Audi A4 DTM victorious at the Nurburgring too Second win in a row for Martin Tomczyk Mattias Ekstrom shines in a fight to make up ground All 2007-spec Audi A4 DTM cars in the points 117,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) at the Nurburgring...
Audi A4 DTM victorious at the Nurburgring too
Second win in a row for Martin Tomczyk Mattias Ekstrom shines in a fight to make up ground All 2007-spec Audi A4 DTM cars in the points 117,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) at the Nurburgring witnessed another impressive showing of the Audi A4 DTM. After starting from pole position, Audi driver Martin Tomczyk (Rosenheim) continued setting the pace throughout the 43-lap race to celebrate his second consecutive DTM victory. His team-mate Mattias Ekstrom impressively fought to make up ground from tenth place on the grid to a third-place finish, thus defending his lead in the standings. Timo Scheider in fourth place and Tom Kristensen in eighth completed Audi's triumph in the Eifel, which saw all four 2007-spec Audi A4 DTM cars fielded by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline finish in the points.
In a nail-biting race that was marked by captivating duels and strategy, Martin Tomczyk was the driver outperforming the entire field. Straight from the start the 25-year-old took the lead which he only had to relinquish briefly after his two pit stops. His Audi A4 DTM was running so perfectly that he did not have to push the limits and still managed to see the chequered flag with an advantage of over six seconds -- no victory ever in the fiercely competitive 2007 DTM season has been as dominant as this one.
Similarly impressive was Mattias Ekstrom's race, who had to start from the fifth row after a compromised qualifying. At the start he overtook two-time Formula 1 Champion Mika Hakkinen and then made up one position after the other with consistently fast laps, a good strategy, perfect pit stops as well as with the help of his team-mates. Seven laps before the end of the race he overtook Jamie Green to secure a place on the podium.
Timo Scheider again proved that he is a genuine team player: the German, who was running in second place for a long time, did not defend himself against Mattias Ekstrom when Ekstrom attacked him on fresh tyres during the final phase. Like at Zandvoort, Scheider finished fourth. Tom Kristensen clinched eighth place after a fierce duel with record champion Bernd Schneider.
Best driver of a 2006-spec car was Alexandre Premat who finished ninth and thus barely missed scoring a point. Christian Abt, Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Vanina Ickx occupied places 15, 16, 17 and 19 respectively. Markus Winkelhock retired as early as during the start on account of an unfortunate collision with Mike Rockenfeller.
Before the last two DTM races at Barcelona on 23 September and at Hockenheim on 14 October, two Audi drivers, Mattias Ekstrom (44 points) and Martin Tomczyk (40), are at the top of the leaderboard. Bruno Spengler (34), Bernd Schneider (27.5) and Paul di Resta (25) are three Mercedes drivers who still have chances of winning the title.
Quotes after the race
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "That was a perfect day for Audi. With a good strategy, quick pit stops and fantastic speed we achieved an outstanding team result that is also very important with a view towards the Championship. We saw an impressive demonstration by the entire Audi squad that displayed great team spirit and fought hard but fair yet again. That was no mean feat. Everybody had to give 100 percent for us to be able to achieve this result."
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #4) 1st place
"From the beginning all the way to the end I had an absolutely perfect car. If you're never caught up in a fight and find that you've got about a seven-second lead over the runner-up you can control the race and take things a little easier. It was a wonderful race and -- quite frankly -- an easy one as well."
Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #3) 3rd place, + 20.535s
"The start and the first corners were really tough. I overtook Mika (Hakkinen), who remained very fair and gave me enough room to pass. Then there were some great fights which I managed to get through without any problems. My team had prepared a perfect strategy. The car was decent, but the set-up was not the best. Thanks to our strategy and a number of nice overtaking manoeuvres I was able to move forwards. My thanks to the team!"
Timo Scheider (Gebrauchtwagen:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #8) 4th place, + 26.359s
"I had a very good start. It was clear that we'd be driving a very aggressive strategy and pit twice in a row within a short space of time -- of course taking the risk that the distance afterwards on one set of tyres would be very long. This way we stayed in front of the Mercedes cars. Unfortunately, we didn't quite manage to 'survive' the 30 laps on one set of tyres. Too bad that the podium position didn't work out, but for Mattias (Ekstrom) and Martin (Tomczyk) it was great. In the Championship we made another step forwards."
Tom Kristensen (Siemens Audi A4 DTM #7) 8th place, + 31.121s
"A fantastic team performance by Audi. The foundation for victory was already laid in qualifying with grid positions one to three. In the beginning I was driving on old tyres, which was difficult, particularly in the fight with Bruno Spengler. On new tyres, things were going better. Unfortunately, my clutch didn't disengage properly. During the pit stops the engine stalled once so I was extra careful during the next stop. Everyone did an excellent job but of course I'd have preferred finishing before the three Mercedes cars."
Alexandre Premat (Audi Bank Audi A4 DTM #17) 9th place, + 36.365s
"I'm definitely satisfied even though we didn't score any points. We showed a good performance in the race. It was a nice fight with Mika Hakkinen. I drove almost the same times as the 2007-spec cars that were only a tiny bit faster."
Christian Abt (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #16) 15th place, + 53.621s
"With the race I'm basically satisfied. No doubt, the strategy decisions could have been different, but today we all fought for Audi. I'm happy that such a good result came out of this effort."
Lucas Luhr (Philips Audi A4 DTM #12) 16th place, + 57.745s
"I drove a very long first stint. You could see this throughout the year: those who pit early run in front. I did not pit early, so I was running at the rear. I don't know what we can do to improve. All the 2006-spec Audis were having a hard time here. Unfortunately, that was a weekend without a real result."
Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #11) 17th place, + 1m 06.289s
"My race was a disaster. I had a good start and was pulling towards the centre to fill a gap. Suddenly I felt an impact. It was Markus Winkelhock. Of course I'm sorry about that. But I'd definitely like to take a look at the pictures. Our seating position in the car is so low that we almost can't see anything to the left or right. I'm the last guy who'd want to ruin the race of another Audi driver. I was given a drive-through penalty for the incident. That was it as far as my race was concerned."
Vanina Ickx (Audi A4 DTM #21) 19th place, - 1 lap
"I'm happy about having brought the car home safely across the finish line. It's been a long time that I finished a race, that was at Brands Hatch. That's why it was very important for me to finish the race. My position was immaterial. I'm very happy for Audi as well as for Martin (Tomczyk) and Mattias (Ekstrom) about their first and third places."
Markus Winkelhock (Audi A4 DTM #20) Retired (starting accident)
"Unfortunately, this wasn't a race because after only a few metres it was all over for me. My start wasn't good. I slightly pulled over to the left when I suddenly felt an impact. Mike Rockenfeller touched me. Unfortunately, my car was turned around -- directly into the wall. There was nothing I could do."
Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"A dream result! We can be proud of all the engineers and mechanics. Everyone was highly focused and worked to clinch victory. Our drivers, too, did a great job. It was a thrilling and fair race. I wouldn't mind if things continued like this!"
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):
"Christian (Abt) had a superb start, while Alex (Premat) lost a position. With Alex we had set the tyre pressures from the very beginning such that only two very short first stints were possible. That's why we told him to pit although Christian was in front of him. I think that was the right decision. Christian drove a long first stint. Unfortunately, we weren't able to make better use of the early stops and failed to score points. If it hadn't been for that tiny bit that was missing we could have scored a point. But we weren't quick enough to advance further towards the front."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):
"We already laid the foundation in the qualifying practice yesterday. With positions 17 and 19 it was clear there wasn't much in it for us. The incident with 'Rocky' was unfortunate. We need to carefully look at what happened there. Congratulations to Audi on places one and three. I think it's great that 'Eki' was able to advance so much."