Nurburgring: Audi Friday practice notes

Two best times for Audi at the Nürburgring Martin Tomczyk drives best time of the day Mattias Ekström quickest in the rain Frank Stippler best driver of a 2004-spec car With two best times for Audi, the DTM event at the Nürburgring, which is...

Two best times for Audi at the Nürburgring

Martin Tomczyk drives best time of the day Mattias Ekström quickest in the rain Frank Stippler best driver of a 2004-spec car With two best times for Audi, the DTM event at the Nürburgring, which is expected to attract a crowd of over 100,000 to the Eifel circuit this weekend, began on Friday.

On the dry track, Martin Tomczyk in the Audi A4 DTM entered by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline clocked the day's best time in the morning session. In the second test in the afternoon, rain showers created changing conditions, which his team-mate Mattias Ekström handled best- the times are not very conclusive though since being on the track at the right time was the crucial factor.

A strong impression was made yet again by last year's A4 DTM cars of Audi Sport Team Joest: Frank Stippler in his "home game" finished fourth in the morning and shone with the second-best time in difficult conditions in the afternoon, making the Audi driver the quickest one of a 2004-spec car.

For the qualifying practice on Saturday and the race on Sunday changing weather conditions, similar to today's, have been predicted.

Quotes after Friday's tests

Martin Tomczyk:

"The morning was very successful, I had a good feeling with old and new tyres. In the second session, we weren't able to gain a lot more findings and therefore hope that it'll be dry again tomorrow."

Tom Kristensen:

"With the exception of snow, we tested our A4 in every type of weather today. This morning, when the track was dry, the car felt very good. If we have the same conditions tomorrow, we're well prepared. In Sunday's race the conditions will be the same for all the drivers anyway. In the second session, I didn't drive another fast lap after the track had dried off. All in all, it was a very successful and entertaining Friday."

Frank Stippler:

"Of course these positions are very nice, though a bit flattering, really. In the rain, I had a few problems. The lap with slicks in these mixed conditions was pretty good. This morning, when the track was dry, things went very well too. This was a super beginning, but we have more work to do. The field is incredibly tight again - I'm not nurturing a false sense of security about being up front."

Christian Abt:

"In the first test we sorted a few things and the position, as well, was quite alright. Yet the second test was not very conclusive because the weather conditions kept changing. The positions were nothing but a lottery, depending on who went out when with what tyres. Still, finishing twice among the top ten is a good start."

Mattias Ekström:

"That was real Nürburgring weather today - grey and wet. If conditions keep changing like this tomorrow as well, we're in for a thrilling qualifying session and an even more thrilling Super pole. This morning, when the track was still dry, we sorted all the essentials. In the afternoon, I practiced a bit of tactics and overtaking with my team-mates on the track while we were driving together pretty closely for a long period of time."

Rinaldo Capello:

"This afternoon I was always out on the track at the wrong time, because it was raining each time. This morning, on the other hand, things went quite well. I was quick on old tyres. If I compare my lap times with those of the other drivers, I'm pretty confident for tomorrow. I'm hoping for more stable weather tomorrow, though."

Allan McNish:

"This morning we had to do some work on the power steering system, that's why the session wasn't particularly conclusive for us. By the afternoon, my team had performed some changes on the car, which made the A4 a lot more balanced. Whether or not you were then able to drive a fast lap strictly depended on how wet the track was. Some laps were half-dry and half-wet. Welcome to the Nürburgring."

Pierre Kaffer:

"The weather is the same as last year in the sportscar: conditions keep changing all the time. In the afternoon, we were pretty lucky. With the car, as well, we made good progress compared to this morning. I hope I'll be able to 'preserve' this performance tomorrow."

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest):

"I'd say this was a typical Nürburgring day. We had a lot on our agenda, but didn't manage doing it all - but I suppose that was the case with everyone else as well. For the remainder of the weekend, the weather forecast is predicting similar weather. That's why it was good that all the drivers got to know the track in different conditions."

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

"It's difficult to draw a conclusion because the conditions were changing constantly today. Yet I believe our Audi A4 is doing very well in all situations and at any degree of wetness. So we're well set for the weekend - no matter what the sky above the Eifel may bring."

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

"Today it was important to come up with an optimum set-up for both dry and wet conditions. Particularly while it was wet, it was important to drive as much as possible in order to get a feeling for the various lines that exist in the rain. After all, the weather forecast is not very promising for tomorrow and Sunday."

Martin Tomczyk
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #2
1st place / 12th place, 1m 24.141s

Tom Kristensen
Audi Sport Team Abt #5
3rd place / 13th place, 1m 24.207s

Frank Stippler
Audi Sport Team Joest #19
4th place / 2nd place, 1m 24.398s

Christian Abt
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #14
5th place / 8th place, 1m 24.522s

Mattias Ekström
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #1
9th place / 1st place, 1m 25.047s

Rinaldo Capello
Audi Sport Team Joest #18
15th place / 18th place, 1m 25.296s

Allan McNish
Audi Sport Team Abt #6
17th place / 4th place, 1m 25.560s

Pierre Kaffer
Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #15
20th place / 7th place, 1m 25.870s


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Martin Tomczyk , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Pierre Kaffer , Frank Stippler , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Ralf Juttner
Teams Team Joest , Team Abt