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May 05, 2014 - 12:03 PM
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Celebrities Support Audi At DTM Season Opener
Posted by: newsla on May 05, 2014 - 12:02 PM
Sports Cars
Celebrities Support Audi At DTM Season Opener

The DTM season opener at Hockenheim attracted numerous prominent guests to the Hockenheimring. In addition to Management Board Chairman Rupert Stadler, the World Soccer Champions Andreas Brehme and Klaus Augenthaler, plus the multiple Olympic gold medalist Michael Groß kept their fingers crossed for the squad.


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Pierre Casiraghi in the Audi RS 5 DTM

Pierre Casiraghi, the youngest son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, experienced the Hockenheimring as a passenger of Daniel Abt in the Audi RS 5 DTM race taxi. The Monegasque made his debut as a race driver in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup at Hockenheim. He was introduced to motorsport by Le Mans legend and Volkswagen representative Jacky Ickx, who provided hands-on assistance and advice to Casiraghi at Hockenheim.

Visit by board members

The DTM season opener again showed that motorsport at Audi is a matter of top-management interest. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, kept his fingers crossed for the Audi DTM squad at Hockenheim, as did Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development.

Professional athletes visit Audi at the DTM

The DTM season opener attracted numerous active and former professional athletes to Hockenheim and to Audi. Soccer star Günter Netzer had the opportunity to personally try out the Audi RS 5 DTM on Friday. His colleague Klaus Augenthaler and the two Olympic gold medalists in team jumping Marinus Knaus and Andreas Wellinger got to enjoy a ride in the Audi RS5 DTM race taxi alongside GP2 race driver Daniel Abt. The son of swimming legend Michael Groß was also sitting in the passenger seat. A long-standing regular guest at Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in the DTM is World Soccer Champion Andreas Brehme.

Youngsters meet youngsters

Carolin Niemczyk and Daniel Grunenberg from the – still young – band ‘Glasperlenspiel’ performed on the show stage in the pit lane as part of the ‘ARD Chart Show’ during the curtain raiser at the Hockenheimring. Before their show act, the young musicians had Audi youngster Nico Müller explain the Audi RS 5 DTM to them at the garage of Audi Sport Team Rosberg.

Fan club supports Nico Müller

Youngster Nico Müller was supported by visitors from his native Switzerland. 70 members of his fan club followed him to his first DTM race and got together with their favorite race driver at a ‘Meet & Greet’ event at the Audi Team & Media Hospitality.

Birthday cake lands in face

Celebrating a birthday on a race weekend harbors a certain risk. Ossi Oikarinen was the ‘victim’ at the Hockenheim season opener. The technical director of Audi Sport Team Rosberg was 44 on Saturday. Team boss Arno Zensen placed the birthday cake in the Finn’s face with pinpoint accuracy – a ritual that is common practice in racing.

Audi drivers visit DTM fan party

All eight Audi DTM drivers and Audi GT driver Rahel Frey visited the DTM fan party at Hockenheim on Saturday night. The event hosted by radio channel SWR3 kicked off its traditional ‘SWR3 Goes Clubbing’ season opener party.

From Spa to Hockenheim

Many journalists and employees of Audi Sport used the opportunity to witness two important races on a single weekend: Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Engine Technology Ulrich Baretzky, Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, the Le Mans winners Dindo Capello and Allan McNish, plus many others, watched the WEC race at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday and the DTM season opener at Hockenheim on Sunday.

André Lotterer visits Chocolaterie

Audi factory driver André Lotterer has visited the Chocolaterie Wittamer for a TV production prior to the Spa WEC race. The 32-year old German who was brought up in Belgium learned the sweet art of chocolate manufacturing in Brussels from chef pâtissier Christophe Roesem. The race driver showed his skills in producing a nice decoration on the chocolate glaze of a cake.

Visit from GT racing personalities

Several GT racing personalities visited Audi at the Spa WEC round. Vincent Vosse, Team Director of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, chief technician René Verbist and race driver Laurens Vanthoor (B) were guests of Audi. The WRT squad has successfully entered the Audi R8 LMS ultra since 2010 in various racing series and won the FIA GT Series last year with Laurens Vanthoor and Stéphane Ortelli.

A word from … Dieter Gass

Three Audi RS 5 DTM cars in the top four – a reward for the work of the past months? We saw a superb race and a good performance by Audi today. The thanks for this go to the members of our teams and the Audi Sport squad who made such a great effort to put us in the position of being in contention for victory here in the first place. The points and trophies are a nice recognition of this commitment.

So now it’s time for a breather? No, not at all. We won’t lean back and relax but will take this result at the opener as motivation to stay on the ball. The time after the race is the time before the race – this motto now applies to us in a particular way. We’ve still got the post-homologation coming up, which will take effect in the race at Budapest, so that we won’t slacken in our efforts of continuing to develop our RS 5 DTM.

There have been a few adjustments made to the regulations for this year. Let’s look at pit stops and option tires, for example. Can you draw an initial conclusion yet? The option tire is still of major importance, which can be expected to change from track to track though. However, the performance in qualifying has become a lot more important this season. Those who start at the front will typically do so on option tires and will then have the best opportunities to achieve an advantage over the rest of the field. Here at Hockenheim, it’s been confirmed that this is the optimal situation to win races.

The long-awaited comparison of strengths is over now. What can the DTM fans look forward to this year? To an extremely exciting season. Audi and BMW were extremely balanced here at Hockenheim in qualifying and in the race. I’m sure that Mercedes will battle their way back. We saw today that especially in the last third of the race, when different strategies come together, the competition becomes really fierce again. I think that’s exactly what the fans want to see.

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