Ingolstadt/Hockenheim -- Audi started to the 2009 DTM season at the Hockenheim ring with a dominant fourfold victory. The Dane Tom Kristensen (41) celebrated his fourth exploit at a DTM race following his announcement on Friday that he would end...
Ingolstadt/Hockenheim -- Audi started to the 2009 DTM season at the Hockenheim ring with a dominant fourfold victory. The Dane Tom Kristensen (41) celebrated his fourth exploit at a DTM race following his announcement on Friday that he would end his DTM career after the 2009 season. Quotes after the race at Hockenheim.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
"At the time we entered the DTM, the Hockenheimring tended to suit us less than other tracks did. We broke that spell in 2007 with a one-two victory. In 2008, we clinched a threefold win and now, in 2009, a fourfold victory -- that's a fantastic string of exploits which our squad can be very proud of. We showed a tremendous team performance this weekend. It was a real shame that Mattias Ekstrom, who had been controlling the race, was deprived of his well-deserved first place due to a puncture. But, no doubt, Tom Kristensen is a worthy winner And it's nice that the '100 years of Audi' car won the 100th race of the new DTM."
Tom Kristensen (100 Jahre Audi -- A4 DTM #2), winner
"I'm really very happy to be driving an Audi. '100 years of Vorsprung durch Technik,' and in the 100th DTM race at that! This win is fantastic. The ten points are really valuable for me. This is my last DTM season. I'll enjoy every minute of it, and it started off extremely well. But Mattias Ekstrom was the driver dominating the weekend. And he reserved a new set of tires on which he started the race. That was the key. After the safety car period, he was able to take off on the fresher tires. His lead was simply too big. I was just fighting for second place any more. I kept my cool, avoided making mistakes and paid attention to good traction. Timo (Scheider) chased me throughout the race. In the end, I was able to perfectly understand Mattias' feelings because, at Brands Hatch in 2006, I was leading the race and was also deprived of victory by a technical reason. We already talked about this. He had a perfect weekend and now goes home empty-handed."
Timo Scheider (GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #1), 2nd place
"Of course I'd have liked winning the race, but I showed a good performance. I had a car that allowed me to push the limit, and on 39 laps at that. There was a big difference between yesterday's and today's balance. My thanks go to the team. They worked through the night racking their brains to find out what the reason was. Today, I had the car that would have come in handy yesterday. That's why, in the end, I 'only' managed clinching second place. No doubt, there was a little luck involved too because Mattias (Ekstrom) would have been the real winner. He made perfect use of his new tires and achieved a considerable advantage. I would not have been able to pass Tom (Kristensen) without body contact. Hopefully, second place and eight points are a good omen in the year of the title defense -- because last year I also started here as the runner-up."
Oliver Jarvis (Audi Cup A4 DTM #15), Platz 3, best year-old car
"I'm absolutely elated. It was a great weekend for us. The free practice went well, and so did qualifying. Making it into the fourth qualifying segment was simply fantastic. The race, too, went perfectly. The podium result at the season opener is a nice reward for the hard work the Phoenix team invested in the cars last winter."
Markus Winkelhock (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #12), 4th place
"I'm happy about this result because our tests at Hockenheim were nothing to write home about and the free practice wasn't that great for me either. Things started going well for me in qualifying and the race went well too. It was my luck that Spengler and 'Eki' had problems. Still, I'm happy about the points."
Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #5), 7th place
"I had a fantastic weekend and, basically, have no reason to complain whatsoever. Even the first lap started off really well. The free practice was good, the long run was successful, the car responded to every change. The working atmosphere in the team was good. Qualifying went exactly as planned. In the warm-up we learned a lot as well and made a few minor changes. As late as on the starting grid we made another modification due to the higher temperatures. That worked out, and so did the pit stops. Everything was fine -- up to two laps before the race ended, when I had a puncture. So, everything was fine -- except the end!"
Katherine Legge (Audi Collection A4 DTM # 21), 12th place
"Maybe we did a pretty good job of entertaining the audience but for us the race, unfortunately, was horrible. I had a bad start. It seemed like everybody was out to get everyone else, many cars touched or crashed into each other. My car was damaged by debris. I had some body contact with Ralf Schumacher and Susie Stoddart. In the end, my car turned to the right all on its own. This wasn't exactly a fantastic result. Now we look ahead, to the race at the Eurospeedway."
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Cola Audi A4 DTM #6), retirement (electronics)
"I stalled the engine at the start, at the pit stop the front left wheel nut was jammed, and I had to stop again. But even if all this hadn't happened and I'd have been at the far front of the field: My race ended in the pits because of an electronic problem and the engine no longer delivered any power."
Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #11), retirement (accident)
"My start was really poor. The engine almost stalled. But I got off the grid and lost -- I think - only two places. In the hairpin, things got tight. I braked late, Alex (Premat) was turned around by Gary Paffett. Suddenly I just felt something hitting my right rear wheel. Jamie Green braked much too late and fully hit the corner of my car: that was the end of my car and the end of my race. Too bad!"
Alexandre Premat (Audi Bank A4 DTM #14), retirement (accident)
"My retirement was particularly unfortunate because this car basically offered good opportunities today. After the start, I was eighth. A points-finish would have easily been possible at this race. Unfortunately, Gary Paffett hit my car so heavily in the hairpin that the rear suspension broke."
Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
"A sensational race and incredible suspense throughout. Of course the incident with 'Eki' was really, really unfortunate. But that's racing. Something can always happen, even so shortly before the finish. With or without the puncture, the team result was absolutely fantastic -- I wouldn't mind if things continued this way. I'm incredibly happy for Tom (Kristensen) clinching this result. He drove a super race and was always under pressure by Timo (Scheider). Driving a race with 39 flawless laps is no mean feat, and he did it. He deserved winning."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
"We always had the goal to finish on the podium, but the race showed that the new cars are definitely stronger. We kept Di Resta at bay, our pace was really good. In the end, one man's misfortune was another man's luck. It's really too bad for 'Eki'! For us, the podium was a dream result. Alex (Premat) was really doing well but, unfortunately, was hit on the first lap. We made some more changes to his car from the warm-up to the race. He was very happy. Too bad, he wasn't able to show what was possible."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
"With 'Eki' you could see how cruel motorsport can be. Congratulations to Audi and 'old' Tom (Kristensen). But the 'used cars' clinched great results as well. I'm happy with fourth place because we can compete much better with the 'used cars' again than we could last year. I look forward to more of this. With 'Rocky,' too, quite a bit would have been possible. It's too bad that there was such chaos on the first lap."