Mattias Ekström and Sébastien Ogier swap cars and FIA World Rally Championship leader catches a whiff of DTM air.
Ingolstadt/Nürburg – “Fantastic, but much too short!” This was Sébastien Ogier’s (F/29) initial comment after a test drive of the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM on the Nürburgring. The French rally star, who in the Volkswagen Polo R WRC has a commanding lead in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) before ADAC Rallye Deutschland next week, was given the opportunity to try out an Audi RS 5 DTM before the DTM race at the Nürburgring (Sunday from 13:15 live on “Das Erste”). With instructions provided by Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström (35) he did five laps on the 3.629-kilometer sprint track of the Nürburgring. “And on used tires, he was running pretty fast,” commented the Swede on looking at the stop watch.
“Naturally, I wasn’t able to go all the way to the limit in such a short time, especially not with respect to braking,” said Ogier. “But the five laps were enough to whet my appetite for more. Now I’d like to do a real test in the Audi RS 5 DTM. The car is fantastic and really enjoyable.”
Before recce for ADAC Rallye Deutschland starts on Monday, Ogier will be watching the DTM race at the Nürburgring from the garage of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. “I did that last year as well,” said the Frenchman. “I find the DTM very interesting and always keep myself informed. It’s nice that Audi is so strong this year. And thanks to DRS and option tires the races have become even more thrilling. I could definitely imagine driving in the DTM after the end of my rally career.”
Following Sébastien Ogier’s test drive of the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, Mattias Ekström had the chance to try out the Frenchman’s Volkswagen Polo R WRC. The two-time DTM Champion, who has successfully competed in the FIA World Rally Championship himself on occasion, was allowed to test the rally car on a track next to the Nürburgring. “That, too, was a great experience – and my appetite for more has been whetted by it as well,” said Ekström after the car swapping.
Photo credit: Audi Sport Communication / Media