Audi, Spielberg, the DTM and the Queen

Audi Communications Motorsport

DTM visits Austria at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg
“Home round” for Timo Scheider and Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
Race start moved forward to 13:30 due to the British Queen

Bathurst, Sebring, Nogaro, Spa, Nürburgring - the 2012 motorsport season started extremely successfully with important victories of the R18 Le Mans prototype and the R8 GT3 sports car for Audi. Now the new Audi A5 DTM is to learn how to win as quickly as possible. The Austrian DTM round at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on June 3 offers the next opportunity to do so.

Mike Rockenfeller, Phoenix Racing Audi A5 DTM
Mike Rockenfeller, Phoenix Racing Audi A5 DTM

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

The workload reeled off the by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich’s squad in the past few weeks and months is impressive. Audi Sport developed three new race cars in parallel, the A5 DTM, the R18 ultra and the R18 e-tron quattro, the first diesel hybrid race car for the Le Mans 24 Hours. At the same time, the agenda was set for the company’s first overall victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

"In addition, contrary to our original planning, we managed to field eight new cars in the DTM right from the first race on," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "That was a major logistical feat which could only be accomplished with maximum personal commitment by each and every employee at Audi Sport, our suppliers and the partner teams. This achievement deserves the highest respect. There were hardly any free days during this time."

And this will not change in the next few weeks either. On June 16/17 the Le Mans 24 Hours as Audi’s most important race of the year will be on the agenda. At the same time, work on the further development of the new Audi A5 DTM is continuing at full stretch in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm as the car’s track record reflecting a pole position and two third places after the first three rounds is not on a par with expectations yet.

Testing at the Lausitzring, Audi Sport most recently gathered important findings which already paid off to some extent in the race at Brands Hatch. Another step is to follow at Spielberg.

Audi is traveling with fond memories to Austria. Last year, Audi Sport Team Phoenix celebrated its first victory in the DTM at the reopened Red Bull Ring and thus laid the foundation for the subsequent title win by Martin Tomczyk.

Overall, the premiere of the new Red Bull Ring was a resounding success for the DTM as well. 48,000 spectators flocked to Spielberg in 2011 and all tickets were sold out on race day. In view of the DTM being an even greater thriller this year the organizers are expecting a similarly impressive turnout on the first weekend in June.

For Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, who hails from Vienna, and the two-time DTM Champion Timo Scheider, who calls Austria his adopted home, the Red Bull Ring is practically a home round. Due to the Diamond Jubilee of the British Queen, on the occasion of which "Das Erste" is planning a special program immediately following the DTM broadcast from Spielberg, the DTM race will start half an hour earlier than usual, at 1:30 p.m. ARD will broadcast live, starting at 1:15 p.m. (CEST).

Quotes by the officials

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Our next DTM race will be held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. I’m very much looking forward to my ‘home race’ as I’m particularly fond of this race track. I think that at Brands Hatch we saw that we’re on the right track with the things we’re currently working out. I’m confident that we’ll be delivering a good performance at Spielberg. If we can continue to show such a strong team performance as well and become a little bit quicker on the whole then we’ll be where we’re aiming to be."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "Naturally, as Bavarians, we’re looking forward to our neighboring country Austria and the DTM’s visit there. Last year, it was grand spectacle on a fantastic track in the middle of the green countryside. We’re hoping to be able to present a gift to our sponsor Red Bull by being at the very front. We’re going to continue to work hard in order to show that it’s possible to win again with a DTM Audi."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "We’ve got very fond memories of Spielberg. Last year, we clinched our first DTM victory with Audi there - that was the foundation for winning the championship. After third place at Brands Hatch and victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours the motivation in our team is such that we want to score the first Audi victory this year at Spielberg. The car has the capabilities to do so. And with our momentum and energy anything’s possible."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "Spielberg is a second home race for me - I lived near the Österreichring for ten years. We’ve got fond memories of last year too. We were very quick with both cars and were only a bit unfortunate in the race. We want to continue from there. We know what we still need to work on."

Quotes by the Audi drivers

Filipe Albuquerque (26/P), TV Movie Audi A5 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
"Despite a few problems I scored points in the first three races. The aim for Spielberg now is to finish in the top five. The speed is more or less there. We’re going to give everything we can."

Mattias Ekström (33/S), Red Bull Audi A5 DTM #3 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
"I’m looking forward to traveling to Spielberg. I’ve got fond memories of the good, old days there. Last year was an exception - I think that was the worst race in my whole career. I’m certain of one thing, though: This can’t be topped, things can only get better. We’re going to analyze where we can improve in order to finally be able to battle for the big points again."

Rahel Frey (26/CH), E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM #17 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
"Last year, Spielberg was a successful race for me. I immediately felt very comfortable at the Red Bull Ring. We were competitive. The atmosphere at Spielberg was unique last year. That’s why I’m positively looking toward the next race."

Miguel Molina (23/E), Red Bull Audi A5 DTM #10 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
"The race at Spielberg last year wasn’t our best one. We’re concentrating on doing a better job this time, especially since this is the race of my sponsoring partner Red Bull which makes it particularly important. Last year, the situation there was very tight and that’ll be no different this year. I like the track, I like the atmosphere there. Since we were so quick in the race at Brands Hatch I can hardly wait for Spielberg."

Edoardo Mortara (25/I/F), Playboy Audi A5 DTM #21 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
"Last year, Spielberg went pretty well for me. I’m hoping this will be the case again this year and am wishing for us to be able to improve a few minor things on the car in order to score points again at Spielberg."

Mike Rockenfeller (28/D), Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
"Spielberg is a really tremendous track and a beautiful region. I had a lot of fun there last year. I also had a pretty good weekend there from a sporting perspective. Obviously, I’m hoping to be strong again at Spielberg this year and to have a good car. Everyone in the team and at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm is working on that. As always, a good performance in qualifying is very important. I’m hoping for us to have the speed that’ll put us in contention for victory."

Timo Scheider (33/D), AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM #4 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
"Especially in my second home where many fans and friends will come to see the race I’m finally wishing for a weekend without any problems, mistakes of my own and technical issues. The performance we’ve got should be sufficient for the top five - but it’s got to be put together in qualifying and in the race. Those who know Audi and the Abt squad know that we won’t give up until we’re at the very top again."

Adrien Tambay (F/21), Audi ultra A5 DTM #18 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
"Spielberg is a fast track that I should enjoy - because I enjoy fast turns. My father has been telling good things about this track. I’m already very excited. I’m hoping that, like at Brands Hatch, we can continue to improve and score the first points then."

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Martin Tomczyk , Timo Scheider , Mattias Ekström , James Smith , Mike Rockenfeller , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Filipe Albuquerque , Miguel Molina , Edoardo Mortara , Adrien Tambay , Rahel Frey
Tags audi, austria, ekstrom, mortara, rockenfeller, ullrich