Lausitz: Audi preview

Audi heads leader board in the Lausitz Mattias Ekström runs at front after two DTM races Good chances for 'second-hand' Audis Duel between Audi A4 DTM and Red Bull Formula 1 The first two races of the 2007 DTM have demonstrated just how...

Audi heads leader board in the Lausitz
Mattias Ekström runs at front after two DTM races
Good chances for 'second-hand' Audis
Duel between Audi A4 DTM and Red Bull Formula 1

The first two races of the 2007 DTM have demonstrated just how rarefied the atmosphere is in the most popular international touring car race series. Almost every driver in the 20 car field has a chance of finishing on the podium. The smallest details are the difference between victory and defeat. It is already plain to see that every point will count in the title battle.

The next clash between the spectacular touring cars is staged between the 18 and 20 May at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. 76,000 spectators poured through the gates last year. In 2007, the motorsport fans can look forward to a modified first corner which should encourage overtaking - and something exceptional to savour: Mattias Ekström, EuroSpeedway winner in 2005, goes head to head in a drag race with his Audi A4 DTM against the Red Bull Formula 1 car. The "Puhdys", the new German States' most famous rock group, are charged with livening things up before the start.

Audi driver Mattias Ekström arrives at the EuroSpeedway as championship leader - and also aims to the leave the Lausitz as front runner. However, this is easier said than done: His team mate Martin Tomczyk (Germany) and Paul di Resta (Scotland) are both equal on points at the head of the table with the Swede, who actually leads the championship as a result of his better individual results. Gary Paffett (Great Britain) trails by a single point.

Because the new Audi A4 DTM was more successful than the new Mercedes C-Class at the first two races it is by far the heaviest car in the field - as stipulated by the regulations. As a result, the year-old cars, which compete with less weight, could again play a starring role. At Oschersleben, in only his second DTM race, the 23-year old Mike "Rocky" Rockenfeller (Germany) demonstrated exactly what is possible with an Audi used car - the youngster showed a two-time Formula 1 World Champion absolutely no respect on his way to claiming a joyful podium position.

It still remains to be seen whether Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Alexandre Prémat (France) can make their comebacks at the EuroSpeedway. Both are still recovering from the affects of a heavy accident during the season opener at Hockenheim. A decision will be made following consultation with the doctors in the week of the race.

Quotes before the race at the EuroSpeedway

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "The EuroSpeedway has been modified since last year's race. So, we have a similar situation to Oschersleben where we have to busy ourselves with a new circuit layout. For our 2007 cars it will quite literally be heavy going at the EuroSpeedway. In contrast, our used cars should have a good chance. We will try to take as many points as possible back home."

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #3): "The EuroSpeedway Lausitz has always been one of my favourite circuits. I claimed my first podium there and won after a fantastic fight with Gary (Paffett) in 2005. Even though the first corner is new the rest of the circuit is unchanged. I go with high hopes to the Lausitz. However, we should keep our feet firmly on the ground: It will be an incredibly tough weekend for us."

Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #4): "The races at the EuroSpeedway have always been exciting. It certainly isn't beneficial that we must start with significantly more weight than the new Mercedes. However, I believe that we can be competitive in spite of the additional weight. As always we'll be doing our best."

Timo Scheider (Gebrauchtwagen:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #8): "We simply have to extract the maximum from everything at the EuroSpeedway. I hope that we can position the additional weight in such a way that it doesn't harm us too much. Obviously, it won't be easy to finish on the podium. But let's not forget that nothing is impossible in the DTM!"

Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #11): "I already know the EuroSpeedway Lausitz like the back of my hand since I have competed in several racing series there. The new first corner is the only unknown factor, but it's the same for everybody. We are all highly motivated after the boost in Oschersleben and will attempt to bring home a similar result."

Lucas Luhr (Philips Audi A4 DTM #12): "I've never been to the EuroSpeedway before and therefore don't know much about the circuit. I'm nevertheless looking forward to the next race. After things didn't go so well at Oschersleben I'm itching to get a better result. In general we should be in top form."

Christian Abt (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #16): "Unfortunately we came away empty-handed from Hockenheim and Oschersleben even though we had good chances. The conditions for the EuroSpeedway are even better, points should finally be on the cards there - I'm really looking forward to the race."

Adam Carroll (Audi A4 DTM #20): "I drove three laps around the EuroSpeedway in a DTM car in 2003 - at least I know which way it goes. The circuit looks interesting. It has a mix of fast and slow corners and we run on a part of the oval in the banking. If we find car's the sweet spot we should have another good weekend."

Vanina Ickx (Audi A4 DTM #21): "I still don't know the EuroSpeedway as well as I'd like, but my engineer knows the track extremely well. Perhaps it'll bring me some luck."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "We want to collect as many points as possible at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. The situation is very difficult for us, but we have to make the best of it. We still lead the Drivers' and Team championships. Our goal is to defend and retain our lead."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "I think we have good chances with both drivers at the EuroSpeedway. We are fully motivated. If everything runs smoothly we could score points with both cars. We intend to do this."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "I'm really looking forward to the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. We finished third at Oschersleben and now have an even more favourable platform. It could be quite amusing."

-credit: audi

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Vanina Ickx , Lucas Luhr , Martin Tomczyk , Timo Scheider , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Adam Carroll , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Mike Rockenfeller , Hans-Jurgen Abt
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing , Audi Sport Team Rosberg