Hockenheim II: Audi preview

Audi target DTM finale victory Season finale on 29 October at Hockenheim Tom Kristensen fights for runner-up honours Audi drivers gunning for fifth win of season Despite the title having been decided already, DTM fans can look forward to ...

Audi target DTM finale victory

Season finale on 29 October at Hockenheim Tom Kristensen fights for runner-up honours Audi drivers gunning for fifth win of season Despite the title having been decided already, DTM fans can look forward to an exciting season finale. At the tenth and final DTM round at Hockenheim on 29 October, the Audi drivers will do everything in their powers to record their fifth win of the season and level the score in the prestigious duel against Mercedes-Benz. Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen, currently third in the point standings, still has the chance to claim the runner-up honours.

147,000 spectators watched the DTM finale at Hockenheim last year. An equally impressive crowd is expected at this year's season finale with brisk advance ticket sales having accounted for more than 60,000 orders. The thousands of Audi fans filling the grandstands want Tom Kristensen & Co. to put in a command performance again and end the Mercedes winning streak at the German Grand Prix circuit.

Mercedes is unbeaten on its home track since the 4.574 kilometre Hockenheimring was modified in 2002. The Audi drivers have shown more than once that it is merely a matter of time before this run comes to an end: In 2004, Martin Tomczyk led the finale for many laps before being beaten by record champion Bernd Schneider. Mattias Ekström took pole position with the new Audi A4 DTM on its début in 2005. At the first race this year the two Audi drivers Tom Kristensen and Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished on the podium.

The Audi teams have prepared intensively for the season finale. Audi Sport Team Rosberg in particular was faced with an enormous amount of work - Frank Stippler's A4 DTM had to be completely rebuilt within a week following his accident at the start at Le Mans.

The DTM finale will start on Sunday (29 October) at 2:00 p.m. local time. As usual, ARD will broadcast the race live on "Das Erste" from 1:45 p.m., and qualifying on Saturday from 2:00 p.m. Tickets for the season finale are available from the Internet at www.audi-dtm.de and www.dtm.de and at the turnstiles on the day.

Quotes before the DTM finale at Hockenheim

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Our goals for the DTM finale are clear: We want to record our fifth win of the season at Hockenheim, push Tom (Kristensen) up to second in the Championship and bid farewell to the thousands of Audi fans by giving them a race to remember before the winter break. Throughout the course of the year we have shown that we are more than capable of winning with our cars."

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

"Hockenheim is an excellent circuit and is always a fantastic location to end the DTM season. Looking at the circuit layout neither of the two manufacturers should have a large advantage here. I think that it'll be an exciting finale, during which we'll be doing our utmost again."

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

"I'm looking forward to the last race of the season. 2006 wasn't exactly my year. However, I'll do my best to finish the year with a good result."

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

"I can't wait to see the ranks of fanatic spectators that we always see at Hockenheim. I think that the spectators can once again look forward to motorsport at its best. All the guys are still hot, even though the Championship as been decided everybody will once again be up for a good fight."

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

"After having lost second place to Bruno Spengler at Le Mans, I want to get it back at the finale at Hockenheim. My A4 was excellent there in April when I finished second, and the car has been greatly improved since then. It will certainly be a tough fight again with Mercedes on their home circuit. Which is of course exactly what the fans want to see - and they will probably come to Hockenheim in hoards."

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

"I've had some great results already at Hockenheim. I like the circuit. Points should be possible if we can qualify as well as we did at Le Mans and find a better race set-up."

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

"It's always great fun to drive at the season finale at Hockenheim. We will try to score points with as many Audis as possible. My target is to score one or two points in the last race of the year."

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

"Hockenheim is the last attempt for me to finish the 2006 season on a high-note. At Barcelona things went very well, in contrast my race at Le Mans was over very early. We were on the pace at the first race at Hockenheim, that's why I'm confident for the finale."

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

"Hockenheim is always a fantastic place to finish the season because of the atmosphere in the Motodrom. I still have a chance to be the best driver of a '05 car. This is, however, relatively difficult because at moment I'm five points behind Jean Alesi. But, nothing is impossible in the DTM!"

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

"Hockenheim is the final race of a very special season for me. Even if it wasn't as successful as I would liked it to have been from a personal point of view, I will try everything to finish it with a good result."

Nicolas Kiesa
Futurecom TME, Futurecom Audi A4 DTM #19

"I had to sit-out the race at Le Mans because of my leg injury. I hope that I get the race Doctor's approval in to race at Hockenheim. I feel fit enough."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "Hockenheim is a fantastic circuit with a great atmosphere. To race in front of so many spectators is incredible. I hope that we can round off the season in a suitable manner. Although we have lost the championship we will fight to the end. After all the runner-up spot is there for the taking."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "We want to repeat our Le Mans qualifying performance at Hockenheim. When we manage this we just have to see to it that the race result follows. In the meantime we know what we have to do qualifying. We will now spend more time concentrating on race set-up."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "Hockenheim should be a great event played out to packed grandstands. Our goal remains unchanged: I want to have both drivers in the points again. We have one final chance - and I hope we can use it."

-credit: audi

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jean Alesi , Nicolas Kiesa , Tom Kristensen , Vanina Ickx , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Pierre Kaffer , Frank Stippler , Hans-Jurgen Abt
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing , Audi Sport Team Rosberg