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Feb 09, 2014 - 03:54 PM
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Mike Rockenfeller At ‘Ball Of Sport’
Posted by: newsla on Feb 09, 2014 - 03:54 PM
Sports Cars
Mike Rockenfeller At ‘Ball Of Sport’

• DTM Champion drove up to the red carpet in the Audi safety car
• Phoenix Racing best Audi customer team at Bathurst
• DTM driver Nico Müller about the response to his signing


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Ingolstadt, February 9, 2014 – At the ‘Ball of Sport’ in Wiesbaden, Audi factory driver Mike Rockenfeller switched from his race suit to a tuxedo and bow tie. By contrast, six Audi customer teams experienced hot racing action in the iconic Australian Bathurst 12 Hour.

Mike Rockenfeller attends ‘Ball of Sport’

This weekend, Mike Rockenfeller switched from his race suit to a tuxedo and bow tie. The DTM Champion attended the ‘Ball of Sport” in Wiesbaden which the DTM has been partnering with for many years. ‘Rocky’ – in style – drove up to the red carpet in the Audi safety car and at the gala met numerous athletes from other disciplines such as surfing world champion Philip Köster, gymnast Fabian Hambüchen and épée fencer Britta Heidemann. In team handball, baseball and basketball self-tests, the Audi race driver made a respectable showing as well.

Phoenix Racing best Audi customer team in ‘Down Under’

A turbulent and – at about 40 degrees centigrade outside temperatures – very hot endurance classic – was awaiting the six Audi customer teams in the 12-hour race at Bathurst, Australia. In fifth place, Phoenix Racing achieved the best result of an Audi R8 LMS ultra. After 296 race laps with numerous incidents and safety car periods, Rahel Frey, René Rast and Laurens Vanthoor were still on the same lap as the overall winners. Two punctures, a drive-through penalty plus three resets after misfires cost valuable time on the tradition-steeped track at Mount Panorama. Behind Phoenix Racing, the United Autosports squad with Markus Winkelhock and his team-mates Eric Lux and Mark Patterson took sixth place. The Equity-One-Motorsport team with Dean Koutsoumidis, Dean Grant, Michael Loccisano and Dean Fiore was the best Audi R8 LMS to finish Class B in sixth place.

WRT with up to four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in Blancpain GT series

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is fielding up to four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the Blancpain GT racing series in the 2014 season. The Belgian outfit will regularly enter three of the GT3 race cars in the Blancpain Endurance Series. A fourth car is additionally planned for the Spa 24 Hours. The WRT team won the series in 2011 and 2012 and was the winner of the FIA GT Series last year. In addition to the five rounds of the endurance series, seven events of the new Blancpain Sprint Series, where WRT will be battling for the title with four driver pairings, are on the Audi team’s agenda. “We’ve extended our team base in Flenu and again enlarged the number of our regular employees to tackle this nice new task,” says Team Director Vincent Vosse.

A word from … Nico Müller

Three weeks following the announcement: How does it feel to be an Audi factory driver in the DTM?
It feels better every day! When I received the call from Audi, the feeling was unique. Of course I’d been hoping for this and working towards it, but then everything suddenly happened very fast. Now I’m gradually starting to realize what this step into the DTM with Audi means for me.

How did your friends and acquaintances respond to the news? Did you receive a lot of calls and messages?
I’ve never experienced anything like it. I’d won a Formula race in Monaco before – and there were a lot of calls and e-mails afterwards too. But the reactions following the DTM announcement, they were in a class of their own. It took me a few days to thank all the people who sent their congratulations.

In Jamie Green you’ve got an experienced team-mate at your side in Audi Sport Team Rosberg. Have you been in touch yet?
Yes, we’ve already had our first team meetings, gotten to know each other a bit better, and discussed initial details. Jamie, with his experience and personality, is the perfect team-mate for me.

How nervous are you when thinking about the afternoon of May 4, the start of your first DTM race?
Not at all yet, but I’m sure I’ll get nervous soon enough. At the moment, I’m fully concentrating on my preparation and particularly the pre-season tests. We haven’t got a lot of time to prepare, so, as a rookie, I’ve got to squeeze the maximum out of every single lap.

The DTM is an international series with a large supporting program. What are you looking forward to the most?
Racing comes before anything else for me. The DTM is a difficult series and, from my point of view, currently poses the biggest challenge to any race driver. That’s why I can hardly wait to be pitted against all the top drivers on track. But obviously, all the things surrounding the race will be new for me too. More visibility, more fans, more commitments, getting to know new things – I really wouldn’t mind if it started tomorrow.

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