DTM

Norisring: Audi Motorsport preview

Audi comes to "home game" with 1-2 lead DTM highlight at the Norisring in Nuremberg Audi driver Martin Tomczyk overall leader DTM comeback of Tom Kristensen Immediately after the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport is already facing the next big race...

Audi comes to "home game" with 1-2 lead

DTM highlight at the Norisring in Nuremberg Audi driver Martin Tomczyk overall leader DTM comeback of Tom Kristensen Immediately after the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport is already facing the next big race event: On the weekend of 23/24 June, the DTM races on the Norisring. The street circuit at the Dutzendteich at Nuremberg's lake Dutzendteich is the highlight of the season of the most popular international Touring Car series and at the same time a "home game" for Audi.

The squad of Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, however, did not have a "home advantage" in previous years at Nuremberg. Tom Kristensen captured the pole position for Audi in 2005. But Christian Abt's second place in the same year was the best Norsiring result for Audi so far since coming back to the DTM on a factory level in 2004.

Now, Audi wants to build on the victories of the V8 quattro at the beginning of the nineties and the TT-R in the 2002 season. The special demands of the 2.3-kilometre street circuit -- mainly traction, top speed and braking performance -- have been implented in the development tests of the lastest-generation Audi A4 DTM (project name "R13"). Audi Sport also simulated the Norisring track-layout testing on an airfield.

For the first time since the season opener at Hockenheim, the 2007-spec Audi A4 DTM cars will compete on a similar weight level as the new Mercedes which were able to race three times in a row with less weight. Audi drivers Martin Tomczyk and Mattias Ekstrom, who are lying in first and second positions in the overall standings, thus have a good chance of increasing their championship lead and win the "half-time" title for Audi.

63 days after his severe accident in the DTM opener at Hockenheim, Tom Kristensen will compete for the first time in a DTM race. The 39-year-old Dane received the green light from the doctors following a test at the wheel of the Audi A4 DTM race taxi. Prior to the Norisring race, he will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Norisring weekend starts on Friday (22 June) with two 90-minute test sessions. On Saturday at 1:28 p.m. (local time) the starting grid will be decided in qualifying. The race begins on Sunday at 2 p.m. ARD broadcasts both the qualifying and the race live as usual.

Quotes before the race at the Norisring

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "The Norisring event is traditionally our 'home race' as Nuremberg is close to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. However, we were not able to achieve the results we and the Audi fans would have liked in previous years. This time we will fully concentrate on being better. With the latest generation cars we have created a very good basis for that."

Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #3): "The Norisring race is a race I really would like to win this year. I'll try everything to make this happen. There are many Audi fans, and the atmosphere is great, similar to the Formula 1 in Monaco. I'm looking forward to the weekend and will do everything I can to fight for the victory."

Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #4): "The Norisring is Audi's home track. There will be a lot of fans and Audi employees on site as well as a lot of the Audi management. We know that Mercedes was very dominant at the Norisring in the past. This year we want to put it the other way around. Personally I don't count the Norisring among my favourite tracks. But maybe this will change coming there as the championship leader. My target is to score as many points as possible. All of the remaining five tracks are absolutely to my liking."

Tom Kristensen (Siemens Audi A4 DTM #7): "I'm looking forward to my comeback in DTM. I already enjoyed the brief visit to Brands Hatch as the whole team gave me a very warm welcome. Now I can't really wait to work again with my engineer and the team. With Martin (Tomczyk) and Mattias (Ekstrom) two of my teammates are leading the championship. I'll give everything so that we will be able to defend this lead in our home game at the Norisring."

Timo Scheider (Gebrauchtwagen:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #8): "I'm looking forward to the season's highlight in Nuremberg. There is a very special atmosphere in the city. But I'm also looking forward to getting rid of some weight. After the race at Brands Hatch which was not so good, I hope for a better weekend at the Norisring."

Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #11): "I've good memories of the Norisring, that's why I'm really looking forward to the race. I'd like to score a good result to leave the two previous DTM races behind me which have been not good. I've won in the Carrera Cup at Nuremberg and really like street circuits. I'm highly motivated and will try to build on my Oschersleben success."

Lucas Luhr (Philips Audi A4 DTM #12): "The Norisring is Germany's Monaco of motor racing. It's the highlight of the season, but I believe it will be very difficult for us with the 2006-spec cars. Mercedes was strong there in the past. We'll have to give everything to be successful. Despite that I'm looking forward to the race."

Christian Abt (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #16): "I'm looking forward to the Norisring which is like my living room -- you always look forward to your living room because it is most comortable. I always have enjoyed great successes at the Norisiring. I don't know how competive my 2006-spec Audi will be there, but I presume it will be very tough. The 2007-spec cars have become really fast. That's why it's getting more and more difficult for the older cars -- despite the weight regulations."

Alexandre Premat (Audi Bank Audi A4 DTM #17): "I'm looking forward to this track which I really like very much. I took my first victory in Formula 3 there. It is an unusual track. I've raced four times there and won twice. The other two times I was in the lead before running into trouble. The intensive braking and the hairpins make this track so special. The team and I are very much motivated after the good weekend at Brands Hatch. I hope to score as many points as possible."

Adam Carroll (Audi A4 DTM #20): "Despite not having ever raced there I'm looking forward to the Norisring. I was told about the great atmosphere there. I'll get to know another new track. Hopefully we'll experience a good weekend finally confirming our good performances we usually have in the test sessions."

Vanina Ickx (Audi A4 DTM #21): "Germany has its own Monaco at the Norisring. As usual many spectators are expected. This is like a big festival for all the teams. I really can't wait to be there again."

Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "At Nuremberg we can speak about a home game which makes me very happy. The fans are expecting a lot from us. We have a good starting position. We are coming to Nuremberg as 1-2 leaders in the Drivers' classification and also as leaders in the Teams' classification, which is nice for Audi. We hope to score as many points as possible in order that the championship continues to develop in our direction. That's why we need a good result at the Norisring."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "Since Brands Hatch we finally figure among the teams having points. This is a good base and makes us confident for Nuremberg. Mercedes has always been strong there. With low downforce and good brakes we want to get in front."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "We have a kind of love-hate-relationship with the track in Nuremberg. On the one hand it is beautiful there, on the other hand it's a bit difficult to work there. I hope things will be running good for us."

-credit: audi.de

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Vanina Ickx , Lucas Luhr , Martin Tomczyk , Timo Scheider , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Adam Carroll , Alexandre Prémat , Mike Rockenfeller , Hans-Jurgen Abt
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing , Audi Sport Team Rosberg