Hockenheim: Audi Friday practices report

Tom Kristensen quickest at Hockenheim Christian Abt best driver of a car from last year Successful start for the new Audi A4 DTM in the DTM season opener at Hockenheim: the Dane Tom Kristensen drove the fastest time by far during the two...

Tom Kristensen quickest at Hockenheim
Christian Abt best driver of a car from last year

Successful start for the new Audi A4 DTM in the DTM season opener at Hockenheim: the Dane Tom Kristensen drove the fastest time by far during the two official tests on Friday. The fact that the DTM 2004 champions' car is still competitive was proved by Christian Abt, who clocked the sixth best time of the day. All Audi drivers completed different test programmes on Friday in order to collect as much data as possible.

Tom Kristensen:

"That our A4 is a good car we already knew before. Now, we have to adapt it to the Hockenheim circuit. We've tried out a lot of different things and are obviously on the right track. I'm now looking forward to working out our further programme together with my engineer for tomorrow. My best time today has been a good sign already."

Mattias Ekström:

"Today has been the first day with our new Audi A4 at Hockenheim. Of course we tested prior to the season - but now it's about making our car really quick on the respective DTM circuits as well. The beginning this morning tended to be fair to middling, but in the afternoon we achieved decent results."

Christian Abt:

"I'm very satisfied. We're part of the front of the field and have sorted everything out already - that's not always the case at this point in time. So far, everything's been working perfectly. Now, I'm hoping that everything will be going equally well for us tomorrow."

Frank Stippler:

"For me, today's been the usual process of learning. Because I've got relatively little DTM experience, things need to sort themselves out first. Some steps went in the right direction, others didn't. At the moment, I can't really judge where I'm standing."

Rinaldo Capello:

"I'm very happy. After I hadn't been able to drive a lot in the morning due to a problem with the brakes, things went really well in the afternoon. I covered one of the long runs with tyres which had more than a whole racing distance under their belt already. Nevertheless, my lap times were consistently fast."

Martin Tomczyk:

"It's great that the season is starting again - finally. Of course I'd wished for a better start, but at least we got a lot of data from it. Now, we're going to evaluate this data and then try to implement it."

Pierre Kaffer:

"I've got a good feeling. I know I can drive quite a bit faster. I completely fluffed the lap with the last set of tyres, but my long run was really good. That's why I'm very optimistic for tomorrow."

Allan McNish:

"As early as after my first two test sessions, I realise: life in the DTM will be pretty tough. The balance of my A4 was not perfect today but that's something we'll get right. In any event, the spectators can look forward to a great race because there are lots of overtaking opportunities here at Hockenheim."

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

"I think that our first performance with the new Audi A4 DTM has been quite acceptable. At the beginning, we were a bit unsure, but in the meantime we've sorted ourselves out relatively well. We're going to continue to work and hope that we'll be right on target in Saturday's qualifying."

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest):

"At the moment, things are looking rather well for our used cars. Dindo and Pierre lost a relatively large amount of time due to a few minor problems, which we've been able to sort out. Still, they were quite quick on the track. So was Frank, who was beaten in the second test below his true potential. And Christian seems to feel particularly comfortable with us. He's really in a super mood."

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

"The best time is good for the whole Audi squad, but it's not all that important. The crucial factor is that after today's two test sessions we understand even better how the new car responds to changes. After the first test, we developed an individual working programme for the four new cars, which we pursued in a different direction with each of them in the afternoon. Now, we're going to merge all this data to make the best of it in the qualifying session. I think we've sorted out everything relatively well."

Tom Kristensen
Audi Sport Team Abt #5
3rd place / 1st place, 1m 34.949

Mattias Ekström
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #1
8th place / 4th place, 1m 35.578

Christian Abt
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #14
4th place / 6th place, 1m 35.776

Frank Stippler
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #19
10th place / 18th place, 1m 36.318

Rinaldo Capello
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #18
20th place / 13th place, 1m 36.404

Martin Tomczyk
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #2
6th place / 14th place, 1m 36.422

Pierre Kaffer
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #15
14th place / 19th place, 1m 36.738

Allan McNish
Audi Sport Team Abt #6
16th place / 20th place, 1m 36.918


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Martin Tomczyk , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Pierre Kaffer , Frank Stippler , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Ralf Juttner
Teams Team Joest , Team Abt