• DTM visits Brands Hatch after the summer break
• Martin Tomczyk aims to recapture lead of the standings
• Six Audi racers still have theoretical title chances
Ingolstadt, August 26, 2011 - After a three-week summer break the first September weekend at Brands Hatch (Great Britain) marks the start of the final sprint and the chase for the lead of the DTM standings for Audi. Martin Tomczyk is aiming to reduce the gap to Bruno Spengler, who is ranking in first place, and preferably recapture the overall lead.
The 29-year-old German from Audi Sport Team Phoenix knows how to do that at Brands Hatch. Tomczyk captured the top spot on the leaderboard on the 1.929-kilometer and thus shortest track on a previous occasion. In 2007 a second-place finish behind Bernd Schneider sufficed for him to advance to first place in the overall classification.
Mathematically, with a seven-point gap to Bruno Spengler, the Audi factory driver would again only have to finish as the runner-up to regain the lead of the standings - at least if the Canadian scored no points at Brands Hatch.
Tomczyk can safely assume that his 2008-specification Audi A4 DTM will be running well at the "Indy Circuit." Last year, Miguel Molina in an A4 of the same generation was the fastest Audi driver in the race.
But Tomczyk is not the only Audi driver who can still have hopes of clinching the title. The two-time DTM Champion Timo Scheider from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is ranking in third place of the standings, behind his brand colleague. Theoretically, as many as six Audi drivers still have title chances, though realistically, only the two Germans Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider do.
Scheider, too, has very fond memories of Brands Hatch. On the way to his first DTM title in 2008 he managed to score a very important victory at the DTM’s UK round, and in the past two years he was on podium as well.
Mattias Ekström is another Brands Hatch winner in Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s driver squad. In 2006 the Swede was the first winner of a DTM race at Brands Hatch. With a commanding victory clinched at the Nürburgring, the last round before the summer break, Ekström showed that he has not lost any of his skills.
So Audi is traveling to the UK with good prerequisites for raising the victory score in the prestige duel against Mercedes-Benz to 5-2. The seventh race of the season will start on Sunday (September 4) at 2 p.m. local time. ARD will broadcast live on "Das Erste" beginning at 2:40 (CEST).
Other topics of the weekend
• Will Miguel Molina finally clinch his first point of the year?
• Will Edoardo Mortara again be the best rookie in the field?
• Will all three Audi teams be able to score again?
• How many drivers will still be in the title race after Brands Hatch?
Quotes by the officials
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
"After a short summer break we’re traveling to Brands Hatch. Our performance has always been pretty good there but in the past two years we weren’t able to convert this into victories. Now we’re aiming to achieve a good result with the momentum we had before the summer break. I’m looking toward this race with optimism."
Our performance has always been pretty good there but in the past two years we weren’t able to convert this into victories
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"Naturally, after the great result at the Nürburgring we’re really looking forward to Brands Hatch. We’re highly motivated for the second half of the DTM. We showed that we’re able to run at the front of the field. We’ll try and take our form with us to the UK. Brands Hatch is a track that suits us well. We’ve had some great successes there. We’ll put the motivation of the whole team to good use."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):
"Due to the track being so short Brands Hatch may well be the biggest challenge of the year. When you pit you’re no longer on the same lap as the leaders. You’re always moving in traffic. I find this to be a tremendous challenge. Considering how narrow the margins are on longer race tracks I’m wondering whether the gaps we’ll be seeing in qualifying at Brands Hatch will only be in the range of hundredths or thousandths. But I’m looking forward to that and so are my drivers."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):
"Brands Hatch is always good. It’s the shortest track on the calendar. With almost 100 laps it’s like racing on a merry-go-around. I’m looking forward to it, and particularly since Filipe (Albuquerque) has also broken his duck now. He knows how he has to set up and drive the car. That gives us a good chance to finish in the points with Filipe and with Edoardo (Mortara)."
Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers
Filipe Albuquerque (26/P), TV Movie Audi A4 DTM #18 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
• Just barely missed a points finish most recently at the Nürburgring
"As soon as one DTM race is over I already look forward to the next one because it’s simply fun. And most recently at the Nürburgring a lot of things really went well for me. I think my engineer and I’ve made a step forward. The set-up and the race pace are much better now. I don’t know the short circuit version yet. It’ll be very close, like at the Norisring. I’m gathering more and more kilometers and starting to score points. Hopefully, I’ll clinch another one there."
Mattias Ekström (33/S), Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #8 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
• Has most recently, at Spa and at the Nürburgring, won two consecutive races for Audi
• In 2006, was the first winner at the DTM round at Brands Hatch
"I always enjoy being there. It’s no doubt one of the race tracks on which you can have the greatest fun. It’s extremely short and produces very low lap times, which means we driving a very large number of laps. Traffic is dense and tactics are important."
Rahel Frey (25/CH), Glamour Audi A4 DTM #15 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
• Only knows the long circuit version at Brands Hatch
• Has recorded her sixth consecutive race finish
"I know the long circuit at Brands Hatch but not the short version. That’ll be a fantastic challenge, especially turn one. And with 98 laps you probably nearly go crazy. The DTM at Brands Hatch will definitely be a great experience for me."
Oliver Jarvis (27/GB), Audi Sport performance cars A4 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
• With a sixth-place finish clinched his best Brands Hatch result last year
• Is the only Audi driver for whom Brands Hatch is a home round
"It’s important for me to score points at my home race. On this track, turn one is absolutely crucial. You can gain a lot of time there by taking a certain risk. It’s one of the most beautiful turns in the world. That’s why I’m really looking forward to traveling to Brands Hatch."
Miguel Molina (22/E), Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Abt Junior)
• Set the fastest race lap at Brands Hatch last year
• Has clinched his so far best DTM result - fourth place - there
"Brands Hatch is a good track for me. A year ago I scored my best DTM result there. At the Nürburgring we had a really good qualifying session. I want to continue that at Brands Hatch. And then I’m hoping for a good race."
Edoardo Mortara (24/I/F), Playboy Audi A4 DTM #19 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
• Celebrated a victory on this track as a Formula 3 racer a year ago
• Has already achieved three points finishes this season
• With grid position five as the best driver of a year-old car at the Nürburgring has continued his good form curve
"I know this circuit well and it should also suit me very well. The track is very special, but I’ve always achieved good results there. In 2007 I won there for the first time in Formula 3. Now I’d like to continue our good string of results. At the Norisring, in Munich and at the Nürburgring we managed three good weekends in a row. We’ve already improved, resolved earlier issues, and can just improve further."
Mike Rockenfeller (27/D), E-POSTBRIEF Audi A4 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
• Achieved his second podium finish this year at the Nürburgring
• Demonstrated a good qualifying performance as well by taking third place on the grid
"After the summer break we’re traveling to Brands Hatch. Naturally, I’m looking forward to that again. Due to its length of less than two kilometers the track is very special. As a result, the times will be extremely close. I’m hoping for us to be able to come up with a good set-up for the Audi A4 DTM so that I’ll finish very far at the front."
Timo Scheider (32/D), AUTO TEST Audi A4 DTM #4 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
• Won with Audi at Brands Hatch in 2008
• Started from the front row in 2008 and 2009 and was on podium three times in a row
"I’ve got fond memories of Brands Hatch where I was on podium in the past two years. In 2008 I even won there. It’s always nice to return to a track where you’ve had good experiences in recent years. But that’s by no means a guarantee that you’ll achieve a good result. I’m looking forward to the race after we’ve been able to recharge our batteries a bit during the break. After the great weekend for Audi at the Nürburgring we’re all traveling to Brands Hatch fully motivated."
Martin Tomczyk (29/D), Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM #14 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
• Travels to Brands Hatch as the runner-up in the standings
• Is one of four drivers who scored points at all six races in 2011
"Brands Hatch is a nice track. It’s also a good one for Audi because we’ve clinched some nice results there. The circuit is small, very narrow, with a lot of laps being driven. Qualifying is crucial there, and of course the strategy."