Ingolstadt/Nuremberg - A full grandstand made of stone, thousands of Audi flags and a unique atmosphere between the Dutzendteich lake and the paddock: The entire Audi team is looking forward to the DTM home round with eager anticipation. With a strong performance by the whole squad the drivers and teams are aiming to bring Audis first victory at the Norisring since 2002 home to Ingolstadt.
The last Audi victory at the Norisring was clinched by Laurent Aiello in June 2002. His duel with DTM record champion Bernd Schneider across the entire race distance of 44 laps back then is still regarded as one of the most spectacular races in DTM history and ended in an advantage of 0.197 seconds. Although Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider mounted the podium six times since then, another victory has not been clinched there to date. Newcomer Jamie Green is bringing four triumphs to the squad at the only city street race on the DTM calendar. The Briton won in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, thus acquiring the nickname Mister Norisring.
At the Norisring in particular, the Drag Reduction System (DRS), which allows the angle of the rear wing to be flattened by pushing a button on the steering wheel, will be an important factor in the battle for victory. Especially at the end of the long start-finish straight, the race drivers when braking into the Grundig turn have an ideal opportunity for overtaking. The option tires, which may only be used during the race, provide the strategists with another thrilling tactical tool. As the race track, which only has a length of 2.3 kilometers, uses roads with different types of asphalt and concrete surfaces that are normally open to regular traffic tires are a particularly interesting topic.
The Audi squad will be enjoying prominent support in a spirit of friendship by Tom Kristensen. The Le Mans record winner, who just won the legendary 24-hour race in France for the ninth time, is visiting his brand colleagues at the Norisring. Kristensen himself competed in the DTM from 2004 to 2009 and finished all of his six races in Nuremberg in the top eight. On the weekend, the Dane will be driving his Le Mans winning car, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, across the race track for a few demo laps.
In Germany, as usual, ARD will broadcast live on Das Erste: Qualifying on Saturday (July 13) starting at 14:30, the race on Sunday (July 14) starting at 13:15.
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): Its a nice feeling to travel to the Norisring as the leader of the standings. All the fans and employees who support us on location always make a race there very special for us, so my wish is for us to be able to clinch the corresponding, positive result. Im not only focused on Jamie (Green) with his past Norisring victories in this respect. Weve got a strong team in general and will try and get as many of our guys as possible to the far front of the field.
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): For us as a Bavarian team, the race at the Norisring naturally is the pinnacle of the season. Our strong wish is to finally give something back to all the fans and supporters. With Jamie (Green) in the team weve got a proven Norisring expert in our ranks who may be able to give our squad the crucial impulse in the right direction.
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): With Mike (Rockenfeller) were traveling to the Norisring as the leader of the standings. Audis big aim for years has been to finally win here again and thats our big aim again this weekend. We know that in terms of speed weve got what it takes to do so.
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): The summer break was long enough. Our whole squad is now looking forward to the round in the German Monaco. If it were up to me, Edo (Mortara) or Filipe (Albuquerque) would be the drivers to end Audis long barren spell there.
Filipe Albuquerque (28/P), Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM #6 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
While in 2012 I often finished in the points the 2013 season has been disappointing for me so far. No matter where I start from I always end up at the far rear. Were going to give everything to make sure this will soon change again. The Norisring is a very unusual track so it may be a good venue for the tables to turn.
Mattias Ekström (34/S), Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #11 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
My aim is victory. Following a strong qualifying performance, winning the race again for the first time in many years was in our hands last year. But after the first lap of the race it was all over due to a collision. Thats why Id like to repeat the Saturday this year and am wishing for a smooth race on Sunday. Im very much looking forward to the Norisring.
Jamie Green (31/GB), Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #12 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
The characteristics of the Norisrings cant be compared with any other race track. Thats why its difficult to make a prediction about the relative strengths. Naturally, Ive got a special relationship with this race. But even though Ive won there four times thats no guarantee for anything especially not in the DTM. Before and on the weekend, Ill be working just as hard as always, prepare myself and set up the car.
Its been a long time that Audi has won this race. Were going to give everything to be successful at the home round. We know that we can do it. But we must try and put all the pieces of the puzzle together on a single weekend. We had a bit of time to take a breather and are now traveling to the Norisring with top motivation.
Edoardo Mortara (26/F/I), Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
After a personally successful season in 2012, its hard now having to battle for each single point. At the Lausitzring, we took a step in the right direction. Now Im hoping for us to be able to continue this way at the Norisring.
Mike Rockenfeller (29/D), Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #19 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
As the only city street circuit on the calendar, the Norisring is something very special. Weve got a lot of fans there who keep their fingers crossed for us every year. Im hoping that well finally be able to live up to their expectations. Mercedes-Benz has traditionally been very strong in Nuremberg but this time the cards have been reshuffled, also thanks to the option tires and DRS. Were not necessarily the favorites, but were going to attack.
Timo Scheider (34/D), AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #23 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
Its almost incredible that at the Norisring were already at the seasons mid-point. Im looking forward to the race, to the atmosphere between the narrow grandstands and above all to the many Audi fans who are supporting us. Were traveling to Nuremberg with optimism and are going to give everything to clinch an Audi victory.
Im looking forward to the Norisring because its not comparable with other race tracks. Before the DTM, I drove there in other racing categories. Even though I scored no points, I had good races at Spielberg and at the Lausitzring. Now the next step can follow: a good race and points!