Audi triumphs at Oschersleben as well Ingolstadt/Oschersleben -- Second race, second triumph: the new Audi A4 DTM could not be beaten in its second race either. One week after the 1-2-3 exploit at Hockenheim, Timo Scheider and Martin Tomczyk ...
Audi triumphs at Oschersleben as well
Ingolstadt/Oschersleben -- Second race, second triumph: the new Audi A4 DTM could not be beaten in its second race either. One week after the 1-2-3 exploit at Hockenheim, Timo Scheider and Martin Tomczyk clinched a commanding 1-2 victory for Audi at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. By claiming the maiden victory of his DTM career, Scheider has taken the overall lead as well.
64,000 specatators witnessed a perfect weekend of the 29-year-old racer: all free practice sessions saw him setting the best time, in qualifying he took his second consecutive pole position, his race was flawless and included the fastest race lap. With two perfect pit stops, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline perfected the German's first victory, which he claimed in his 79th DTM race. Even a safety car period shortly before race end did not cause Timo Scheider to lose his cool.
When the safety car went out on the track, Scheider and Tomczyk running in front already had a lead of more than ten seconds over the best Mercedes. After the race was re-started, the Audi drivers immediately put a distance between themselves and their immediate rivals and managed bringing home their 1-2 victory safely. For Audi Sport, this marked the second 1-2 win within a few hours: in Long Beach (USA) the Audi Sport North America team had taken places one and two with the R10 TDI diesel sports prototype as well.
Audi Sport Team Rosberg was another team which had a reason to rejoice: Markus Winkelhock in sixth place was the best driver of a car from last year and scored his first points in his 20th DTM race. His team colleague Mike Rockenfeller scored a points finish as well, in seventh place.
At the beginning of the race, "Rocky" lost a lot of time behind Mattias Ekstrom. In the commotion at race start, the title defender was hit in the rear, causing important aerodynamic components to separate from the vehicle. To restore the aerodynamic balance of his car at least to some extent, Ekstrom had the front winglets of his A4 removed during his first pit stop. Thanks to this clever move and his spirited drive, the Swede still captured one point with his heavily damaged vehicle.
Alexandre Premat in ninth place made for a total of six Audi A4 DTM cars to finish in the top ten. After his accident in qualifying, Audi Sport Team Phoenix had been working late into the night to repair the Frenchman's car and, after the warm-up, exchanged the front splitter once more. His team-mate Oliver Jarvis, who had started from the second row, was turned around in the starting commotion by Mercedes driver Jamie Green. The Brit dropped to the rear of the field and later, due to contact with Christijan Albers, had a drive-through penalty imposed on him. Jarvis had to settle for 15th place.
Christijan Albers and Katherine Legge, after spinning, finished the race in places 16 and 18, respectively.
Tom Kristensen had a black day: the Dane jump-started to the race. While making a recovery, the rear of his A4 was damaged after contact with Mathias Lauda. Problems during the second pit stop cost him additional time. Nevertheless, a points result was again within reach, when Kristensen -- nine laps before the finish -- slid off the track, pulling Maro Engel's Mercedes along with him in the process. The second-fastest race lap was little consolation for the two-time Oschersleben winner.
Quotes after the race
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Today's result shows that the new Audi A4 DTM is a car that's right on the mark. We've got a very good car, great teams and a superb driver squad. It was a very thrilling race, in which we again set the pace. Timo (Scheider) clinched a well-deserved victory, and Martin (Tomczyk) drove a flawless race as well. Mattias (Ekstrom) managed scoring a point with his damaged car. It's a shame that Tom (Kristensen), from the front row, was not able to finish on the podium too. He definitely had the necessary speed. There were many fights today, in the end, Markus Winkelhock almost overtook Jamie Green. I would have been very happy for him to have managed that, because he drove a strong race."
Timo Scheider (GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #10): "I'm really speechless: that was a perfect weekend! Best times in all practice sessions, the pole position and race victory. I'd have never thought that something like this would be possible. Days like these are very special, particularly since I've been waiting for them for so long. I want to thank Audi and Abt Sportsline for giving me a perfect car. Actually, all I had to do was bring it home. And that's what I did."
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #2): "Second place today was the maximum for me against such a strong Timo Scheider. Particularly because the weekend hadn't started all that well for me, I'm very satisfied. A top result for Audi. Fantastic!"
Markus Winkelhock (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #19): "That was a pretty successful day for me. The start, at first, was good but then someone hit me in the side and I had to evade him. Jarvis's spin forced me into the grass on the right-hand side. That's when I thought: 'what a great way to start a race.' Up to the first pit stop the car wasn't easy to drive. After changing the tyre pressure, I was able to make up some time in the middle stint and finish in the points."
Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #18): "I'm disappointed, although seventh place and the first points in the season aren't all that bad, considering where I started from. But I could have clearly done better. Mattias (Ekstrom) slowed me for a long time with his damaged car, until I finally managed to pass him."
Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #1): "My start was very good. I overtook as many as three Mercedes cars but then someone hit me in the rear. This damaged the rear section and I had no more downforce on the rear axle. So I really had to fight extremely hard. One point is more than I could have hoped for in the beginning."
Alexandre Premat (Audi Bank/Shell Helix Audi A4 DTM #14): "That was a tough race. I had a good start and was able to follow the group of 'Rocky', Markus and 'Eki'. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to pass without perhaps taking too much of a risk. Even though I barely missed a points finish, I'm not unhappy. I think our car will be better at Mugello than it was here. Last year we were very strong there as well."
Oliver Jarvis (Best Buddies Audi A4 DTM #15): "That was definitely not the race I'd been hoping for. Immediately after the first turn, a Mercedes hit me in the rear and turned me around. That actually ruined my race. To top it off, I had to sit a drive-though penalty because of brushing Christijan Albers. That's too bad for the team as well, which did a great job."
Christijan Albers (Audi A4 DTM #21): "The start was okay. At first, I was able to follow Ralf Schumacher pretty well, but then Oliver Jarvis brushed me and I slid into the guard rail. After that, I had a problem with my suspension and steering system. Actually, I could have headed for the pit lane right then and there, but I wanted to finish the race at all cost, if for no other reason than to gather data. On new tyres, I even set some decent times, although the car's balance was gone."
Katherine Legge (Audi A4 DTM #20): "That was a very turbulent race. I'm satisfied with my lap times and with my car, but not with my result."
Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM #9): "The start was very good, but, unfortunately, much too early. That's really a shame because the Audi A4 DTM was fantastic today. In the fight with Maro Engel and Ralf Schumacher I got onto a slippery part of the track and the car got out of control. That was a really, really bad day for me."
Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "With the 1-2 victory we can be totally satisfied. Congratulations to the entire squad because a strong team is absolutely crucial. We perfectly prepared the cars again in a short space of time. I wouldn't mind if things continued this way."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "This was a terrible race Sunday. It's a shame in two respects, because -- actually -- we've done everything right so far. For Oliver Jarvis, the race was actually over after the first turn. Alex Premat made a good recovery but, unfortunately, got caught behind Ekstrom. Congratulations to Audi. Another one-two victory, there's no better way to start the season. We'll just chalk this weekend up to experience now and attack again at Mugello."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "First of all, congratulations to Timo (Scheider). Two years ago, he was still driving for us and he truly deserves this exploit. Our team looks back on the race with mixed emotions. On the one hand, with places six and seven, we had the two best drivers of year-old cars. With a successful strategy, we managed bringing Markus Winkelhock forwards to sixth place. 'Rocky', unfortunately, lost a lot of time behind Ekstrom, otherwise he could have finished in fourth place according to our records. I have to thank the entire team which, despite a lot of absences due to illness, showed a superb performance."