• Martin Tomczyk travels to Oschersleben as new leader of the standings
• Five Audi victories at the first seven races of the 2011 season
• Motorsport Arena has always suited Audi particularly well
Ingolstadt, September 9, 2011 - Audi 5, Mercedes-Benz 2. The interim statistics in the 2011 DTM send a clear message. And from September 16 to 18 the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben is a track on the calendar that has suited Audi particularly well in recent years.
The brand with the four rings has won four of the last seven DTM races at Oschersleben since its return to the series with a manufacturer’s commitment. Five times an Audi A4 DTM has started from the top grid position and as many as four times the front row belonged only to the brand from Ingolstadt.
The first pole position for the Audi A4 DTM at Oschersleben was clinched in 2004 by a certain Martin Tomczyk. Seven years later the 29-year-old is traveling to the circuit in the flatlands around Magdeburg as the leader of the standings and three-time winner this season. The driver from Audi Sport Team Phoenix scored points at all seven races in 2011, was on podium five times and never finished below fifth place. If the driver from Rosenheim, Bavaria, who is living in Switzerland continues this way, then he will have excellent chances of becoming the third German champion in the "new" DTM that has been held since 2000, following Bernd Schneider and Timo Scheider - and, what’s more, as the driver of a "used car."
Mathematically, seven drivers still have chances of winning the prestigious title: Martin Tomczyk, his immediate rival Bruno Spengler, Mattias Ekström, Timo Scheider, Jamie Green, Mike Rockenfeller and Ralf Schumacher. From a realistic perspective, however, the title fight has narrowed down to the duel between Tomczyk and Spengler who before the last three rounds are separated by only one point.
As was most recently the case at Brands Hatch, positioning as many Audi A4 DTM cars in front of Spengler will be a crucial factor. So the fact that Tomczyk’s brand colleagues like the Oschersleben circuit as he does comes in handy - first and foremost Timo Scheider, who won at the Motorsport Arena in 2008 and 2009 and who missed a possible hat-trick in 2010 only due to a puncture. His team-mates from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller, have previously mounted the DTM podium at Oschersleben too. Rahel Frey managed this feat in Formula 3. Edoardo Mortara, who achieved a strong third-place finish at Brands Hatch, secured the title in the Formula 3 Euro Series at Oschersleben in 2010. Filipe Albuquerque even lived at Oschersleben for a while. And Oliver Jarvis and Miguel Molina like the track as well.
So the Audi squad has good prerequisites for raising the score in the prestige duel against Mercedes-Benz to 6-2 and to extend its overall lead. Mercedes, a strong competitor, of course will do everything within their means to strike back after two consecutive defeats. ARD will broadcast the third from last DTM race of the year live on Sunday, September 18, starting at 1:45 p.m., CEST.
Other topics of the weekend
- How will the Hankook tires perform at Oschersleben?
- Will all three Audi teams again be able to fight for podium positions?
- Will Rahel Frey be able to continue the good performance she showed at Brands Hatch?
- Will Miguel Molina finally score his first point of the season?
Quotes by the officials
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
"The great result at Brands Hatch provides additional motivation to the whole team. It would certainly be good if we could take the momentum from there to Oschersleben with us. We’re in a very balanced situation. Martin (Tomczyk) is leading by just one point. The decision must now be made in the last three races. Being on a roll as we are after this one-two-three result, we’ll all try to take advantage of it."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "We’ve got fond memories of Oschersleben. But the hot phase in the battle for the title is starting now. We’ll try as best we can to support Martin (Tomczyk). A driver of a year-old car winning the championship would be a historic topic. The team will do everything within its means at Oschersleben to show the kind of performance it did at Brands Hatch."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):
"Naturally, a one-point lead in the standings by Martin Tomczyk is not a cushion. But it may be the crucial point at the end of the season ...! The result at Brands Hatch has helped us; our self-confidence continues to rise. Martin is in good spirits, and so is the team. Oschersleben suits us well and it helps not having so much weight on board. Rahel Frey’s curve is clearly pointing upward. She drove the ninth-fastest lap at Brands Hatch and was always quick. Although a spin and an excursion prevented a really good result, we want to continue her good development."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):
"At Oschersleben we clinched our first podium place with Audi. At Brands Hatch we most recently mounted the podium for the second time. Of course we want to continue to ride the wave of success from that weekend. Besides Edoardo Mortara, Filipe Albuquerque drove a good race as well. I’d be pleased to see him also finish in the points next time. I’m optimistic."
Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers
Filipe Albuquerque (26/P), TV Movie Audi A4 DTM #18 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
- Already knows Oschersleben from junior racing series
- Briefly lived in the Magdeburg flatlands
"Oschersleben is the DTM track I know best. While contesting Formula Renault I was even living with my team in Oschersleben some of the time. I’ve got many fond memories of this track. I’m hoping for my results in the DTM to improve now and that I’ll finally be able to clinch the good result I’ve been working hard to achieve."
Mattias Ekström (33/S), Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #8 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
- Celebrated second place at Brands Hatch and is now in third place of the standings
- The two-time DTM Champion has never won at Oschersleben before
"At Oschersleben I’ve had some good as well as some bad races. This year I simply want to experience a good weekend in every respect and show my maximum performance. We’ve got to wait and see whether it’ll be a podium, a victory or just a result among the top five. I remain modest. I’ve been going back and forth between happy feelings and disappointment only too often. I’m hoping for a flawless weekend from Friday to Sunday and to be able to show a top performance."
Rahel Frey (25/CH), Glamour Audi A4 DTM #15 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
- Most recently, at Brands Hatch, set the ninth-best lap time
- Clinched a podium place in Formula 3 at Oschersleben in 2009
"I’m very much looking forward to Oschersleben. In Formula 3 I even mounted the podium there, in third place. I know the circuit pretty well. It is a very technical, demanding track. It’ll be a big challenge. It’s important to fully run over the kerbs in the chicane in the DTM car. You also have to drive like that in the last sector in order to take momentum with you."
Oliver Jarvis (27/GB), Audi Sport performance cars A4 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
- Has started from rows two and three at previous events at Oschersleben
- Just barely missed a points finish at Brands Hatch
"Oschersleben is one of the toughest tracks on the calendar for our race cars. But I do consider this circuit one of my favorites and have some successes there. Hopefully, I’ll manage a good result for Audi. Especially in the chicane you’ve got to drive very aggressively. It’s easy to lose a lot of time here."
Miguel Molina (22/E), Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Abt Junior)
- Started from the fourth row at Brands Hatch
- After several collisions was forced to retire from his race in England
- Is still waiting to score his first point this season
"Unfortunately, my race at Oschersleben was very short last year. I was involved in an accident right on the first lap. But that doesn’t change the fact that I really like this track and can remember well how to tackle this race. The set-up is important and the car has to show a certain jumping behavior on the high kerbs. At the same time, it has to be well balanced in the fast, longer corners. I’ll give everything to achieve a good result."
Edoardo Mortara (24/I/F), Playboy Audi A4 DTM #19 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
- The DTM rookie clinched his first podium position at Brands Hatch
- The Rosberg racer, as the best newcomer of the season, is ranking in eighth place of the standings
"After the podium result at Brands Hatch I’m definitely looking forward to Oschersleben. But I don’t know exactly what to expect at the next run. Our aim is for me to finish among the top eight. I don’tknow the track very well yet. I’ve only been there once before, in Formula 3 last year. It could still become a nice weekend because Audi has always been pretty good there."
Mike Rockenfeller (27/D), E-POSTBRIEF Audi A4 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
- At Brands Hatch, started from his first pole position in the DTM
- Clinched his first DTM podium result at Oschersleben in 2007
"Like at Brands Hatch, I’ll try to make a good showing in qualifying. If possible, I want to move all the way to the front. And then my goal is to win the race. Technically, the circuit is very demanding. I like the track and have been very successful there. We’ll probably have very close gaps again."
Timo Scheider (32/D), AUTO TEST Audi A4 DTM #4 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
- In 2008 and 2009 was the winner at Oschersleben in the Audi A4 DTM
- Was in contention for victory last year until suffering a puncture
"Oschersleben is linked to the strongest emotions in my DTM career. My first DTM victory will always be very special. The first champion’s title followed in the same year. That’s what makes this so very special. I really like Oschersleben a lot, even though I can’t name a specific reason why. I feel comfortable on this track from the first turn onward. I can quickly tell where the car starts to reach its limits and don’t have to cautiously approach this first. I’m traveling there with a very positive feeling."
Martin Tomczyk (29/D), Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM #14 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
- Travels to Oschersleben as the new leader of the standings
- Has already clinched three podium places there
"I’m arriving at the next race as the hunted. Oschersleben has always been a great weekend for Audi in the past. Of course I’m hoping it’ll be the same again this year. There are many long corners that have always suited our Audi A4 DTM well."