DTM

Oschersleben: Audi preview

Audi aims to increase championship lead Mattias Ekström arrives at Oschersleben as leader Two Audi wins in the last three years A4 DTM holds pole position monopoly at Oschersleben The impressive one-two at Hockenheim demonstrates that the Audi...

Audi aims to increase championship lead
Mattias Ekström arrives at Oschersleben as leader
Two Audi wins in the last three years
A4 DTM holds pole position monopoly at Oschersleben

The impressive one-two at Hockenheim demonstrates that the Audi Sport engineers have done a good job over the winter: The further developed Audi A4 DTM (project name: "R13") is the car to beat at the beginning of the 2007 DTM season.

The DTM now heads to the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben - a circuit renowned for suiting the Audi A4 DTM over the last few years - only fourteen days after the spectacular opening race. An A4 has claimed pole-position on every outing so far on the track near Magdeburg. Audi won in 2004 and 2006 at Oschersleben. An Audi driver also topped the time sheets on all four days of the pre-season tests held at the circuit, which has been slightly modified over the winter.

A perfect platform then for championship leader Mattias Ekström and second-placed Martin Tomczyk to increase the overall lead even though the 2007 A4 DTM - as stipulated by the regulations - must start at Oschersleben with 14 kilograms more weight than the new C-Class Mercedes.

A new car was built at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt for Tom Kristensen following the accident at Hockenheim. The Dane, who has started from the front row every time at Oschersleben and who has won two of the previous three DTM races there, hopes to have fully recovered from the effects of the accident before the race weekend.

Audi Sport Team Phoenix was able to repair Alexandre Prémat's A4 DTM after the accident after the space-frame remained completely intact in the frontal impact. However, the Frenchman will not be able to race due to a cracked lumbar vertebra. Sportscar driver Marco Werner (41) deputises for him at Oschersleben.

Quotes before the race at Oschersleben

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "We had an excellent test at Oschersleben before the start of the season and hope to be able to reproduce the good result from Hockenheim in this race. Winning the opening race has boosted the entire Audi squad's motivation. Our target is to increase our lead at Oschersleben - despite knowing that our 2007 cars must be heavier there than the new Mercedes. We obviously hope that Tom (Kristensen) is fit again. With Marco (Werner) we add another strong driver from within our own ranks to the grid as stand in for Alexandre (Prémat). I'm sure that Alexandre will keep his fingers crossed for him."

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #3): "It's of great importance to make a good start to the season in the DTM, which we managed to perfection at Hockenheim. I'd really like to put another one over the opposition at Oschersleben and increase our advantage. I had a very encouraging test at Oschersleben before the season. Now I'm interested to see just what effect the weight difference has during the race weekend. Oschersleben isn't exactly one of my most successful circuits but up until last weekend, Hockenheim wasn't either!"

Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #4): "The test days at Oschersleben showed that things will also be extremely tight there. The results we obtained from the tests were satisfactory. We return to Oschersleben with a good feeling following the one-two at Hockenheim and look to produce another perfect race weekend."

Tom Kristensen (Siemens Audi A4 DTM #7): "I celebrated my first ever DTM win at Oschersleben in 2004, won there again last year and to date, have always started from the front row. This is the motivation I need to be fit and ready to race by next week. I'll do everything possible to make sure I'm ready to race at Oschersleben."

Timo Scheider (Gebrauchtwagen:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #8): "Oschersleben should be a good venue for us. Audi has always been very competitive there and things have gone well for me there previously. At Hockenheim we managed to beat Mercedes in their own backyard. If we also succeed at Oschersleben then we'll finally know that we really did do an excellent job over the winter."

Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #11): "I learnt a great deal in my first DTM race. A few things didn't run quite as well as we'd imagined. Because of the test results from Oschersleben I think that things will look a lot better. I believe I'll be able to push very hard there and maybe even finish in the points."

Lucas Luhr (Philips Audi A4 DTM #12): "As a DTM newcomer at Hockenheim I made several mistakes which I won't be making again. The new circuit layout at Oschersleben will be interesting. My tip to every photographer: Be at the first corner! Grip on the outside line and none on the inside line - risky manoeuvres are inevitable there."

Christian Abt (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #16): "I'm still confident even though Oschersleben isn't one of my favourite circuits. My team and I made our first impressions of the car during the pre-season tests at Oschersleben. After retiring at the opening round I've set myself the goal of finishing in the top five overall."

Marco Werner (Audi Bank Audi A4 DTM #17): "Obviously I would have much rather got this opportunity to race in the new DTM under completely different circumstances. I wish Alexandre (Prémat) a speedy recovery! I will do my utmost to fly the flag for him as his deputy, and am delighted about the confidence placed in me by Audi."

"I've been interested in the DTM ever since 2003 when I drove the DTM-TT-R in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. The circumstances are obviously not the best: I'm not familiar with either the car or the tyres - and I only know the circuit from a few demonstration laps with the Audi R10 TDI. Everybody knows just how difficult the DTM is. I will certainly try to make the best of it for Audi. One of my strengths is that I learn new circuits quickly."

Adam Carroll (Audi A4 DTM #20): "I'm looking forward to Oschersleben. Obviously I'm hoping that my second DTM race lasts a little longer than my first and I complete every lap. The things that happened at Hockenheim simply happen in motorsport sometimes. I think that we can be competitive at Oschersleben."

Vanina Ickx (Audi A4 DTM #21): "Oschersleben is a challenging and interesting circuit. We tested there a few weeks ago. I hope to build on the test results and be quicker than I was at Hockenheim."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "We had an enormous amount of work after the one-two at Hockenheim. Rebuilding Tom Kristensen's car meant working plenty of overtime and a few night shifts. We hope that Tom is on board again at Oschersleben. We have a small weight handicap now but this is a part of DTM. We'll try to compensate for it in such a way that we are still succesful."

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "We tested for four days at Oschersleben, collected a corresponding amount of useful data and worked out some set-ups. We should be well sorted there. If we can manage to finish the race with both cars we should be capable of achieving a good result."

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "I'm looking forward to Oschersleben. We were really quick there during the tests and also got to grips with the tyres there. Things should actually go very well for us at Oschersleben."

-credit: audi

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Vanina Ickx , Lucas Luhr , Martin Tomczyk , Timo Scheider , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Marco Werner , Adam Carroll , Alexandre Prémat , Mike Rockenfeller , Hans-Jurgen Abt
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing , Audi Sport Team Rosberg