Audi sets its sights on next Nurburgring win Ingolstadt, July 30, 2010 - After a four-week summer break the battle for points in the DTM, the most popular international touring car series, will finally resume at the Nurburgring from August 6 to...
Audi sets its sights on next Nurburgring win
Ingolstadt, July 30, 2010 - After a four-week summer break the battle for points in the DTM, the most popular international touring car series, will finally resume at the Nurburgring from August 6 to 8. Clearly, the car to be beaten in the Eifel is the Audi A4 DTM.
Each of the three most recent events held on the 3.629-kilometer short-version of the Nurburgring saw an Audi A4 DTM start from the pole position. Three victories in the past five years speak a clear language as well. Particularly impressive was last year's performance when Audi celebrated a commanding one-two-three-four win and significantly outdistanced its rivals from Stuttgart.
The squad around Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich now aims to continue this outstanding exploit. "I'm sure that we've got several irons in the fire to have some say in the battle for victory at the Nurburgring again this year," assures Dr. Ullrich. "Our goal is to make up ground in the standings with a strong performance by the whole team."
In this endeavor Dr. Ullrich can not only rely on the Nurburgring having suited the Audi A4 DTM well so far. Most of his drivers, too, are looking forward to the race in the Eifel with particularly eager anticipation - above all this applies to Martin Tomczyk, who won the 2007 and 2009 races after having started from the pole position and who posted the fastest race lap in 2008. In 2009 the driver from Rosenheim, Bavaria, who lives in Switzerland, was the front runner in each of the practice sessions, which even got his team colleagues thinking. No wonder that Tomczyk himself calls the race at the Nurburgring his "season highlight."
Home round for one team and two drivers
For Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider, the race is a highlight as well because the Nurburgring has traditionally been a home round for all three of them. The distance between the Phoenix team base in the Meuspath industrial park and the entrance to the paddock is less than three kilometers. In addition, team director Ernst Moser's driver line-up includes a native of the Rhineland - Mike Rockenfeller. The Le Mans winner grew up in Neuwied, about 50 kilometers away from the "Ring." The roots of the current champion, Timo Scheider, are not far away from the Nurburgring either: he was raised about 70 kilometers from the venue, in Braubach on the Rhine.
Timo Scheider versus Hans-Joachim Stuck
As many as two weeks before the DTM race, Scheider received a foretaste of the 3.629-kilometer short version of the Nurburgring. On the weekend of the Truck Grand Prix the reigning DTM champion competed in the Audi A4 DTM against former DTM champion Hans-Joachim Stuck in the MAN Truck. Stuck had made a bet that he would be able to beat anyone in his truck. While he had made a flying start to the race in his truck with an approximate output of 735 kilowatts, Scheider made a standing start. But Stuck was unable to make use of his advantage: in the end Timo Scheider won in his 340-kilowatt Audi A4 DTM.
Special topographical and meteorological characteristics
With respect to the set-up of the Audi A4 DTM the Nurburgring does not require any extreme solutions like the Norisring most recently did. "We are starting into the Eifel weekend with the same set-up as last year," explains Dr. Martin Muhlmeier, the Technical Director of Audi Sport. "The modifications consist of adapting the tires, which are new this year, to this track." In addition, the "Ring" requires the engineers and strategists to practice the art of improvisation primarily in two areas. The topography of the circuit causes interruptions in radio communications between the drivers and teams on each lap. And the unpredictable weather in the Eifel has repeatedly played a crucial part in determining the outcome of the races in recent years.
Topics of the weekend
- Will Martin Tomczyk manage to clinch his third Nurburgring win since 2007?
- Will Audi, like last year, capture the best grid position in the Eifel?
- Will Audi Sport Team Phoenix be able to shine with a strong showing at its home round?
- Will Markus Winkelhock manage to continue his good performance from last year?
- Will Miguel Molina be able to convert his track knowledge of the Nurburgring into points again?
- Will the weather in the Eifel again be marked by rapid changes?
Quotes by the officials
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "In recent years the Nurburgring has consistently been a very good track for Audi. I think that we'll be able to show a good performance again this year. We've got to make use of our potential to achieve maximum points, and we'll all be working toward achieving this goal. I'm looking ahead positively and, like all DTM fans, am eager to see the season continue after the four-week break. After this break our motivation is particularly high."
Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "The Nurburgring is tied to many great experiences for us. We've clinched many victories there. Our racing series is just really getting started now. Obviously, I'm hoping for us to go home with a great result. We're doing our best to keep the championship thrilling."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "The Nurburgring is the home round not just for Phoenix. 'Rocky,' too, hails from this region. So it's the home race for two parties in the team. Consequently, we're expecting many acquaintances, friends and partners from the surrounding area, which gives us particular motivation to improve compared with the Norisring. Considering the experience 'Rocky' and we've got at the Nurburgring, a good result should be possible. The track has many narrow sections. That's where you've got to let the car coast, in other words, you enter the turn at high speed and then take that speed with you. In the inside sections you need good traction and on the others good balance."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "I'm looking forward to the Nurburgring and the Rhineland Evening hosted by quattro GmbH. For us it's sort of a second home race because I was born in the vicinity of the circuit. I'm hoping for us to break our duck and to score points for the first time. We saved a few tires at the Norisring. Hopefully, this will benefit us at the Nurburgring."
Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers
Mattias Ekstrom (32/S), Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Abt
- Drove the fastest race lap at the Nurburgring last year
- As the best Audi driver in the standings, moved two points closer to front runner Bruno Spengler in the most recent event at the Norisring "The Nurburgring is about finding a compromise between the slow corners and the long straights. That's the key to a good lap time. And qualifying is very important, too. You've only got a chance of winning if you start from one of the front grid positions because it's very hard to overtake there."
Oliver Jarvis (26/GB), Tabac Original Audi A4 DTM #2 (Audi Sport Team
- With his best performance in the DTM season, most recently opened his "puints account" at the Norisring
- Was on grid position five in the Eifel last year as the best driver of a year-old car "The Nurburgring is simply an amazing facility. The whole region is focused on the race track. That's unique. The track is difficult. In the past years it was hard for me to find good balance."
Katherine Legge (30/GB), Glamour Audi A4 DTM #15 (Audi Sport Team
- Made it into the second qualifying session at the Nurburgring last year
- Turned 30 between the races at the Norisring and the Nurburgring "I like the Nurburgring because it stands for a great tradition. In addition, it's always nice to be able to do a lap on the Nordschleife on this occasion. Basically speaking, it's not easy to set up the car for the Nurburgring. This year the new tires add another factor. That's a real challenge. And you never know what the weather will be like in the Eifel: a race with many unknown quantities!"
Miguel Molina (21/E), Audi Bank A4 DTM #18 (Audi Sport Rookie Team Abt)
- Is familiar with the Nurburgring from formula racing
- After finishing three DTM races in a row, was forced to accept his first retirement in the most recent race in Nuremberg "I already know this track. Of course, that's positive. And it'll probably help us improve the car even further. After things didn't go as planned for us at all at the Norisring we can now set our sights on a positive result again with Audi Sport Rookie Team Abt."
Alexandre Premat (28/F), TV Movie Audi A4 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team
- In eighth place of the standings, is currently the second-best driver of a 2008-spec Audi
- Married his partner Cleo two weeks before the Nurburgring race "I'm particularly fond of the Nurburgring. And for Audi Sport Team Phoenix it's their home round. Again, it'll be crucial to score as many points as possible. The track suits our car. Maybe we'll even have the chance to fight for podium positions. In the DTM anything's possible. Qualifying went pretty well for us last year, even though we weren't able to convert that into a good race result."
Mike Rockenfeller (26/D), S line Audi A4 DTM #10 (Audi Sport Team
- Qualified for second place at the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring in May in an Audi R8 LMS
- One week before the DTM race at the Nurburgring contests his fourth 24-hour race of the year at Spa-Francorchamps "I'm hoping to be doing well again straight from the start as I was in the first three races of the year and to improve compared with my performance at the Norisring. I'm looking forward to the Nurburgring. There will be many acquaintances there and there's always a lot of action for me. I'm looking ahead positively and also believe that we'll be able to achieve a finish in the points."
Timo Scheider (31/D), GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #1 (Audi Sport Team
- Is one of just three drivers to have scored points in each race in 2010
- Clinched second place at the Nurburgring last year "It continues to be my home race and hopefully a lot of friends and fans will turn out at the track. With respect to the sport, there's reason to look forward to the event as well. The Nurburgring should suit our Audi. I'm happy that we're finally competing on tracks now that tend to accommodate us."
Martin Tomczyk (28/D), Red Bull Cola Audi A4 DTM #6 (Audi Sport Team Abt
- Started from the pole position in the Eifel in 2007 and 2009 and won both races
- Was the front runner in all sessions at the Nurburgring last year "I'm extremely looking forward to the Nurburgring. That's always my season highlight. I'm hoping that things will be going nearly the way they did last year. At least, that's my goal. My wish is that we'll manage to convert our enthusiasm into a respective result."
Markus Winkelhock (30/D), Playboy/GW:plus Audi A4 DTM #14 (Audi Sport
- Achieved his first podium with Audi at the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring in May
- Completed an Audi foursome at the top last year as the best driver of a year-old car "I'm looking forward to the Nurburgring. The track suits me pretty well. A year ago, I took fourth place there. Actually, I've always been very fast there. That's why I'm optimistic."