Audi staying on the heels of the front runner Delivering another strong performance, Audi driver Mattias EkstrÃ¶m has secured his position as the runner-up in the DTM standings. After being struck by bad luck (tyre puncture) in the qualifying ...
Audi staying on the heels of the front runner
Delivering another strong performance, Audi driver Mattias Ekström has secured his position as the runner-up in the DTM standings. After being struck by bad luck (tyre puncture) in the qualifying session, in the race the Swede fought bis way up to fourth place from position nine on the grid, now ranking merely three points behind Christijan Albers, the leader of the standings.
Martin Tomczyk and Tom Kristensen clinched fifth and sixth place respectively, thus complementing the good team performance of the Audi works squad. Kristensen thrilled the crowd of 80,000 with an impressive fight to catch up with the front of the field: after falling back to 17th place as a result of a crash in the early stage of the race, he managed to advance all the way to sixth.
Christian Abt, as well, was running in the points until a defective prop shaft forced him to retire shortly before the end of the race. Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela (both Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest) finished the race in positions nine and eleven.
Quotes after the race
"My first pit stop wasn't perfect, and on top of that I stalled the engine. Aside from this, the race went without any problem. The car was perfect, and the performance of my brakes was consistently good through to the end. I'm completely satisfied with my fourth place here. After my qualifying result, we hadn't expected to fall behind Christijan Albers by merely three points at the Norisring. And you can bet that we'll be putting a lot of heat on him again at the Nuerburgring."
"I'd like to really thank my team: the pit stops, particularly the second one, were first-class and helped me move forward. The first two sets of tyres weren't all that good. The final stint, though, was perfect, and I was able to keep up with the pace of the front runners, merely having to take the car across the finish line. I'm super happy that I was able to clinch fifth place."
"I'd rather not comment on the collision with Christian. Aside from that, my race was really good and, once more, I've learnt a lot about the DTM. I gave my level best and overtook every car that was directly in front of me. The pit stops, too, were super. Anything much better than fifth place would hardly have been possible today, so I'm quite happy with my sixth place."
"It's too bad that I just barely missed scoring a point. I was simply not quick enough today. What's more, I made a mistake driving away after the first pit stop, and that probably cost me a point."
"The start was okay, but the first lap was bad. Due to retirements and accidents I managed to move up to eleventh place, but I'm not really proud of this. Neither was I quick enough in the race. As we'll be testing next week, perhaps I'll find the reason for today's performance then."
"The A4 was very good, with perfect balance. My engineer did a super job. We'll have to analyse why my engine stalled during both pit stops, though. In the end, something broke in the drive train, otherwise I'd have scored points. The collision with Tom was really unfortunate."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"Compliments to the whole team! Our strategy was right, we made the best of our potential. We even came very close to having all four cars score points. Being merely three points behind in the Championship leader, we can look towards the next race with confidence."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest):
"Our strategy of scheduling our first pit stop at a very late stage may have been a bit unusual, but proved to be exactly right for the Norisring. All the more regrettable is the fact that we missed scoring a point by a hair's breadth. The team had worked very hard here and would certainly have deserved points."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
"We're driving with relatively strong downforce in the DTM and are still convinced that this is the right choice when looking at the season as a whole. We know that our aerodynamics are not perfect for the Norisring, though, that's why we can be satisfied with today's result. We've made the best of this race and managed not to lose too much ground in the Championship."
Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5
4th place, + 19.185s
Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6
5th place, + 29.950s
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12
6th place, + 45.414s
Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44
9th place, - 1 lap
Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45
11th place, - 1 lap
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11
14th place, - 8 laps