Ingolstadt/Brands Hatch - A week before the Champions League final, London will be under the banner of motorsport. On its European tour, the DTM will stop on the outskirts of the British capital on May 18 and 19.
Following the disappointing season opener, the Audi squad is dying for rectification and in pursuit of this aim is also banking on newcomer Jamie Green, who will be contesting his first home round for Audi at Brands Hatch.
Now the fans and the drivers are equally eager to see what effect the innovations will have on the 1.929-kilometer, and thus shortest, circuit on the DTM calendar, and how the relative strengths will pan out on this race track with its unique characteristics.
Audi Sport and the Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg are tackling the event at Brands Hatch with high motivation.
Although Timo Scheider, on clinching the pole position at Hockenheim, set an initial exclamation mark the eight drivers clearly stayed below their potential in the race with position six as the best Audi result and only one more position in the points. This is to change in Great Britain.
The omens are positive, as on three previous occasions Audi drivers, including the two double Champions, Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider, entered their names on the winners list of this race. Most recently, Martin Tomczyk, on his way toward the title win in the 2011 season, was successful at Brands Hatch. In 2012, Mike Rockenfeller started the race from grid position four and finished in third place.
At Brands Hatch, the DTM is again racing on the short configuration of the circuit. The so-called Indy Circuit has clearly more right- and left-hand turns and, unlike the long Parabolica at Hockenheim, offers only few sections in which the drivers can truly use the DRS for overtaking.
The 98 laps on Sunday demand extreme concentration of the drivers. This applies to the crews in the pits and at the command posts as well. There is no other track on which strategy and the right timing of the mandatory pit stops are as important as at Brands Hatch.
For the first time since Oliver Jarvis raced in 2011, Audi is competing again with a Briton in the DTM this year. Newcomer Jamie Green will contest his first home round for the brand with the four rings at Brands Hatch.
A large number of fans and friends will accompany the 30-year-old Audi factory driver, who on his 2006 debut at Brands Hatch only missed a triumph by an extremely narrow margin. The winner back then was Mattias Ekström, who now is his team-mate.
The number 20 Audi RS 5 will feature new graphics at Brands Hatch, as soccer fan Miguel Molina on his car advertises the Audi Cup to be held in Munich on July 31 and August 1.
At Audis invitation, FC Bayern München, Manchester City, AC Milan and the top Brazilian club FC São Paulo are meeting at the Allianz Arena for a brief tournament.
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): Were traveling to Brands Hatch with optimism. At Hockenheim, particularly on Saturday, we saw that the performance of our RS 5 DTM is basically good. That was important. Now its up to us to exploit this potential. Im sure that at Brands Hatch well be experiencing a very close race. The innovations like DRS wont be playing such a role there because the straight isnt long enough. But Im convinced that the fans can still look forward to a lot of interesting duels.
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): The time between the season opener with its many innovations in the regulations and the next race at Brands Hatch isnt very long. Thats why its crucial for us to jointly assess, analyze and, of course optimize, all the experiences and data we gathered at Hockenheim. And then well arrive in England perfectly prepared.
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): Knowing the basic performance of our car, were looking forward to Brands Hatch. With the option tires on this short track well probably be seeing many different strategies. The fans can look forward to a thrilling race.
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): Ive got good and bad memories of Brands Hatch. A good one is that Filipe (Albuquerque) was among the front runners for a long time last year before losing ground due to a slow pit stop. Were going to do better in that respect this time.