Audi stays on course for title in the DTM Ingolstadt/Barcelona -- Audi extended its leading position in the DTM at Barcelona (Spain) with a commanding one-two-three victory. After his second exploit of the season Timo Scheider will have the...
Audi stays on course for title in the DTM
Ingolstadt/Barcelona -- Audi extended its leading position in the DTM at Barcelona (Spain) with a commanding one-two-three victory. After his second exploit of the season Timo Scheider will have the chance to secure an early title win for Audi in the most popular international touring car racing series in the next race at Dijon (France) on October 11.
30,500 spectators (throughout the weekend) at the Circuit de Catalunya witnessed an impressive performance by the Audi squad -- and a sensational start by Timo Scheider with which the title defender laid the foundation for victory. From position five on the grid, the Audi driver pushed forward to first place and was then able to dictate the pace as the front runner with a commanding lead.
"A start like this is truly exceptional and probably happens just once in any racer's career," said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "On the whole, we delivered a convincing showing as a team today. Our performance was right, the drivers made no mistakes, the pit stops were perfect -- it was a great weekend for Audi."
For Timo Scheider, this was the second victory of the season and the fifth one in his DTM career. "My start was like that of a rocket," confirmed the title defender. "But of course there was a certain amount of fortune involved in the fact that it worked out so well. I also have to thank the guys who installed a new clutch in my car overnight after I wasn't happy with it yesterday. The new one worked like a charm. A twelve-point lead sounds good, but a lot can happen in the DTM."
Tom Kristensen and Martin Tomczyk completed a commanding Audi one-two-three victory. As a result, only Audi drivers mounted the podium for as much as the fourth time this year, in the eighth race of the season.
"Today showed that Audi has the quickest car in the DTM," said Tom Kristensen, who had started to the race from the pole position but had to give in to Timo Scheider in the first turn. "I think Timo's start was a masterpiece. I was pretty surprised to suddenly see him in my rear view mirror."
Mattias Ekstrom, who started from position six, lost one place and a winglet at the front of his A4 DTM in the starting commotion. Nevertheless, he had the chance of finishing fourth in the final phase of the race, but his attacks against the clearly slower Gary Paffett were unsuccessful. On the penultimate lap he had to let Paffet's teammate Bruno Spengler pass. "I think it was obvious that I was quicker than Gary," said Ekstrom. "My car, too, was fast. But Gary drove defensively. After receiving a warning I was no longer able to attack."
With Alexandre Premat in eighth place, Audi also provided the best driver of a year-old car at Barcelona. The Frenchman thus finally clinched his first point in the 2009 DTM season.
Oliver Jarvis and Mike Rockenfeller took places nine and twelve. Katherine Legge was "torpedoed" by Mercedes driver Susie Stoddart just after passing her rival. Markus Winkelhock, as well, had to park his A4 DTM after being hit by a competitor.
In the DTM standings before the races at Dijon (October 11) and Hockenheim (October 25) Timo Scheider now has a twelve-point advantage over his team-mate Mattias Ekstrom and 14-point lead over Gary Paffett (Mercedes). This means that Scheider could secure the title early at Dijon. Two other drivers -- Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk -- still have theoretical chances of winning the title based on the point score.
In the year of its 100th anniversary Audi could become the first automobile manufacturer in history to clinch the DTM title for the third consecutive time.