Strong start for Audi at Brands Hatch Ingolstadt/Brands Hatch -- The start to the eighth racing event of the 2008 DTM season was just to Audi's liking. On the race track at Brands Hatch, Great Britain, the brand set the best time on Friday for...
Strong start for Audi at Brands Hatch
Ingolstadt/Brands Hatch -- The start to the eighth racing event of the 2008 DTM season was just to Audi's liking. On the race track at Brands Hatch, Great Britain, the brand set the best time on Friday for the sixth time in a row this season. Timo Scheider drove the fastest lap in the morning while title defender Mattias Ekstrom finished the second test on Friday ahead of his team-mates Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider.
With Timo Scheider, Audi had every reason to be pleased: the leader of the standings -- at 42.577 seconds -- not only set the day's best time but also drove a lap that was faster than the one achieved by the best contender in last year's qualifying. With a 0.494-second advantage, Scheider in the GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM distanced himself by almost half a second from his immediate rival, Mercedes driver Paul di Resta.
In the afternoon, three drivers from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline closely followed each other in achieving top results: Mattias Ekstrom, Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider set the pace at the front of the field within 27 hundredths of a second. The Audi trio were the only drivers in the field to break the 43-second mark with their lap times in the afternoon session.
"Our times are good and the car is pretty consistent over the long run as well," analysed Timo Scheider. "Now we need to repeat this performance in the qualifying on Saturday to create ideal prerequisites for Sunday on this narrow circuit."
Audi Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich confirmed, "We can definitely be satisfied with the times we set. We've seen a very compact team performance. We did a good job of applying our set-up work to the track and drove fast times over the long run. That's a good base for Saturday."
The drivers of older Audi models showed remarkable performances as well: Markus Winkelhock and Mike Rockenfeller in their one-year-old Audi A4 DTM cars from Audi Sport Team Rosberg and Christijan Albers in the two-year-old Audi A4 DTM occupied places five to seven. Together with Oliver Jarvis in ninth position, seven Audi drivers finished the final test among the top ten. Katherine Legge finished her home event in 14th place.
Now the Audi team is hoping to convert its performance into good grid positions on Saturday. Due to the 60-minute time difference the qualifying session will be started at 12:28 local time and broadcast live by ARD at 13:30 (CEST). The free practice (09:30 to 10:30 a.m. local time) can be watched live on the Internet at www.dtm.tv.