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Jul 28, 2014 - 04:23 PM
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Audi Starts Second Half Of DTM Season With Big Aims
Posted by: newsla on Jul 28, 2014 - 04:17 PM
Sports Cars
Audi Starts Second Half Of DTM Season With Big Aims


In the DTM, Spielberg stands for thrilling races and enthusiastic fans in a beautiful setting. Next weekend (August 1 to 3) the circuit in Styria is to become the venue of the Audi squad’s first victory this season. Motorsport fans will get to watch the qualifying session on Saturday on prime time: ARD will start to broadcast live from Austria at 18.00 (CEST).

 

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From bustling Moscow to tranquil Styria: Round six at Spielberg next weekend marks the start of the DTM’s second half of the season. Audi is lying in wait: Mattias Ekström, the 2004 and 2007 Champion, in second place of the standings, is within striking distance of the leader Marco Wittmann. Four other Audi drivers are waiting for their opportunities in the top ten. In the manufacturers’ standings, the brand continues to rank at the top.

The 4.326-kilometer circuit, which is the third-longest one on the calendar, has been a good track for the four rings in previous races. The first two victories after the circuit was re-opened three years ago went to Audi drivers. Now, the squad is wishing for the next win – and first one of the season – to follow. While in the first half of the year the Audi drivers have been scoring more points (223) and podium places (8) than BMW and Mercedes-Benz, a first place has been missing in the brand’s tally of success so far in 2014.

The Red Bull Ring is equally popular with fans and drivers. The main reason, besides the picturesque Alpine scenery, is the track’s challenging configuration with long straights, as well as fast and slow combinations of turns that guarantee gripping races with plenty of overtaking maneuvers. The vertical differences with a maximum incline of twelve and a maximum drop of 9.3 percent are a special characteristic of the circuit.

TV viewers will get to watch the DTM on prime time. ‘Das Erste’ will start to air live coverage from Spielberg on Saturday at 18.00 and on Sunday at 13.15 (CEST). Tickets for the entire 2014 DTM season can be purchased online at www.audi-motorsport.com/dtm or telephonically on +49 841 89-47777.

Quotes by the officials

Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): “Our aim remains unchanged for the race at Spielberg: We’re set on clinching the first victory of the season for Audi. The track suited our car well in the past, which makes us feel optimistic. We learned our lessons from the less than perfect weekend at Moscow and fully focused on preparing for the start of the second half of the season. Although in the standings we no longer have the concentrated force of the Audi squad in striking distance we’re still in a good position to attack.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “At Spielberg, the second half of the season will start, which makes the battle among the front runners in the standings increasingly thrilling. In Mattias (Ekström) and Edo (Mortara) we’ve got two hot irons in the fire that we’re set on attacking the leader of the standings with. Edo has won a race there before and Mattias was often beaten below his potential. And our two youngsters, Adrien (Tambay) and Miguel (Molina), are determined to be in contention again at the very front too.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “We’ve chalked the unfortunate race Sunday at Moscow up to experience and are only looking ahead. At Spielberg, we’re aiming to regain our old strength. I’m optimistic that we’ll manage that because our car always worked well there in the past years. Personally, I’m really eager to see the ‘Ring’ to which a lot of modifications have been made. If there’s only half as much interest and enthusiasm by the fans as there was in Formula One, we can expect a great crowd.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “I lived in the area for a little more than ten years, so the race at Spielberg is a bit of a home round for me. I’m really looking forward to it because I’ve got fond memories: in 2012, we won the race there. Obviously, we’d like to repeat that.”

Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers

Mattias Ekström (36/S), Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #7 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
• Has finished in the top five three times at Spielberg but never on the podium
• Is the only driver with a chance of catching up with the DTM leader at Spielberg
“The Red Bull Ring should actually be a good track for me, if for no other reason than its name – but I’ve still got some unfinished business with it because I’ve never been on podium there. Even though I’ve already clinched three trophies this year I feel an increasingly burning desire to hold the biggest trophy and hear the Swedish anthem.”

Jamie Green (32/GB), Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #21 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
• Most recently mounted the podium in the race at the Norisring
• In 2014 is in his tenth year of racing in the DTM
“The long straights and some thrilling combinations of turns make Spielberg a very interesting track that’s great fun – also for the spectators because there are good overtaking opportunities. Even though Moscow didn’t go well for me, I feel comfortable and am set on clinching a place on the podium again in Austria.”

Miguel Molina (25/E), Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM #8 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
• Drove the fastest race lap at Moscow
• Was on podium in the race at Budapest
“I’ve now had two consecutive races that didn’t go well. But in spite of that I know that we’ll clinch a good result if everything fits together. We’re going to try and manage that again at Spielberg.”

Edoardo Mortara (27/I), Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM #15 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
• Won the race at Spielberg in 2012
• In fourth place is the second-best Audi driver in the standings
“Spielberg is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar. I clinched my first ever DTM victory here two years ago and feel very comfortable. So everything speaks for a successful race weekend.”

Nico Müller (22/CH), Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
• Scored the first points in his DTM career at Moscow
• Was the best-placed Audi driver in qualifying at Moscow
“I’d like to build on the result at Moscow and continue to increase my upwards trend. More points are the aim. To achieve it, I’d like to create the best possible starting base in qualifying in order to subsequently attack in the race.”

Mike Rockenfeller (30/D), Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #1 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
• Finished out of the points for the first time this season in the race at Moscow
• Together with Timo Scheider, competed in a 24-hour bicycle race at the Nürburgring last weekend
“Spielberg is a great track on which we’ve seen a lot of thrilling races in the past. The race day at Moscow was obviously a disappointment – but the speed and the work in the team perfectly fit in spite of this. If we continue that in Austria, we’ve got good chances of taking home a trophy.”

Timo Scheider (35/D), AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #2 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
• Competes in the DTM with an Austrian racing license
• Therefore, calls the race at Spielberg a second home round
“Spielberg is my second home race. I’m very much hoping for my streak of misfortune to finally end there in front of many friends and fans and that I’ll score a decent result.”

Adrien Tambay (23/F), Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #16 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
• Remained without points at Moscow for the first time this season
• Has contested 25 DTM races in his career
“After the frustrating race at Moscow, where a good place would have been possible, I can hardly wait to finally be sitting in the race car again. The aim is clear: I want to clinch a podium position again.”

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: 139; pole positions: 19; victories: 17; fastest laps: 13; points: 733; DTM titles: 2 (2004, 2007); best result DTM Spielberg: 4

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: 98; pole positions: 7; victories: 8; fastest laps: 13; points: 420.5; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Spielberg: 5

Miguel Molina (E): * February 17, 1989 in Barcelona (E); residence: Lloret de Mar (E); single; height: 1.75 m; weight: 64 kg; Audi driver since 2010; DTM races: 46; pole positions: 2; victories: 0 (best result: 2nd place); fastest laps: 3; points: 79; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Spielberg: 11

Edoardo Mortara (I): * Jan 12, 1987 in Geneva (CH); residence: Geneva (CH); engaged; height: 1.82 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 35; pole positions: 1; victories: 2; fastest laps: 0; points: 147; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Spielberg: 1 (2012)

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: 5; pole positions: 0; victories: 0; fastest laps: 1; points: 10; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Spielberg: –

Mike Rockenfeller (D): * Oct 31, 1983 in Neuwied (D); residence: Landschlacht (CH); married to Susanne; one son (Phil); height: 1.75 m; weight: 68 kg; Audi driver since 2007; DTM races: 76; pole positions: 3; victories: 3; fastest laps: 3; points: 336; DTM titles: 1 (2013); best result DTM Spielberg: 4

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: 144; pole positions: 11; victories: 6; fastest laps: 9; points: 419; DTM titles: 2 (2008, 2009); best result DTM Spielberg: 6

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: 25; pole positions: 1; victories: 0 (best result: 2nd place); fastest laps: 1; points: 86; DTM titles: 0; best result DTM Spielberg: 11

DTM drivers’ standings after five of ten rounds

1 Marco Wittmann (BMW) 70 points
2 Mattias Ekström (Audi) 50 points
3 Bruno Spengler (BMW) 41 points
4 Edoardo Mortara (Audi) 41 points
5 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) 35 points
6 Maxime Martin (BMW) 33 points
7 Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) 31 points
8 Adrien Tambay (Audi) 28 points
9 Miguel Molina (Audi) 26 points
10 Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) 25 points
11 Jamie Green (Audi) 24 points
12 Timo Glock (BMW) 18 points
13 Augusto Farfus (BMW) 15 points
14 Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz) 14 points
15 Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) 12 points
16 Nico Müller (Audi) 10 points
17 Timo Scheider (Audi) 9 points
18 Martin Tomczyk (BMW) 8 points
19 Joey Hand (BMW) 7 points
20 António Félix da Costa (BMW) 4 points
21 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) 4 points

DTM manufacturers’ standings

1 Audi 223 points
2 BMW 196 points
3 Mercedes-Benz 86 points

DTM teams’ standings

1 BMW Team RMG 103 points
2 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 76 points
3 Audi Sport Team Abt 69 points
4 BMW Team Schnitzer 49 points
5 Audi Sport Team Phoenix 44 points
6 Original-Teile Mercedes AMG 43 points
7 Audi Sport Team Rosberg 34 points
8 EURONICS/FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG 29 points
9 BMW Team MTEK 22 points
10 BMW Team RBM 22 points
11 gooix Mercedes AMG 14 points

Audi statistics in the DTM (since 1990)

Champion’s titles: 9 (in 16 years)
Victories: 65 (in 213 races)
Pole positions: 72 (in 177 qualifying sessions)
Fastest laps: 60 (in 213 races)
Podium positions: 216 (in 213 races)

All Spielberg winners since 2001

2001 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2002 Marcel Fässler (Mercedes-Benz)
2003 Marcel Fässler (Mercedes-Benz)
2011 Martin Tomczyk (Audi)
2012 Edoardo Mortara (Audi)
2013 Bruno Spengler (BMW)

2013 flashback: recoveries by Rockenfeller and Ekström

The crowd in the sold-out grandstands of the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg saw a gripping Austrian round of the DTM in which the two Audi drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström shone with recoveries. With different strategies Rockenfeller and Ekström advanced from grid positions 13 and 15 to fourth and fifth place. Both drivers thrilled the fans at Spielberg with spectacular overtaking maneuvers.

Track info

Track length: 4.326 km
Race distance: 47 laps = 203.322 km
DTM qualifying record on this lap: Bruno Spengler (BMW), 1m 24.588s (June 1, 2013)
DTM race record on this track: Marco Wittmann (BMW), 1m 25.505s (June 2, 2013)
Pole position 2013: Bruno Spengler (BMW), 1m 24.836s
Fastest lap 2013: Marco Wittmann (BMW), 1m 25.505s
Turnout 2013: 44,000
TV live rating 2013: 1.51 million/11.3 % market share (source: ARD)

Edoardo Mortara about the Red Bull Ring: “Spielberg is one of my favorite tracks on the DTM calendar. Without knowing exactly why, I’ve always been competitive there – the circuit apparently suits me well. The Red Bull Ring features a lot of variety. It has long straights as well as extremely slow corners, such as the second one. The atmosphere is unique. We drive on a roller-coaster, surrounded by beautiful scenery and enthusiastic fans in the grandstands and the paddock. My favorite sector is the last section that runs downhill and ends in a fast but difficult turn on the start-finish straight.”

Timetable (CEST)

Friday, August 1
17.10 – 17.45 Roll-out

Saturday, August 2
12.00 – 13.00 Free practice
14.10 – 15.10 Free practice
18.10 – 19.00 Qualifying

Sunday, August 3
09.00 – 09.35 Pit stop practice
13.30 Race

TV schedule (‘Das Erste’ live)

Saturday, August 2
18.00 Qualifying

Sunday, August 3
13.15 Race


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