Nurburgring: Audi Friday practices report

Audi driver Frentzen sets fastest time of the day "HHF's" first best time with the Veltins Audi A4 DTM Rain is followed by sunshine at the Nürburgring Tom Kristensen best Audi driver on a wet track By setting his first best time after joining...

Audi driver Frentzen sets fastest time of the day
"HHF's" first best time with the Veltins Audi A4 DTM
Rain is followed by sunshine at the Nürburgring
Tom Kristensen best Audi driver on a wet track

By setting his first best time after joining Audi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen ("HHF") underlined the fact that he is one of the candidates for victory in the DTM race at the Nürburgring on Sunday (live broadcast from 1:45 p.m. - local time - on "Das Erste"). The former Formula 1 driver from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in the cockpit of the Veltins Audi A4 DTM - at 1m 24.899s - drove the fastest lap of the day on his "home circuit" on Friday afternoon. Tom Kristensen, Martin Tomczyk and Frank Stippler were three other Audi drivers to make it into the top ten.

After the Eifel region had seen rain in the morning hours, the second 90-minute test in the afternoon took place in sunshine. On the wet track in the morning, Tom Kristensen in the Siemens Audi A4 DTM came second as the best Audi driver. In the afternoon, the Dane successfully concentrated on a simulation in racing conditions.

Former Formula 1 driver Nicolas Kiesa left a strong impression on his first DTM day: The Dane at the wheel of the A4 DTM of the Audi customer team Futurecom TME was the fastest driver of a 2004-spec car straight away.

For Saturday's qualifying session (live broadcast on "Das Erste" starting a 2:00 p.m. local time), sunshine has been predicted, and rainy weather for the race on Sunday.

Quotes after Friday's tests

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

"Heinz-Harald Frentzen has achieved the day's best time, Tom Kristensen drove a very good long-run. We now have good data to bring all four 2006-spec cars up to a similarly high level by tomorrow."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen:

"We gathered experience today both in the wet and in dry conditions. That was a good thing because we anticipate all sorts of conditions during the weekend. In the dry second session we managed to complete our programme half-way. We used only one set of new tyres. That fit immediately, now we've got a bit of detail work left to do."

Tom Kristensen:

"Today was typical Nürburgring. The first session was wet, and we learned a lot. As the track was drying off, things turned into a lottery which I finished in second place behind Häkkinen. During the dry, second test the car was running reasonable well although the track had little grip. I was running in front most of the time and only dropped back a few places when the others put on fresh tyres. My long-run was the best, that's why I'm confident for a weekend with changing conditions."

Martin Tomczyk:

"I'm satisfied, we were able to run through our entire test programme. The car responds the way we wanted it to in both wet and dry conditions. And the speed is right as well."

Frank Stippler:

"Friday was off to a bit of a slow start. In the rain we simply didn't manage to clock good times. We had this type of problem before, last year, and it was due to the tyres at that time. In the dry, things were going better. We made it into the upper ranks of the times list relatively late, though, because we drove on one set of tyres for a long time."

Timo Scheider:

"This morning in the rain we had a rather difficult time. We were surprised that the car, which had been really good in the rain at the EuroSpeedway, didn't work here. Even in dry conditions we didn't have any good interaction between the front and rear suspensions. We need to analyse why."

Christian Abt:

"Actually, we're pretty satisfied. Despite the rain this morning we achieved quite a bit. We were working strictly towards the race and didn't shoot for times yet. That is something we won't be doing until tomorrow."

Mattias Ekström:

"I can't say we're satisfied. We tried a few things but didn't manage to find the optimum. Now at least we know what it is we shouldn't do. Tomorrow, things will be going better."

Nicolas Kiesa:

"Everyone was telling me that a DTM car is difficult to drive and that it takes a long time to get used to it. I was pleasantly surprised how much a DTM car reminds me of a Formula 1 car - particularly its braking ability and the effect of downforce while braking and cornering. I gathered lots of impressions today and am getting along quite well already."

Pierre Kaffer:

"My idea of the beginning of a Nürburgring weekend had been a little different. But such is life. We need to work on a better set-up for the car. I'm positive that we'll be able to do this because my boys know their job."

Vanina Ickx:

"This morning in the wet I felt comfortable in the car. In the end, though, I didn't take advantage of the drying track. In the afternoon I was in last place despite the fact that we'd actually done a good job. Of course that doesn't make me happy."

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

"We're always happy when we're in front. But we know of course that Friday isn't very conclusive. Nevertheless: We did a good job of completing our programme and are well prepared for tomorrow."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):

"The first day of our home race was a pretty sobering experience. In the rain we came up with only little grip with both of our cars. In the dry, things were going well with Christian (Abt). With Pierre (Kaffer), we're still looking for the type of balance in the car that he'd like to have."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):

"For my taste, we put on the new tyres a bit too late. And then 'Stippi' briefly found himself standing in the gravel. Considering this, we can be quite satisfied with our positions."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Veltins Audi A4 DTM #6
7th place / 1st place, 1m 24.899s

Tom Kristensen
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Siemens Audi A4 DTM #7
2nd place / 6th place, 1m 25.132s

Martin Tomczyk
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #4
13th place / 9th place, 1m 25.235s

Frank Stippler
Audi Sport Team Rosberg, S line Audi A4 DTM #15
17th place / 10th place, 1m 25.249s

Timo Scheider
Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Gebrauchtwagen plus Audi A4 DTM #16
10th place / 11th place, 1m 25.366s

Christian Abt
Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Playboy Audi A4 DTM #12
15th place / 13th place, 1m 25.478s

Mattias Ekström
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #5
12th place / 14th place, 1m 25.556s

Nicolas Kiesa
Futurecom TME, Futurecom Audi A4 DTM #19
16th place / 16th place, 1m 25.897s

Pierre Kaffer
Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Castrol Audi A4 DTM #14
20th place / 17th place, 1m 25.951s

Vanina Ickx
Futurecom TME, Original Zubehör Audi A4 DTM #20
19th place / 20th place, 1m 27.003s

-credit: audi

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