September 18, 2004
Source: Audi Communication Motorsport
Right in its first year, the new Audi A4 DTM has clinched as many as four victories, and in the penultimate round at Brno Audi driver Mattias Ekström has the first “matchball” in the fight for the title. With a 13-point lead, the Swede has come to Brno, where the DTM is staging its first away race since 1992. Considering his point-advantage, a second-place finish would suffice for Ekström to secure his title victory before the season has actually ended. Prior to the start of the season, all six Audi drivers had gone to Brno for tests. Emanuele Pirro comments on the longest circuit on this year’s DTM calendar:
What is your impression of the circuit at Brno?
Emanuele Pirro: “I know the track already and think that its layout is very good. The circuit offers ample space for the drivers – in case of the long corners, though, this also means that you need a car with excellent balance. There are a lot of directional changes, that’s why we have to set up our A4 in such a way that it responds very quickly and with high flexibility. And although there are no hard braking points, this track is very rough on our tyres.”
What are the key points for you here at Brno?
Emanuele Pirro: “That’s hard to say. I think it’s the two consecutive rectangular right-hand corners on the infield. That’s where we have to focus on taking as much speed as possible onto the straight and quickly get back on the throttle.”
Where do you see opportunities for overtaking?
Emanuele Pirro: “Because there are only long corners and no hard braking points, this will be a tricky proposition in the race. I believe you have to wait for your rivals to make a mistake. In my opinion – as far as overtaking is concerned – Brno is the most difficult circuit on the whole calendar.”
Brno is the longest track on the calendar. What’s the impact of that?
Emanuele Pirro: “The long laps make it difficult to come up with a flexible strategy for the race. At Adria, pitting for the first time after six laps means that we’re still in the starting phase of the race. But here at Brno we will have already covered a relatively long distance. That doesn’t leave a lot of latitude.”
What do you expect will happen in the first turn after the start?
Emanuele Pirro: “The first turn is not the problem, because there’s plenty of room for all. What’s much more critical is the second corner, as the speeds of the cars at the point of braking will differ considerably there. This is where I’m expecting a lot of overtaking manoeuvres after the start.”