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Audi Starts Title Defense At Hockenheim
Posted by: newsla on Apr 28, 2014 - 03:29 PM
Sports Cars
Audi Starts Title Defense At Hockenheim


New faces, new cars, new rules: The DTM is starting the 2014 season with a fresh breeze. The season opener at Hockenheim (May 2 to 4) marks the beginning of the title defense project for Audi and the reigning Champion Mike Rockenfeller. The squad of Audi Sport has newly developed the Championship winning Audi RS 5 DTM in large part for this purpose and in youngster Nico Müller is putting an ambitious rookie on the grid.

 

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Audi is entering its eleventh DTM season following its comeback as a manufacturer. Since 2004 the squad took the driver title six times and clinched 38 victories. Mike Rockenfeller and his Audi Sport Team Phoenix most recently won the titles in the driver and team classifications – a successful track record Audi Sport would like to continue this year. To do so the squad of Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and Dieter Gass, Head of DTM, perfectly prepared in winter.

The 2014-generation Audi RS 5 DTM appears clearly more aggressive due to its aerodynamics, featuring a near-complete new development. At the front, the car has received new air ducts feeding the engines and the brakes plus the honeycomb grill from the production version. As a result, the race car now bears an even greater resemblance to the road cars from the RS model range. Equally obvious are the innovations on the sides of the car. To further improve the efficiency of the airflow, the area between the front and rear wheels was completely redesigned.

Audi set new impulses in winter by changing the driver-team line-ups. The reigning Champion Mike Rockenfeller in Audi Sport Team Phoenix receives ex-Champion Timo Scheider as his new team-mate. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline competes with Mattias Ekström and Miguel Molina while Adrien Tambay and Edoardo Mortara run for Audi Sport Team Abt. A completely new pairing – Jamie Green and Nico Müller – has been welcomed on board by Audi Sport Team Rosberg.

The rules of the DTM have been fine-tuned for 2014. Instead of the previous two only one mandatory pit stop must be performed, in the middle third of the race. The Drag Reduction System (DRS) with which the driver can lower the angle of the rear wing may now be used up to the finish. Further innovations: All entrants start with a basic weight (driver plus car) of 1,120 kilograms. The drivers of a brand have to either add or reduce weight for the next race, depending on their success. The option tires may now only be used for 50 percent of the race distance.

The compact format of the weekend has remained nearly unchanged. The rollout on Friday afternoon is followed on Saturday by free practice and qualifying which, starting in 2014, is held in only three sections. The race on Sunday afternoon lasts a maximum of 75 minutes. ‘Das Erste’ airs live broadcasts from Hockenheim on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for the 2014 DTM can be purchased online at www.audi-motorsport.com/dtm or by phone on +49 (0)841 8947777.

Quotes by the officials

Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): “The first race weekend at Hockenheim marks the end of a long and intensive period of preparation. Audi Sport, the teams and the drivers did not rest on the laurels of the success achieved in 2013 but worked hard in order to continue exactly where we left off. We’re competing with an Audi RS 5 DTM that is largely a new development and have set new impulses by reallocating the drivers to the teams. I’m convinced that with our car, our line-up and our team we’ve got the possibility to defend the title and to also reach for the manufacturers’ classification.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “We’ve set a new agenda in the past months in order to return to a winning track in 2014. With new drivers, new faces in the team and a new motorsport center in Kempten we’ve got all the prerequisites we need to be in contention at the front of the field. The whole squad is extremely motivated and committed to a single aim: We want to win again.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “It’s a great honor to compete with cars #1 and #2. We’re set on performing accordingly and immediately continuing the success of the past year at the season opener. We had some tests that weren’t so easy but ultimately found a set-up we’re going to start with on the race weekend. I’m hoping for a large turnout at the track. The spectators will get to see thrilling motorsport.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “We’re delighted that the action is finally starting again. The track tests at Budapest and Hockenheim were positive, which makes us optimistic. I’m happy with my new driver pairing – the mix of youth and experience is great fun. Our aim is to continue the performances we showed the year before last and to clinch victories again.”

Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers

Mattias Ekström (35/S), Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #7 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
• Has won the Hockenheim season opener twice
• Starts his 14th DTM season with Audi
“Even though this is the beginning of my 14th DTM season the opening race is always very special. I think it’s the most thrilling race weekend of the year because so many things are new and after a long winter you’ll only find out at this event where you stand compared to the competition. We did our homework in the past months. My team and I feel ready to put the cards on the table.”

Jamie Green (31/GB), Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #21 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
• Switched from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline to Audi Sport Team Rosberg
• Was on podium seven times at Hockenheim and scored two victories there
“A new car, a new team and a new team-mate – the first race of the year will be exciting. Nobody can predict where they stand compared to the competition, so we’re in for thrilling afternoons on Saturday and Sunday. I’m looking forward to them.”

Miguel Molina (25/E), Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM #8 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
• Switched back to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline
• Achieved his only podium result in the DTM to date at Hockenheim
“I feel comfortable with the new car, my team and my race engineer. We gathered a lot of data during the track tests that we’re analyzing now in order to be perfectly prepared for the first weekend. There are some changes that will make the sport even more exciting for the spectators. I think it’s good that new ideas are proposed and put into action now and again.”

Edoardo Mortara (27/I), Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM #15 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
• Switched to Audi Sport Team Abt
• In 2012 clinched the only two victories of the season for Audi
“I received a warm welcome by my new team and get on really well with the guys and my engineer. Together with the car, which I familiarized myself with pretty well during the track tests, this makes me feel optimistic for Hockenheim. We’ll only know exactly where we stand during the course of the weekend, but we’re starting the new season with high expectations.”

Nico Müller (22/CH), Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
• Is contesting the first DTM race of his life at Hockenheim
• In Audi Sport Team Rosberg competes alongside seasoned campaigner Jamie Green
“During the track tests we had the opportunity to optimally prepare for the season. Still, there’ll be a large number of unsuspected challenges at Hockenheim – especially for me as a rookie. I’d like to learn as much as possible and definitely finish the race. I’m going to benefit from every experience here during the course of the year. If things go well for me, I’m going to attack.”

Mike Rockenfeller (30/D), Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #1 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
• Starts the season as the reigning Champion in car #1
• Competes with the colors of Schaeffler Group on the RS 5 DTM for the third year
“I’m happy to return to Hockenheim and to attack. Everybody is traveling to the first race with high expectations, and so am I: My goal is to manage a good start of the season and immediately score plenty of points. My two races at Hockenheim last year were fair to middling at best, so I’ve got high ambitions here for 2014.”

Timo Scheider (35/D), AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #2 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
• Switched to Audi Sport Team Phoenix
• Started from the pole position in last year’s opening race
“This year, I’m even more excited before the first race than usual – and the butterflies in my stomach are getting stronger and stronger. In 2013, I started the season from the pole position. Now I’m again aiming to immediately make a good showing at Hockenheim. Good results in the first races can really put you on a roll – and that’s definitely what I want to get on in 2014.”

Adrien Tambay (23/F), Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #16 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
• Competes sporting the colors of the men’s magazine Playboy in 2014
• Is entering his third DTM season with Audi Sport Team Abt
“In my first two DTM years, I always had difficult first races. But this time, I’m feeling better prepared than ever before. I’ve got more experience and a good feeling after the track tests in winter. In the DTM, the perfect package of driver, team and car is crucial. I’m optimistic that we’ve got everything it takes to be in contention at the front of the field.”

The Audi drivers in the 2014 DTM

Mattias Ekström (S): * July 14, 1978 in Falun (S); residence: Salenstein (CH); single (partner Heidi), one son (Mats); one daughter (Hanna); height: 1.83 m; weight: 79 kg; Audi driver since 1999; DTM races: 134; pole positions: 19; victories: 17; fastest laps: 12; points: 683; DTM titles: 2 (2004, 2007); best result DTM Hockenheim: 1 (2007, 2008)

Jamie Green (GB): * June 14, 1982 in Leicester (GB); residence: Monaco (MC); married to Ginny, two sons (Zachary and William); height: 1.78 m; weight: 70 kg; Audi driver since 2013; DTM races: 93; pole positions: 7; victories: 8; fastest laps: 13; points: 396.5; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Hockenheim: 1 (2007, 2011)

Miguel Molina (E): * Feb 17, 1989 in Barcelona (E); residence: Lloret de Mar (E); single; height: 1.75 m; weight: 64 kg; Audi driver since 2010; DTM races: 41; pole positions: 2; victories: 0 (best result: 3rd place); fastest laps: 1; points: 53; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Hockenheim: 5

Edoardo Mortara (I/F): * Jan 12, 1987 in Geneva (CH); residence: Geneva (CH); engaged; height: 1.82 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 30; pole positions: 1; victories: 2; fastest laps: 0; points: 106; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Hockenheim: 6

Nico Müller (CH): * Feb 25, 1992 in Thun (CH); residence: Blumenstein (CH); single (partner Lara); height: 1.85 m; weight: 73 kg; Audi driver since 2014; DTM races: 0; pole positions: 0; victories: 0; fastest laps: 0; points: 0; DTM titles: 0

Mike Rockenfeller (D): * Oct 31, 1983 in Neuwied (D); residence: Landschlacht (CH); engaged to Susanne; height: 1.75 m; weight: 68 kg; Audi driver since 2007; DTM races: 71; pole positions: 3; victories: 3; fastest laps: 3; points: 301; DTM titles: 1 (2013); best result DTM Hockenheim: 3

Timo Scheider (D): * Nov 10, 1978 in Lahnstein (D); residence: Lochau (A); single (partner Jessica), one son (Loris-Romeo); height: 1.78 m; weight: 72 kg; Audi driver since 2006; DTM races: 139; pole positions: 11; victories: 6; fastest laps: 9; points: 410; DTM titles: 2 (2008, 2009); best result DTM Hockenheim: 1 (2008)

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: 20; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 2nd place); fastest laps: 1; points: 58; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Hockenheim: 14

Audi statistics in the DTM (since 1990)

Champion’s titles: 9 (in 16 years)
Victories: 65 (in 208 races)
Pole positions: 71 (in 172 qualifying sessions)
Fastest laps: 56 (in 208 races)
Podium positions: 208 (in 208 races)

All Hockenheim winners since 2000 (opener)

2000 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz), Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2001 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2002 Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi)
2003 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2004 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2005 Jean Alesi (Mercedes-Benz)
2006 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2007 Mattias Ekström (Audi)
2008 Mattias Ekström (Audi)
2009 Tom Kristensen (Audi)
2010 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2011 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz)
2012 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2013 Augusto Farfus (BMW)

All Hockenheim winners since 2000 (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)
2012 Bruno Spengler (BMW)
2013 Timo Glock (BMW)

2013 flashback: Disappointing DTM opener for Audi

From the pole position, Timo Scheider made a perfect start and immediately took the lead. Up to a safety car period on lap six he was dueling with the subsequent winner Augusto Farfus. While most of the drivers, including Farfus, immediately made their first mandatory pit stop Scheider was only called to the pits a lap later, which caused him to drop to the end of the field. From position 18, Scheider managed to recover to sixth place, making him the best Audi driver in the opening race.

Track info

Track length: 4.574 km
Race distance: 42 laps = 192.108 km
Pit stop window: lap 14 to lap 28
DTM qualifying record on this track: Mattias Ekström (Audi), Oct 25, 2008, 1m 32.244s = 178.509 km/h
DTM race record on this track: Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz), Oct 26, 2008, 1m 33.576s = 175.968 km/h
Pole position 2013 season opener: Timo Scheider (Audi), May 04, 2013, 1m 35.918s
Fastest lap 2013 season opener: Augusto Farfus (BMW), May 05, 2013, 1m 34.504s (174.240 km/h)
Turnout 2013 season opener: 87,000
TV live rating 2013 season opener: 1.05 million / 10.7 % market share (14+, source: ARD)

Nico Müller about Hockenheim: “For me as a Swiss, Hockenheim is almost a home round. That’s why I’m obviously hoping for many fans to visit. I only know the track from a formula car. I last drove there in the GP3 series. In the DTM, aerodynamic efficiency will be particularly important because of the many relatively fast and semi-fast turns in which the car has to generate downforce. But there are also some top-speed sections, such as the Parabolica, where we’re probably going to see some great slipstream duels and – thanks to DRS – many overtaking maneuvers. My personal favorite section is the fast right-hand turn at the entrance to the Motodroms – a real challenge which is also great fun.”

Timetable

Friday, May 2
17.15–17.50 Roll-out

Saturday, May 3
10.05–11.35 Free practice
16.25–17.15 Qualifying

Sunday, May 4
09.00–09.40 Pit stop practice
13.30 Race

TV schedule (‘Das Erste’ live)

Saturday, May 3
16.15–17.30 Qualifying

Sunday, May 4
13.15–15.15 Race


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