Audi driver Timo Scheider takes DTM lead Ingolstadt/Klettwitz -- With a fifth-place finish at the EuroSpeedway title defender Timo Scheider took the lead in the DTM standings. 75 000 spectators (throughout the weekend) at Lausitz witnessed a ...
Audi driver Timo Scheider takes DTM lead
Ingolstadt/Klettwitz -- With a fifth-place finish at the EuroSpeedway title defender Timo Scheider took the lead in the DTM standings. 75 000 spectators (throughout the weekend) at Lausitz witnessed a turbulent race packed with collisions in which Mattias Ekstrom, in third place, clinched a podium result for Audi. With Mike Rockenfeller in seventh place, an Audi driver of a year-old car scored points as well.
In the early stages of the race Mattias Ekstrom was setting the pace. After starting from pole, the Swede in the Audi A4 DTM of Audi Sport Team Sportsline extended his lead to almost three seconds. However, in the final stages Ekstrom dropped behind Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler.
"I already said after the race at Hockenheim that Mercedes will recover -- and today they were strong," commented Head of Audi Motorsportchef Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Compared to Paffett and Spengler, we were just a little too slow. We're going to analyze the reasons for this. It was a strong performance by Mattias Ekstrom to have clinched a podium result anyway."
After the start, Ekstrom's teammate Timo Scheider maintained fourth place for a long time but then lost three seconds during his second pit stop due to a jammed wheel nut. Nevertheless, by finishing fifth, the reigning DTM Champion took the lead in the standings. "I could have clinched a podium result today," said Scheider after the race. "Unfortunately, I lost that chance in the pit lane, but I'm happy to go the season's highlight at the Norisring as the DTM leader."
After a good start from third place on the grid, Mike Rockenfeller in the year-old A4 of Audi Sport Team Rosberg was able to advance to second and keep last year's winner Paul di Resta at bay up until his first pit stop. However, on the second and third set of tires he was no longer able to keep the pace of the fastest Mercedes drivers and, ultimately, had to settle for seventh place.
For Hockenheim winner Tom Kristensen, it was a black day. After posting the fastest time in the morning's warm-up, he had a collision with Mercedes driver Mathias Lauda on the second lap while making up ground from 17th place on the grid. The front end of his Audi A4 DTM was damaged in the incident. In addition, the Dane had to sit a pit stop penalty, followed later by a controversial drive-through penalty. Running one lap behind, Kristensen finished twelfth in the end.
Ekstrom, Scheider, Rockenfeller and Kristensen were the only Audi factory drivers to see the checkered flag at the EuroSpeedway -- all others were victims of the turbulent early stage of the race. Katherine Legge collided with Markus Winkelhock, resulting in suspension damage to both cars. Oliver Jarvis, as well, was forced to retire due to a damaged suspension. Martin Tomczyk sustained damage to the front end of his A4 in a collision and had to park his car early because the water temperature was rising excessively. Alexandre Premat spun into the gravel trap after a botched pit stop.
The Audi A4 DTM cars fielded by the private Kolles team finished in 13th and 14th place.