Norisring: Audi preview

Audi shoots for continuation of winning streak in "home game" Seasonal highlight of the DTM at the Norisring Tom Kristensen wants to recover lost victory Good chances for 2005-spec cars as well On Sunday, 23 July, the DTM's highlight of the...

Audi shoots for continuation of winning streak in "home game"
Seasonal highlight of the DTM at the Norisring
Tom Kristensen wants to recover lost victory
Good chances for 2005-spec cars as well

On Sunday, 23 July, the DTM's highlight of the season will be on the agenda. The Norisring race in Nuremberg is the only street race on the calendar of the most popular international Touring Car series and is regarded as "Germany's Monaco" by the racing community. The fifth DTM round is also Audi's "home game" because the notorious city circuit between the Dutzendteich lake and the Frankenstadion sports arena is located merely about 90 kilometres from Ingolstadt.

Following the exploits at Oschersleben and Brands Hatch the team of Audi Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich is fully committed to continuing their series of victories and winning the home race as well. Tom Kristensen in particular has something to recover at Nuremberg: The Dane who, despite his retirement at Brands Hatch, is currently in second place, merely four points behind the DTM's front runner Bernd Schneider, started from the pole position at Nuremberg last year in his Audi A4 DTM. An early safety car phase, though, deprived the Dane of a possible victory in the race.

Audi Sport engaged in particularly intensive preparations for the home game - including the performance of test runs at the Volkswagen test track at Ehra-Lessien where the Norisring with its mere length of 2.3 kilometres and special characteristics was simulated.

Yet the Audi A4 DTM cars entered by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, which lately have proved to be the fastest cars in the field, are not the only candidates for top results. Because of the circuit characteristics the different weights of the various vehicle generations should have a stronger impact than they did on previous circuits. 1,070 kilograms is the weight of the 2006-spec cars run by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline.

The A4 DTM cars of the model year 2005, which are being entered by Audi Sport Teams Phoenix and Rosberg, are ten kilograms lighter. The 2004-spec cars of the Audi customer team, Futurecom TME, are even allowed to compete with a weight of 1,020 kilograms. Last year, Christian Abt managed to clinch second place in a car from the previous year at Nuremberg.

As in 2005, on account of Tour de France TV coverage of the qualifying practice as well as the race will be staged in the late afternoon. The thrilling shoot-out qualifying which - same as in the most recent event at Brands Hatch - will be about hundredths of a second, will start at 5:50 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, the race covering 74 long and tough laps on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ARD will air live broadcasts of the qualifying and the race on "Das Erste". Last year the Norisring attracted 143,000 spectators, while 2.54 million watched ARD's live broadcasts -one of the most spectacular races of the season.

Quotes before the race at the Norisring

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

"Naturally, the Norisring race is very important to us because it's our 'home race'. Although we didn't achieve our greatest results there in recent years we always fought and want to clinch a good result in front of the many Audi fans at the Norisring this year. I think this is important too for making progress in the Championship."

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

"Brands Hatch was a good preparation for the Norisring. The demands there will be similar. With respect to the circuit and the car we should be equally strong as we were at Brands Hatch. We want to translate this into a good result. Nuremberg is my 'home Grand Prix'. The positive thing about it is that getting there takes merely two hours. Of the circuit itself I'm not that fond, though. But because the atmosphere is always good I like driving there anyway."

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

"For me, personally, it's a nice feeling to be coming to the Norisring without being under pressure of having to fight for the lead in the Championship. I'll arrive there completely relaxed and am going to give my best as always. I won't back off and will try to achieve as many good individual results as possible and then I'll see how far this lets me advance in the Championship."

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

"The atmosphere at the Norisring is phenomenal. The mood is similar to that of a fun fair. So many people coming together in the same place, and in summer at that - that's truly a unique combination. The races there are thrillers as well. And if the spectators are having fun we, the drivers, are having fun too!"

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

"The circuit is pretty short, it's got only four corners, different types of surfaces and many bumps. It's usually incredibly hot there. It's the hottest race of the year for the brakes, the technical systems and the drivers. Last year I started from the pole position at the Norisring, unfortunately in the race things didn't go according to plan. A similar situation occurred most recently at Brands Hatch where we'd had a fantastic weekend up to my retirement. These are two reasons for clinching a particularly large number of points at the Norisring, which is the absolute highlight of the DTM season."

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

"Nuremberg is in Bavaria - and I'm a Bavarian. The Norisring is also the DTM season's highlight each year. That's why I'm particularly looking forward to it. The feeling in Nuremberg with the many spectators and around the Dutzendteich is definitely unique. Of course it would be great if I clinched a podium place like last year."

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

"Norisring: On the one hand that is the favourite race of mine and Christian's (Abt). On the other it's Audi Sport's home race, and of course everyone wants to finish with as good a result as possible. Norisring is always an action-packed venue filled with suspense up to the last lap. Everything's possible there."

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

"The race at the Norisring can be expected to turn out to be another hotbed. Usually it's very warm there. That means it'll be strenuous for us, the drivers. There are only few relaxing phases - similar to the conditions at Brands Hatch. The atmosphere along the Dutzendteich is in a class by itself."

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

"Norisring will be a very special race. It's always called the 'German Monaco'. The 'Who's Who' of the German motorsport community will be seen there. Actually my speed at the Norisring was always good, unfortunately, though, I was usually lacking that bit of luck you need. But now I'm with Audi... It won't be easy because even the 04-spec cars will be dangerously quick there. In any event, we'll be able to finish in the points."

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

"People say that Norisring is THE event of the year for the DTM. I'm looking forward to the weekend. It should also be a good circuit for the 2004-spec cars. Many spectators, a great show - that should be lots of fun."

Jeroen Bleekemolen
Futurecom TME, Futurecom Audi A4 DTM #19:

"Drawing on the experience from Brands Hatch I should be able to do a good job at the Norisring. We saw that with our 2004-spec car we're able to keep up well with the competition. I'm hoping to make it into the second part of the qualifying and to move forwards even further in the race."

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

"The Norisring is a big home race for us. We're going to try everything to recapture the points which Tom (Kristensen) lost at Brands Hatch. The team continues to be fully motivated, our Audi A4 DTM cars were very quick in the most recent races. We're going to give everything to present ourselves properly here at the Norisring."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):

"The good result at Brands Hatch was important for our team. I won't mind if things continued like this. At the Norisring anything's possible, basically. As a team we have fond memories of Nuremberg and we've got two drivers whom the circuit suits well. Christian (Abt) and Pierre (Kaffer) both have driven very good races there before. We're shooting for points with both cars."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):

"At Brands Hatch we saw what is possible with a 2005-spec car on a short circuit - Christian came fifth and 'Stippi' was the quickest in free practice. Perhaps we'll manage something like this in qualifying some time. I'm looking forward to the Norisring, that'll probably be a nice event event."


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