‘Rocky’ takes lead for Audi at the Lausitzring

First points for Audi newcomer Jamie Green and amazing recovery by Mattias Ekström.

Ingolstadt/Klettwitz - Second place, fastest lap, best pit stop and lead in the overall standings: With a strong race at the Lausitzring, Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller took the lead of the DTM standings in front of 65,000 spectators (throughout the weekend).

Jamie Green, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS 5 DTM
Jamie Green, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS 5 DTM

Photo by: XPB Images

From position six on the grid, ‘Rocky’ in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix advanced to finish the race in second place. The 2010 Le Mans winner switched from standard to option tires after just four laps and from that moment was the fastest driver in the field.

He overtook Mercedes driver Robert Wickens and subsequently put pressure on the race leader Gary Paffett. After the second pit stop, the Audi driver fully concentrated on bringing home his second place – and thus securing the lead of the standings.

“’Thank you to Audi and to Team Phoenix: My car was absolutely fantastic today, especially on option tires,” said Mike Rockenfeller. “On standard tires, it was a bit more difficult, but we had a great strategy and perfect pit stops. In the end, Gary (Paffett) was a bit faster, but we scored important points for the Championship. It was a good race for us. I’m really pleased.”

Jamie Green in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline finished fifth to clinch his first points since switching to Audi. Green started on option tires and up to the first pit stop on lap 24 was running in third place. His team-mate Mattias Ekström was racing with a completely different strategy.

The Swede made his two pit stops within the first eight laps and drove the remaining 44 laps on the softer option tires. These tactics caused the two-time DTM Champion to advance from grid position 18 to eighth place. In an extremely fierce duel on the last lap, Ekström nearly managed to snatch seventh place from title defender Bruno Spengler. Both cars crossed the finish line side by side.

With Edoardo Mortara in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM in ninth place, Audi Sport Team Rosberg scored points at the Lausitzring as well. Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM) in eleventh place just barely missed a points-finish after being bumped on track by Mercedes driver Roberto Merhi.

Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM/16), Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM/18) and Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM/20) were struggling with heavily degrading rear tires in the final phase. Scheider even made a third pit stop because of that.

“We can be pleased with today’s result,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, summing up the outcome. “Mike (Rockenfeller) drove another really brilliant race today. He made no mistakes and was running with a good strategy. Jamie (Green) scored his first points as an Audi driver. Mattias Ekström managed an amazing recovery.

In total, four of our cars finished in the points. In four weeks from now, an Audi driver will be traveling to the Norisring as the leader of the standings. We’re going to work hard on showing a strong performance at our home race too.”

Prior to that, at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi will be battling for another victory with three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars in the world’s most important endurance race.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “Mike (Rockenfeller) drove a strong and clever race today – that’s the way to clinch titles in the DTM. That he’s leading the standings now after four races says something for ‘Rocky’ as well as for our Audi RS 5 DTM, which has been fast on all tracks so far. Now, the next two major tasks are coming up for us: Le Mans and then our DTM home round at the Norisring where we’ve still got some unfinished business.”

Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): “Obviously, Mike Rockenfeller’s second place is superb. We discussed with him at length how to strategically put him in the best position because we were concerned about the three Mercedes cars at the front. In the end, we chose the best option. That we put Mike on podium in second place – as he of course did through his performance as well – is a good result.”

Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM, 2nd place): “It was a very good race. Starting from position six, we squeezed out the maximum. I even came close to being able to battle for victory but, in all fairness, you’ve got to admit that Gary (Paffett) was simply faster in the end. ‘Thank you’ to my team. It was a clean race and we were quick. We’ve still got to improve some more, though: There are some tracks coming up, particularly the next one, where we haven’t been so strong up to now. But we’re aiming and – have to – achieve the maximum there as well.”

Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, 5th place): “Dropping from third place to fifth was a bit disappointing. But I believe that I drove a good race. I had a good start and was closely following (Christian) Vietoris. But we both lost ground to Mike Rockenfeller. At the end of my first stint, I lost a lot of time when the option tires heavily degraded.”

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, 8th place): “It was nice to drive a good race. But qualifying remains the key. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do from position 18 on the grid. At least, I was able to make up a large number of places. A lot more than that wasn’t possible today.”

Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM, 9th place): “It was a difficult race for me. I’ve scored my first points, but I’m a bit disappointed about ninth place. We were very competitive last year and won two races. And now I’ve got to battle a lot. I’m hoping for things to improve in the coming races.”

Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM, 11th place): “The start was good. I was out of the DRS zone and that’s why it was hard to catch up with ‘Rocky’. My car was okay. Maybe we pitted a bit too late and thus lost a few positions. However, I think that the way some drivers overtake is a bit sketchy – after all, we’re not driving stock car races.”

Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM, 16th place): “We started with a different strategy than the others. In the first turn, I lost a few positions. In the beginning, I had a good pace, but the last stint wasn’t good: My tires were degrading and I wasn’t able to battle anymore. But I believe we’re working in the right direction and are going to achieve a good result soon.”

Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM, 18th place): “We opted for a risky strategy. On the last 15 laps, the tires degraded completely – the car was heavily oversteering.”

Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM, 20th place): “Everything went well at the start. The strategy of initially running on standard tires and to quickly switch to option tires was good. Starting from the rear, we had to take this risk. But then the option tires degraded too heavily and we lost up to three seconds per lap. We had to make a third pit stop. Now we’ve got to analyze why we had such heavy wear.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “As a team, we can be pleased with Jamie (Green) in fifth place and Mattias (Ekström) in eighth. We squeezed out the maximum. All pit stops worked well. Now we’ve got to try and continue to improve our performance and to be in a good position for the Norisring.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “We selected the right strategy again. ‘Rocky’ had a superb speed but was slowed a bit by (Robert) Wickens. After he had overtaken him, victory would have been possible but at the end of the stint on the option tires he had vibrations and we called him into the pits. Otherwise, he’d have passed (Gary Paffett). We had superb pit stops and showed that we’re in contention at the very front. Miguel (Molina) started on option tires. Unfortunately, he got entangled in a starting accident and dropped to the far rear again. For that, this strategy wasn’t right.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “Congratulations to ‘Rocky,’ he drove a great race. He’s on a roll this season and hopefully it’ll continue like this. In Filipe’s (Albuquerque) case, we took a gamble on the strategy but it backfired on us. In the end, the tires lost performance. In the case of Edo (Mortara), the strategy and the speed were okay; we’re happy about the first points. Edo drove a good race. We just had to call him into the pits a bit earlier than planned because he was encountering traffic.”

Audi Motorsport

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Timo Scheider , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Mike Rockenfeller , Robert Wickens , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Filipe Albuquerque , Miguel Molina , Jamie Green , Edoardo Mortara , Adrien Tambay , Roberto Merhi
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing , Audi Sport Team Rosberg
Article type Race report
Tags albuquerque, dtm, ekstrom, green, lausitzring, molina, rockenfeller, tambay