (Australia) on February 10. One of the drivers in action will be defending World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff. The Briton drives an Audi R8 LMS for Peter Conroy Motorsport. Audi’s GT3 customer sportscar is regarded as the car to beat after claiming two successive wins at Bathurst,.

Snowy test drive

DTM driver Filipe Albuquerque tested the 188 kW (256 hp) powerful Audi A1 quattro on the various Großglockner high Alpine roads at the beginning of December. The result of the film shoot can now be seen on Audi.tv and on the Audi You Tube channel.

A word from ... Mike Rockenfeller

You attended the "Ball of Sport" together with your fellow driver Timo Scheider. Your impression?
That was a premiere for me. I was there for the first time. It was a big event with many well-known, important people from the worlds of sport, politics and show biz. Obviously, it’s great that the DTM is part of this and I had the opportunity of attending for the first time. Particularly interesting to me was the chance to go through various activity stations after the official part and to try out different sports. And performing a tire change on a DTM car together with fencing Olympic gold medalist Britta Heidemann, who I’d met before on several other occasions, surely was fun.

The weekend before, you ran in a Daytona prototype at the 24-hour race at Daytona/USA. Are you happy with the result?
Absolutely not - fourth place is always a bit unfortunate. We had a realistic chance of taking second place and almost did. Unfortunately, a penalty in the final stage made us lose ground. I was satisfied with my own performance though. The car was good and the team, too, did a great job.

How did you perceive the one-two victory of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM in the GT class?
Positively of course! That was a very successful showing for Audi. The cars had been superbly prepared and the cockpits occupied by outstanding drivers. And especially in the infield with its many turns the R8 was extremely strong. I’m sure that now the car has caught the attention of several people in the United States as well. On the tracks that have fewer straights than Daytona the R8 will be hard to beat.

The Ball of Sport was mainly about the DTM - are you already looking forward to the new season although there’s still some time to go before the opening round at Hockenheim on May 5?
Absolutely. I’m really dying for the tests to start and for the first race, and I’m very eager to see how the new drivers will fare - and naturally to see where we stand this year compared with the competition. I think that within the realm of possibilities we’ve done a good job with respect to our further development. But the others were no doubt busy too.

The program of the DTM events has been condensed to two days. What does that mean to you as a driver?
Now you’ve got to be sorted in even less time. Basically speaking, having a lot of experience won’t hurt. If the car fits right from the beginning, there won’t be that much that’ll change. But when you’re out in the cold things may be a bit more difficult. We’ve got to wait and see. Generally, the situation is the same for everybody. Personally speaking, I just think it’s a shame that we’ll be spending less time on track - because driving is still the thing I enjoy doing most.

Coming up next week

Feb 05 Timo Scheider at IPSO in Munich (D)
Feb 10 Bathurst 12 Hours (AUS)

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