Audi extends DTM lead
Ingolstadt/Klettwitz -- Extension of the the lead and reduction of weight: in front of 80,000 spectators at the DTM's fourth round at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, Audi created an ideal starting base for its home race at the Norisring. Timo Scheider as the runner-up extended his lead of the standings. The compact Audi team performance in the Lausitz region was completed by Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk in places three and four.
This result at the front of the field was based on flawless starts by Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk. On the first lap, all three of them initially got in line behind the subsequent winner Paul di Resta and his Mercedes brand colleague Bruno Spengler. Thanks to the perfect job done by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk passed Bruno Spengler as early as after their first mandatory pit stops and solidified their positions as the race progressed.
This gives Audi a favourable starting base for the Norisring at the fifth of eleven rounds: while Timo Scheider increased the lead of the standings, which he has held for the past three races, from one to three points, the weights of the new Audi A4 DTM and the new Mercedes are now in balance -- as they last were at the beginning of the season.
As early as on the first lap, Tom Kristensen in the fourth new Audi A4 DTM lost any chance of complementing the results of his three team-mates from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline with a further points-finish. In the commotion, he spun and had to have the damaged front of his car repaired at an additional pit stop.
Nevertheless, a fourth Audi A4 DTM did achieve a result in the points. Oliver Jarvis in eighth place again managed scoring points in a year-old car. This means that for the third time in a row the best car from last year has been an Audi. With Mike Rockenfeller following Jarvis, a fifth Audi factory driver achieved a result among the top ten. The Frenchman Alexandre Premat, who had originally occupied eighth place, was subsequently disqualified due to a tyre which had not been marked for the race.
But not only in terms of its overall result did Audi clearly improve at the EuroSpeedway, compared with its fifth place last year: in the ladies' duel, Katherine Legge -- in a remarkable fight -- for the first time defeated Mercedes driver Susie Stoddart, who retired towards the end of the race, though. Audi factory driver Markus Winkelhock did not see the chequered flag either: a punctured tyre suddenly deflated, causing Winkelhock to spin into the wall while braking at the end of start and finish straight and forcing him to retire.
Quotes after the race
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "We can be satisfied with the result. We saw a superb team performance today with strong pit stops, which helped to decide the race. With places two to four, the extension of our lead in the championship and with equal weight as our rivals at the Norisring, this has been a successful weekend for Audi."
Timo Scheider (GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #10): "A good weekend for Audi. We knew this would be a tough round for us. With my second place and positions three and four for Mattias (Ekstrom) and Martin (Tomczyk), we can be proud. For my boys and me, of course it's great to go to the Norisring with a three-point lead in the championship."
Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #1): "It really feels good to go home today with third place. I'm only six points behind the leader of the standings when we go to the Norisring six weeks from now. That's a great starting base. Also, during this weekend at the EuroSpeedway, we managed adapting my Audi A4 DTM to my driving style even better than before. All in all, this lets me enjoy the small summer break in a very relaxed mood."
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #2): "We can be satisfied with the result. My car was very good, my own performance flawless. With a different strategy, I might have been able to keep Mattias behind me."
Oliver Jarvis (Best Buddies Audi A4 DTM #15): "A good race with a fast car. Unfortunately, I got entangled in a starting tussle, which made me lose three, four positions. But thanks to good pit stops I was able to make up ground again. Eighth place is a good result for our team."
Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #18): "Tenth place is the same position I started from. I'd been hoping for more, particularly because I had such a fantastic start and was able to make up a few positions straight away. But my car was simply not good enough today, and I lost places again to Alex and Oliver."
Christijan Albers (Audi A4 DTM #21): "My qualifying was good, but the race, unfortunately, wasn't. In the first two corners I was brushed and all the front flaps broke off. Actually, the car was no longer drivable after that, but I finished the race anyhow."
Katherine Legge (Audi A4 DTM #20): "At the start I wasn't able to see the lights and just followed the other cars. Later, I had a nice duel with Susie Stoddart, who did a good job of defending her position until she had to pit. All in all, I'm satisfied with the race because I made another step forwards in my learning curve."
Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM #9): "In the first turn I was put in a sandwich from left and right and turned around in the third corner. During the safety car period, the team performed a very quick repair stop. But the car was simply too heavily damaged to be able to still drive good lap times."
Markus Winkelhock (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #19): "The Lausitzring is not a good place for me. Last year, my race ended in a tyre stack, and so did this one. In the first turn, someone hit me in the rear, and in the third it happened again. At first, I thought that only one of the wishbones was bent, but then -- on the straight/finish at over 200 kph -- my tyre blew."
Alexandre Premat (Audi Bank/Shell Helix Audi A4 DTM #14): "Definitely a strong race. I gave everything from start to finish and was able to keep the pace of the 2008-spec cars."
Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "I'm very happy about the race. Our team again showed a superb pit performance, which enabled us to overtake three Mercedes cars. On the track, our drivers were able to keep the pace of our rivals. Congratulations to Paul di Resta as well, who drove a strong race."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "Like at Mugello, we managed to achieve all of our goals. Arguably, we can't do any better with the car than this, unless the 2008-spec models encounter some kind of problems. Our drivers were strong, and so was our team with the pit stops. Well done."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "We were lucky with Markus's accident, because a lot more could have happened. After all, the crash occurred at the fastest place of the circuit. 'Rocky's' car was simply too slow. Now we need to find out why. We could have probably done better than tenth place."