Graz amazed by Audi DTM appearance
- Audi A4 DTM makes Graz city center tremble
- Audi DTM and sportscar drivers at the Nordschleife
- Allan McNish: star in TV advert and Formula 1 sport commissar
Ingolstadt, May 29, 2011 - Audi advertises explosively for the next DTM race: an unbelievable race track like flair filled the Graz city center on Saturday. The brand hypnotizes its fans at many other circuits and in an ever increasing number of virtual places.
Rot and blue bulls: the two Red Bull drivers Miguel Molina and Martin Tomczyk advertised for the return of DTM to the Red Bull Ring in the center of Graz in front of 22,000 spectators. In the thick of the action: their Audi team mate Rahel Frey who travelled to Graz directly from the tenth anniversary of the "GLAMOUR" magazine in Berlin. At the DTM PR event Martin Tomczyk turned up the heat during a demonstration run around a closed off track with the Audi A4 DTM. The DTM starts its third race of the season this coming weekend at Spielberg.
Double operation: Martin Tomczyk completed a test with the Audi TT RS at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife on Friday before travelling to Graz. Raeder Motorsport celebrated yet another class victory in the VLN endurance championship with the TT RS on Saturday.
Successful test event: the test race in the VLN endurance championship for Audi Sport teams Abt Sportsline and Phoenix went positively. The four Audi R8 LMS sportscars filled the first four positions in Class SP9 and positions three to six in the overall classification. Best Audi team was Marc Basseng, Marcel Fässler and Mike Rockenfeller in the Phoenix R8 in third place.
Blessing in disguise: the debut of the two Australian racing drivers Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff in the Audi race experience Audi R8 LMS on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife was short: after an accident in practice, in which Lowndes was unhurt, they were forced to sit out the race. Before their outing in the Eifel the two "Aussies" had visited the Audi R8 manufacturing plant in Neckarsulm and the R8 LMS production facility in Heilbronn-Biberach.
Podium in Australia: at the third Australian GT Championship race weekend Mark Eddy clinched third place in race one with the Audi R8 LMS. In the second race at the Eastern Creek International Raceway the 51-year old crossed the finish line sixth for team Penford Audi Sport.
Debut win: a win accompanied the Audi R8 LMS sportscar’s debut in the Japanese Super Taikyu Series. The Hitotsuyama Racing team made light of the wet conditions on the 3.704 kilometer Sugo International Racing Course and, in doing so, gave their 30 and more opponents no chance.
Media meet: the two Audi drivers Luca Ludwig and Markus Winkelhock visit the press conference for the 24-hours Nürburgring on Tuesday (31 May). Last year’s two GT3 class winners answer questions from the media from 5:30 p.m. in the Koelnmesse in Cologne-Deutz. Also on display: the Audi RS 5 as safety car and the Audi R8 LMS in the livery of partner Bilstein and how it will start the race.
Safety first: Tom Kristensen is campaigning in Austria for the eSafetyChallenge 2011. As ambassador of the campaign for the World Automobile Federation FIA, he demonstrated the Audi A7 safety systems on Monday in Teesdorf.
Audi at big fan festival: between Wednesday and Saturday probably the world’s largest community of fans of the Audi, Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda brands meet at the Wörthersee. Among the many attractions is also an Audi R8 LMS in Audi Sport performance cars livery. More than 140,000 fans are expected to attend the events 30th anniversary.
Expert in demand: the FIA relied on Allan McNish’s experience at the Grand Prix of Monaco. The Audi factory driver supported the race stewards in the Principality this weekend.
Fabulous commercial: in Great Britain Audi UK launched a TV advertisement for Le Mans immediately before the Champions League final last Saturday evening. Leading actor is factory driver Allan McNish. The 2 minute 35 second long spot hypnotizes viewers with its highly unusual ideas and graphic animation in 3D stereoscopy. "A Day in the Life of an Audi Driver" can also be found in the Internet at www.youtube.com/audichannel
Net community star: the new Audi Sport profile on "Facebook" attracts the fans. Only five days after the profile was launched in the social network more than 17,500 "friends" have already registered - and more fans join hourly. VIP tickets for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2011 can be won by registering before June 1.
With Audi connect direct to the fans: Allan McNish uses the new Audi A8 on Tuesday to make direct contact with his fans. On a journey from London to Scotland the Audi factory driver will be available for five solid hours to fans of Fortitude.com. In the website’s forum he will personally answer every question via Audi connect from the rear of the Limousine. At the end of the session a signed DVD copy of "Truth in 24" will be raffled.
A word from... Mattias Ekström
This coming weekend the DTM races at Spielberg. You’ve driven there three times already. What are your memories?
I experienced one of the craziest DTM races of my career. At Spielberg we drove the third last race of the season, Laurent Aiello and Bernd Schneider fought for the title with no holds barred and with every trick in the book. I won the short sprint race and led the main race; Laurent’s position would have been enough to take the title. Then it started to rain, there was massive confusion and at the finish I was eleventh and the championship was still up for grabs. I could have won this race and I’m now pleased to finally have another chance.
As Red Bull driver do you have something like a home advantage on a circuit called the Red Bull Ring?
I probably won’t get a bonus tenth-of-a-second deducted from my qualifying time because of this… but seriously: just like in football I think it’s a good feeling to have something like a home race. I’d be delighted if many fans from the area and the name of the race track would give Miguel (Molina) and me extra wings.
The Audi Sport squad and your team mate Mike Rockenfeller travel directly to Le Mans after the race in Austria. How will follow the 24-hour race at Le Mans?
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the greatest motorsport spectacles of all time and Audi has a victorious tradition there which it would love to continue. Everybody has worked hard to be successful again, which is why I wish the guys all the best and especially "Rocky" and my former DTM team mate Tom Kristensen. When I have a free weekend myself then my family gets my attentions - but on June 11 and 12 the Audi R18 TDI will obviously be seen on my television.
Coming up next week
31.05. Nürburgring (D), press conference 24-hour race
04.06. Mantorp (S), Swedish GT Series, round 2
05.06. Spielberg (A), DTM, round 3
05.06. Misano (I), Italian GT Championship, round 2
05.06. Silverstone (GB), FIA GT3 European Championship, round 2
05.06. Assen (NL), Dutch Supercar Challenge, round 4
05.06. Braga (P), Portuguese GT Championship, round 3