Ingolstadt/Hockenheim, October 20, 2013 Three champions titles for Audi on a single day: After the early win of the manufacturers and drivers classifications in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the team Championship in the DTM goes to the brand with the four rings as well. In a gripping finale at the Hockenheimring, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, after having clinched the drivers title, secured the team title as well. In the DTM manufacturers classification, Audi took second place with a narrow gap.
122,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) experienced an extremely thrilling finale that was held on a rain-drenched track and marked by duels, overtaking maneuvers and incidents of body contact. One of the protagonists was Mattias Ekström, who in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, after starting from position seven on the grid, drove an impressive race. The Swede was clearly on course for a podium finish and trailing the subsequent winner Timo Glock by only a few car lengths when, on the 28th of 41 laps, he was turned around in the hairpin by Bruno Juncadella (Mercedes-Benz). In fourth place, after chasing to make up ground, Ekström missed the podium by merely 1.245 seconds.
Ekström and Molina were the only two Audi drivers to manage scoring points in the finale at Hockenheim. Their brand colleagues were running fast on the wet track in some of the phases of the race but, despite delivering fighting performances, went unrewarded in the end. Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM), Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM), Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM) took positions twelve to 16. Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM) retired after a collision on the starting lap.
What a finale! said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. That was perfect advertising for the DTM in front of a great turnout despite the bad weather. Following the drivers title, weve now won the team classification as well. Congratulations to Ernst Moser and his squad! Two out of three possible titles for Audi is a respectable result. Congratulations also to Timo Glock and to BMW. Mercedes-Benz was strong today too that already whets our appetite for 2014. Its a shame that Mattias (Ekström) was turned around shortly before the end of the race and thus lost a well-deserved place on the podium. Still, were going to have a big party tonight the whole squad has earned it.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): That was a great conclusion of a thrilling and varied DTM season in which the fans got to see more duels and overtaking maneuvers than ever before. That despite the extremely bad weather and the fact that the Championship had been decided early such a large number of spectators traveled to the finale at Hockenheim clearly speaks in favor of the DTM. Congratulations to all who have helped bring the drivers and team classifications to Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Meuspath. Winning two of the three DTM titles after our difficult 2012 season is a fantastic achievement. With the triumph at Le Mans, the early win of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the two titles in the DTM Audi has achieved another great motorsport season.
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): At the end of the season, weve experienced a race of the kind that fans wish for albeit not with a really perfect outcome for us. Unfortunately, Mattias (Ekström), and thus our best car in the battle for the podium, lost ground due to a collision. As far as Audi Sport Team Phoenix is concerned, I can only congratulate the squad on winning the team classification. In Mikes (Rockenfeller) case, things didnt go so well today. Instead, Miguel (Molina) filled the breach and delivered a fine race. Looking back, we can be very pleased with winning the drivers and the team titles. At the beginning of the year, that couldnt necessarily be expected.
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), 4th place
4th place isnt what Id been hoping for when I was battling for victory. But in a way it reflects this season: I had a good race car but, in the end, wasnt able to wrap things up often enough. Still, Ive learned a lot.
Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM), 5th place
We scored good points for the team classification and finished in fifth place. In the beginning, the BMW cars were a bit faster than I. Afterward I found my rhythm and was able to overtake a few drivers. My car was very good today. Its been a good day for the whole team. Im hoping for the result to help me with a view toward the next season.
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM), 12th place
I had a very good start but after the second turn was in the middle of the field so that there were a few incidents of body contact and I lost some positions. After that, things went well and with fast race laps we managed to battle our way forward and were running in sixth or seventh place. Shortly before the end, it was about the last tire change and the decision of what we would do. The team decided to switch to slicks and the option tire. That was the wrong decision. We were running five or six seconds slower and lost a lot of positions.
Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), 13th place
It was a spectacular race. I had a very good start. On the first lap, I couldnt see anything due to all the spray but I managed to stay clear of the biggest trouble. On the first stint, we had a very good performance. On a drying track, though, we lost a lot of time on rain tires. Thats the main reason why we didnt finish the race in the points.
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM), 14th place
At the beginning of the race, I was turned around. Something like that can happen in such circumstances. After that, my race was over. I was struggling with my first set of rain tires. My race performance improved the longer the rain lasted, which is why I was able to battle my way forward from the far rear to 14th place. On the whole, I can be pleased with my second half of the season.
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM), 15th place
The race weekend reflects the way the whole season went. We stayed far below our potential. The start was successful but the strategy wasnt right today. The second pit stop wasnt optimal either, which is why were kissing the season goodbye with 15th place.
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM), 16th place
The race was pretty poor. The start wasnt good; we werent fast enough plus the wrong tire choice at the end. But we shouldnt be sad: Weve won the team classification and of course the drivers Championship!
Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM), retirement
My early retirement in the race is really a shame. I had a good start although I almost couldnt see anything due to the rain. Afterward, I had a few incidents of body contact which damaged one of the rear tires. When I braked in the subsequent turn I completely lost control of my RS 5.
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): It was a very turbulent race. It was obvious that anything was possible. Mattias (Ekström) was on course for victory and due to a spin was unable to intervene in the battle for the podium. Of course thats a shame because he was one of the quickest men in the field. Unfortunately, this wasnt quite the close of the season wed imagined. Audi has won the team classification but the title in the manufacturers classification unfortunately didnt completely work out. Next year, were going to attack again.
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): It was a highly thrilling season finale that we crowned by winning the team classification. Im also happy for Miguel (Molina), who clinched the crucial points today. Now he was able to contribute his part to our great success as well. Now everything fits. Now we can celebrate.
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): Congratulations to Audi Sport Team Phoenix that, following the drivers Championship with Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller), managed to win the team classification as well. In our case, the season ended exactly the way it began. Filipe Albuquerques race was over after lap one, the right rear wheel was crooked after an incident of body contact. Edo (Mortara) drove a good race. Its possible, though, that, strategically, we made a mistake at the final pit stop. Otherwise he could have still scored a point. Weve got to take a look at that again but if it should have been the case, then Ive got to say, Sorry Edo.