April 26, 2013
Source: Audi Media
· Newcomer Jamie Green celebrates his Audi debut at season opener
· DRS, option tires and tight schedule: new rules add thrill
· Iron Man 3: spectacular graphics on the RS 5 DTM of Adrien Tambay
Ingolstadt/Hockenheim – With a seasoned driver squad whose combined tally reflects a total of 478 races, 34 victories and four titles plus an Audi RS 5 DTM that has been optimized in many details, Audi is entering the 2013 DTM season on May 5. Technical innovations such as the use of option tires and a rear wing that can be adjusted by the driver on track make for an additional thrill this year.
The DTM has rarely ever before entered a new season with so many unknown quantities. Accordingly, there is a high level of suspense in the Audi Sport squad and Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg. After a winter of intensive work and positive track tests in the past few weeks, the mechanics, engineers and drivers are all looking forward to the first real comparison of strengths with BMW and Mercedes-Benz this year.
Three innovations are awaiting the teams and drivers:
– The Drag Reduction System (DRS) that makes it possible to flatten the rear wing angle by depressing a button on the steering wheel is designed to make overtaking on the race track easier. The system can deliver a speed advantage of five to ten km/h – with respect to how it will perform in the direct duel with the competition there is still a question mark before the opening race.
– The option tire developed by tire partner Hankook allows faster times to be driven on a specified number of laps and provides the strategists with an additional tactical tool.
– The more compact schedule of the race weekend severely limits the working time that is available to the mechanics. With only one 90-minute free practice session before qualifying the experience of the teams and drivers is more crucial than ever before: a fact that could be playing into Audi’s hands because, with a total of 478 races, 34 victories and four titles, the driver squad of the four rings holds all the top marks in the series. Furthermore, the three Audi Sport teams combine the know-how gained in more than 450 DTM races.
A rookie again, despite his 83 DTM races, is Jamie Green, who will be competing at his first race weekend as an Audi factory driver at Hockenheim. The Briton, who has previously won eight rounds – including four events at the Norisring – is the only newcomer to the driver squad of the brand based in Ingolstadt. In addition to Green, Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and Dieter Gass, Head of DTM, rely on drivers from last year: a mix of seasoned campaigners and ambitious youngsters with an average of 28 years.
The youngest of them will be featured in a unique way at Hockenheim: Adrien Tambay, on his race suit and on his Audi RS 5 DTM, will be advertising the movie “Iron Man 3.” His pit crew will be sporting the theme of the hero as well. In the new Marvel action film featuring Robert Downey Jr.and Gwyneth Paltrow, the Audi R8 e-tron is one of the protagonists. The movie will arrive at German theaters on Wednesday, May 1, before the DTM weekend at Hockenheim.
In line with the compact schedule, the timing of the two most important events of the weekend has slightly changed as well: Qualifying starts at 14:30 on Saturday, May 4 and the race on Sunday at 13:30. As always, ARD will air live coverage on both days on “Das Erste.” Tickets for all DTM races of the 2013 season are available at www.audi-motorsport.com/DTM
Quotes by the officials
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): “I’m looking forward to working even more closely with the drivers and the teams in the DTM. The first run at Hockenheim is new territory for me but I know that I’ve got a strong squad backing me that, like me, is tackling the job highly motivated. The season opener will be interesting because even after the track tests in the past few weeks we can’t assess exactly where we stand. In the few areas permitted by the regulations, we worked extremely hard at Audi Sport in the winter. Now, we’re jointly going to do everything within our means to ensure that the work we’ve invested will pay off and that we’ll be able to battle with our competitors on an equal footing again.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “It’s great that we’re finally getting started again. We used the winter to again perfectly prepare ourselves as a team for the new challenges of this season. With the new tactical options and shorter practice opportunities, team work is more important than ever. Our newcomer, Jamie Green, immediately gelled really well with us and brought a fresh breeze to the squad. After a difficult year in 2012, the motivation of the whole team is at an all-time high. We’re going to try and pick up a lot of momentum for the season right away by clinching a good result at Hockenheim.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “After six months without DTM races, the whole squad is just dying for things to start again in earnest. We had eight test days and particularly the findings from Hockenheim give me a positive feeling. Now we’re eager to find out where we really stand in qualifying and the race compared with the competition.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “We’re happy that the season is finally starting again. The entire squad is highly motivated – not least because Hockenheim is our team’s home round. Last year, we achieved the aims we’d set for the season, finished as the best Audi team and scored the brand’s two victories as well. We want to continue like this.”
Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers
Filipe Albuquerque (27/P), Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM #6 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
– Before the season, was honored for his achievements by his home town Coimbra
– Starts into his third season with the same team and team-mate
“I’m eager to see how significantly the cars of all the brands have continued to develop in the winter despite the tight regulations. DRS, option tires, less time on track on a weekend – let’s see how the drivers will cope with that. I’m hoping to manage well.”
Mattias Ekström (34/S), Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #11 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
– Is the most senior and – with 17 victories – most successful Audi DTM driver
– Has won the Hockenheim season opener twice before
“Hockenheim will be one of the most thrilling races in my DTM career. I can’t remember ever having been so excited. The further development of the cars, DRS, option tires – there are many unknown factors. Last year, the season, with a pole position at Hockenheim, started very well for me. Of course it would be great to make such a start again.”
Jamie Green (30/GB), Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #12 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
– Contests his first DTM race for Audi at Hockenheim
– Was on podium at Hockenheim seven times before and celebrated two victories
“For me, the race at Hockenheim not only is a great challenge but the beginning of a new chapter in my life. A red-silver race suit, a car in Red Bull colors and plenty of rings – everything has been very exciting for me since I switched to Audi. The first race will be the pinnacle of this stage so far. I’m very much looking forward to it and am eager to see where we stand.”
Miguel Molina (24/E), Audi RS 5 DTM #20 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
– Achieved his only podium result in the DTM to date at Hockenheim
– Set up a second residence in Adenau to spend more time with his team
“I’m incredibly excited about Hockenheim because the winter seemed to be longer than usual for me this time. It’ll be a different experience going out on track for the first time on Saturdays. And with respect to the new rules there are still some question marks too. But I’m optimistic because we were able to sort a lot of things during the track tests and are traveling to the race well prepared.”
Edoardo Mortara (26/F/I), Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
– At Spielberg and Zandvoort, scored the only two DTM wins for Audi in 2012
– After the 2012 season, again won the GT Cup in the Audi R8 LMS ultra in Macau
“The nice thing before the first race is that nobody really knows where they stand compared with the competition. I wouldn’t venture any predictions either. I hope that our hard work over the past few months pays off and that in the 2013 season we’ll be more competitive than last year.”
Mike Rockenfeller (29/D), Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #19 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
– Was the best Audi driver in the DTM in the 2012 season
– In 2013, is exclusively concentrating on the DTM events
“For me, the season opener at Hockenheim is one of the pinnacles of the season: a great track, a large crowd at the Motodrom and plenty of suspense. And with the new possibilities that make overtaking on the track easier, the race will be even more thrilling for the spectators – as well as for us drivers, by the way.”
Timo Scheider (34/D), AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #23 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
– Is the only driver in the field who was on the grid at the DTM’s comeback in 2000
– In his black car, clinched his two DTM titles in 2008 and 2009
“I can already clearly feel the butterflies in my stomach. My excitement about the first race coming up is huge. Personally, I had a great winter with a lot of nice experiences and moments. I’d like to take this positive mindset with me into the cockpit. Plus, after a couple of years, I’m sitting in a black car again. I’ve clinched two titles before with this color and thinking about that gives me an extra motivation boost.”