Brands Hatch: Audi preview

Audi comes to England as DTM leader DTM makes first appearance at Brands Hatch 82 laps on the shortest track of the year Championship leader Tom Kristensen quickest at test The Audi Sport team has had not much time to recover since the...

Audi comes to England as DTM leader

DTM makes first appearance at Brands Hatch 82 laps on the shortest track of the year Championship leader Tom Kristensen quickest at test The Audi Sport team has had not much time to recover since the historical triumph with the Audi R10 TDI at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: On the first weekend in July, the next round of the DTM in Brands Hatch on the outskirts of London is on the agenda. The DTM and Sportscar projects run independently from one another within Audi Sport, however, many of the 150 employees are involved in both projects.

This also includes Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen, who travels to the British round of the most popular international touring car series as championship leader - and with the sweetest memories: At the official pre-season test, the Dane recorded the best time in Brands Hatch with a 41.587 second lap. The test doubled as a roll-out for his Siemens Audi A4 DTM, with which he has since gone on to claim a brace of second places and, more recently, the championship lead after taking victory at Oschersleben.

Just like his team mates, Kristensen is also looking forward to the short 1.973 kilometre "Indy Circuit". The shortest track on the DTM calendar is considered to be one of the most spectacular and demanding of the year. The spectators can see almost the entire circuit, 82 laps around roller-coaster track will push man and machine to their limits. Strategy will play a major role, in qualifying hundredths and thousandths of a second will be decisive.

Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline tested with all four drivers at Magny-Cours (France) immediately after the race at Oschersleben, collecting valuable information which the team wants to implement at Brands Hatch. Audi Sport Team Phoenix and Audi Sport Team Rosberg also expect to show well with their year-old cars. The customer team Futurecom TME arrives at a track for the first time at which it has already tested with the Audi A4 DTM from the 2004 season.

Quotes before the race in Brands Hatch

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

"The DTM goes to Brands Hatch for the first time - to a circuit where Audi has already competed in many great touring car races, and was frequently successful. We know that it is a very special track. Normally the races there are very close and wild. I'm convinced: The DTM at Brands Hatch will be motorsport at its finest. To go there as championship leader is particularly good."

Martin Tomczyk, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #4:

"Brands Hatch is a short but demanding circuit. There isn't much time to relax when you are driving. I think that we'll be good there - just how good is difficult to judge, since the test was held before the start of the season. Whatever the case I'm looking forward to the race and that things finally get rolling again after the five week break."

Mattias Ekström Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #5:

"I'll be racing for the first time at Brands Hatch. At the test there we had a good speed and the track was a lot of fun. With Tom winning at Oschersleben we have to drive with a few kilograms of ballast. On the other hand Tom leads the Championship. I think it'll be a hard fight again with Mercedes. We'll try to help Tom so that he can also leave Brands Hatch still leading the Championship."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Veltins Audi A4 DTM #6:

"The race at Brands Hatch will be wild. The circuit is spectacular and is unforgiving. The set-up isn't actually very difficult, but nevertheless very important. Brands Hatch only has four corners - and the car has to be perfect in each one. The track is short, so the lap times will be very tight. That means the cars will be separated by a few hundredths."

Tom Kristensen, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Siemens Audi A4 DTM #7:

"We are all looking forward to Brands Hatch. It is our first race abroad this year. Brands Hatch is stepped in tradition. 82 laps around the Indy Circuit will be incredibly tough, concentration is important. There is hardly a straight, it goes up and down, and the corners are exciting. At Brands Hatch everything has to slip into place if you want to win."

Christian Abt, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Playboy Audi A4 DTM #12:

"After things didn't go quite as I'd planned during the first three races, I now look to Brands Hatch for an upturn in form - even though it isn't necessarily my favourite circuit because it's a little Mickey Mouse like. With 82 race laps I'm even expecting a safety car period. There could be quite a few surprises."

Pierre Kaffer, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Castrol Audi A4 DTM #14:

"I'm really looking forward to Brands Hatch. We had a successful test. I think that it will be a fantastic event. It's always a special good feeling to drive on a traditional English race track. My last race in England was in 2004 with the R8 at Silverstone - and I won there together with Allan McNish."

Frank Stippler, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, S line Audi A4 DTM #15:

"The Brands Hatch circuit is demanding. It goes up and down, it's like a mini Nordschleife. I think it'll separate the men from the boys since the circuit is really difficult. Things didn't run too badly at the test. We'll see how things are on the race weekend."

Timo Scheider, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Gebrauchtwagen:plus Audi A4 DTM #16:

"The fans will be treated to an exciting and interesting race weekend. I'm personally not a great friend of short tracks; the longer circuit is just more fun to drive for me. However, it's obviously fantastic for the fans that we come by so often. As a driver we'll probably get quite dizzy after 82 laps..."

Vanina Ickx, Futurecom TME, Original Zubehör Audi A4 DTM #20:

"We tested at Brands Hatch in March. It was quite cold at that time. This DTM race will also be tough and interesting. The circuit is short and tight, the run-off areas are small. Over the last couple of weeks the team and I have been trying to improve the pit-stop procedure and the car set-up. I hope it helps."

Olivier Tielemans, Futurecom TME, Original Zubehör Audi A4 DTM #19:

"I drove for one-and-a-half days with the A4 DTM at the pre-season test at Brands Hatch, which should help me to find my feet a lot quicker than at the previous races."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):

"Brands Hatch will be a fantastic event. We felt comfortable there during the test. We are fully motivated after the win at Oschersleben and hope to get a good result at Brands Hatch as well so that we can continue to figure in the championship. We used the time after Oschersleben for more development."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):

"I think it'll be a lottery with the pit-stops at Brands Hatch. It'll all boil down to whether you can find space or whether you get stuck in traffic. Maybe you can finish well-up in the points with a year-old car there. We have a good base from the test from which we can build."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):

"I'm looking forward to Brands Hatch. The short Mickey Mouse circuit, as several drivers refer to it, is actually a lot of fun - especially for the spectators since they look down over the entire track. It will also be a lot of fun with the traffic. And with the large amount of laps the drivers will have their work cut out. Our target in Brands Hatch is to finally have both qualifying and the race run according to plan."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Vanina Ickx , Martin Tomczyk , Timo Scheider , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Pierre Kaffer , Frank Stippler , Olivier Tielemans , Hans-Jurgen Abt
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing , Audi Sport Team Rosberg