Audi drivers are physically and mentally fit for 2010 Ingolstadt, February 28, 2010 -- Head of Audi-Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich had every reason to be pleased with the excellent team spirit, physical fitness and strong motivation his...
Audi drivers are physically and mentally fit for 2010
Ingolstadt, February 28, 2010 -- Head of Audi-Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich had every reason to be pleased with the excellent team spirit, physical fitness and strong motivation his drivers displayed at the annual winter camp held during the last week of February. Even the four drivers who experienced the team training in Bavaria's "Oberallgau" region for the first time perfectly blended in with the team.
At the traditional winter camp in Ofterschwang from February 21 to 28 the Audi racers proved for a whole week, day by day, that they can hardly wait for the season to start. In 2010, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich will again be able to rely on a driver squad that is well prepared in terms of its medical, sporting and mental fitness. "This week the team spends together provides everyone with an excellent opportunity to clear their minds, to take the time to analyze many of the situations that occurred in 2009 and to thus create an even better sporting base for 2010," he summed up the basic idea behind the one-week camp. "Every human being develops during the course of a year. It's nice to experience and understand this development as intensely as we can during the week at the 'Sonnenalp' resort.
An initial medical check including a stress EKG on a bicycle ergometer was followed by a diverse sports program -- from skating all the way via indoor team games to Nordic walking -- which culminated in a snow-shoe tour to the "Ofterschwanger Horn" mountain peak. "We make every effort to implement the program as efficiently as possible," explains Audi's team physician Dr. Christian John. "Therefore, we slightly modified the program this year. Stretching replaced aqua-jogging as a warm-up exercise in the morning because this allowed more time for other types of exercises."
Since Audi not only analyzes the current performance development of its drivers but has been doing so for many years, the comparative history has been complemented by another year. "The younger and middle-aged drivers were already in good shape before and have improved yet again," praises Dr. John. "The assessment of the drivers who are more than 40 years old is equally impressive. From a medical perspective, it's always a success when athletes at this age reach their previous levels again. But our drivers have improved once more -- that is definitely a noteworthy achievement."
Day by day, the Audi drivers together with Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich as well as Hans-Jurgen Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline), Ralf Juttner (Audi Sport Team Joest), Ernst Moser (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Arno Zensen (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) reeled off an extensive program between 7:30 in the morning and 8:30 at night.
As many as 16 drivers participated in these activities. In addition to the squad from previous years, consisting of Dindo Capello (I), Mattias Ekstrom (S), Oliver Jarvis (GB), Tom Kristensen (DK), Katherine Legge (GB), Lucas Luhr (D), Allan McNish (GB), Mike Rockenfeller (D), Timo Scheider (D), Martin Tomczyk (D) and Markus Winkelhock (D), four drivers took part in the program for the first time: the two Porsche "factory" drivers Timo Bernhard (D) and Romain Dumas (F), who will compete for Audi again at Le Mans, sports car driver Marcel Fassler (CH) and Miguel Molina (E), the new signing for the DTM. Andre Lotterer (D) and Benoît Treluyer (F), who are also part of the driver line-up for Le Mans, were unable to participate in the winter camp due to prior commitments.
Impressive performance by Tom Kristensen
An impressive performance was shown by Tom Kristensen. The Dane, who was voted "Sportsman of the Decade" by the leading media of his country just a few weeks ago, took part in the winter camp despite his recent injury of the heel tendon. "This did not prevent him from engaging in a strength- and stamina-building exercise regime and demonstrating his usual professionalism," says Dr. John.
When the season starts, the winter camp will bring its long-term effects to bear yet again. "Racers are 'lone fighters.' But our team-building activities make it much easier for these personalities to gradually grow together as a team," emphasizes Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "We've seen what it means to achieve common goals in endurance racing and in touring car sport. In the DTM we clinched the hat-trick last year but at Le Mans we unfortunately failed to show our standard performance. Yet the will to bring back the Le Mans trophy to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm again this year could be clearly felt in Ofterschwang."
Audi's sports car season will start on April 11 at the 8 Hours of Le Castellet; the DTM season will open two weeks later, on April 25, at Hockenheim.