Nurburgring: Audi preview

Audi target counter strike at the Nurburgring Packed grandstands at DTM race in the Eifel Intensive preparation with test at Oschersleben "Home race" for Heinz-Harald Frentzen The Audi squad prepared itself for the eagerly awaited final spurt in...

Audi target counter strike at the Nurburgring
Packed grandstands at DTM race in the Eifel
Intensive preparation with test at Oschersleben
"Home race" for Heinz-Harald Frentzen

The Audi squad prepared itself for the eagerly awaited final spurt in the DTM with a three-day test at Oschersleben. The "second-half" of the most popular international touring car race series begins on Sunday, 20 August at the Nurburgring and at whose end an Audi driver should, if possible, head-up the championship table.

After the opening five races, Tom Kristensen from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline lies eight-points behind championship leader Bernd Schneider -- two less than the ten points that Kristensen lost within sight of the chequered flag due to an unlucky retirement whilst leading at Brands Hatch.

Following the difficult race for Audi at the Norisring, the team, lead by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, aims to strike back by claiming its third victory of the season in the Eifel. The omens are good: Mattias Ekstrom and Tom Kristensen scored a one-two for Audi last year at the Nurburgring. Ekstrom set the fastest time ever to be recorded by a DTM car on the 3.629 kilometre track in qualifying with the Audi A4 DTM.

Ekstrom and Kristensen made intensive preparations for the second-half of the season at the test at Oschersleben. Furthermore, both drivers hope to receive active support from their Audi team mates, of whom several consider the race in the Eifel to be their "home race" -- first and foremost Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who will stop at nothing to silence the criticism levelled at him in the media, by producing an excellent result.

With its headquarters at the Nurburgring industrial estate in Meuspath, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, which has shown improving form recently together with Audi Sport Team Rosberg and customer team Futurecom TME with its pair of 2004 cars, has a genuine 'home game'.

The sixth DTM race of the season promises to be yet another highlight -- and this in front of an incredible backdrop: The grandstand seats around the Nurburgring are already sold out; only standing room tickets are available at the turnstiles on the day. The trip to the Eifel is also worthwhile for the ARD Chart Show, during which the band "Silbermond" will set the fans pulses racing shortly before the start of the DTM race. Those who prefer to follow the race in television will get their money's worth from ARD, which broadcasts the entire race live in "Das Erste" from 1:45 p.m. local time.

Quotes before the race at the Nurburgring

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

"The Nurburgring is one of the circuits on which we have always been very competitive and it should also be the case this time around. We'll try to get a result that will make it easier to forget the Norisring and, which more importantly puts us in a stronger position in the championship. Our goal is to be as competitive as we were at Oschersleben and Brands Hatch."

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

"The Nurburgring suited us well last year -- especially me. It is one of my favourite tracks, which I'm looking forward to. Our target is quite obviously to win. And the chances should certainly be very good for Audi."

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

"The races at the Nurburgring are always very interesting. I won there last year, so I have very fond memories. I want to fight for victory again this time."

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

"I'm looking forward to the Nurburgring and in particular to enjoying the incredible atmosphere there. It's some kind of home race for me. It is nevertheless a new challenge because I'll be driving the Audi A4 at the Nurburgring for the first time."

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

"The Nurburgring is a fantastic circuit, which our A4 also likes. Our car is particularly good in the Mercedes-Arena-- Now we just have to take the good balance and speed with us to the Nurburgring that our A4 had at Oschersleben and Brands Hatch. We know that the Norisring was an atypical track. We've prepared ourselves well, so that we can win again at the Nurburgring."

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

"I'm looking forward to the Nurburgring. It is a flowing course which suits our A4 perfectly. So we should be competitive again."

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

"The Nurburgring is my home track. A lot of my friends and fans come, and keep there fingers crossed for me. It's a fantastic feeling to be able to race in front my home crowd."

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

"The race at the Nurburgring is also a home race for me, which means that the trip is very short. Things always went very well there in the past. We'll see how it looks at the next race. I'll just take things as they come."

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

"I grew up 70 kilometres away from the Nurburgring. Because of this I hope that I can draw a little more motivation from the many friends and fans that come from around the Nurburgring. In general things look positive. For those of us with a year-old car the target is to score points again."

Vanina Ickx
Futurecom TME, Original Zubehor Audi A4 DTM #20

"I've already raced at the Nurburgring, but only around the Grand Prix circuit till now and not on the short-loop. However, in general the track is the same. The track has a good rhythm, which I hope is good for us."

Jeroen Bleekemolen
Futurecom TME, Futurecom Audi A4 DTM #19

"It's great to be able to drive on a normal circuit again after racing around two such short tracks. I'm interested to see just where we'll line up with our A4 DTM. I think we are capable of doing another good job at the Nurburgring."

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

"It goes without saying that we want to carry on where we left off last year, when we left the Nurburgring with a one-two. The Nurburgring has always been very kind to us, and after the 'drought' at the Norisring we are especially motivated to score a good result."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):

"The past has shown us that the Audi A4 is competitive at the Nurburgring. We have never run the A4 there ourselves, however, we expect that team will also put in a good performance there as well. We're aiming to score points again, and will work harder to make sure that we qualify better."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):

"After the relatively good weekend at the Norisring I hope that the good results continue to come our way. It's actually a home race for both Timo und 'Stippi'. With luck on their sides they could both finish in the points."


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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