Five Audi A4 DTM Cars Among the Top Ten
A strong team performance was shown by Audi in the qualifying session for the seventh DTM round at the Nürburgring. For the first time in the 2005 season, five Audi drivers qualified for the Super pole – and for the first time, as well, this included a driver of a 2004-spec A4. Title defender Mattias Ekström in the Audi A4 DTM entered by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline clocked 1m22.793s, marking the best time ever to have been achieved by a DTM car on the Nürburgring’s sprint circuit. Team-mate Tom Kristensen and Christian Abt in last year’s A4 of Audi Sport Team Joest completed the Audi trio at the top. Allan McNish and Martin Tomczyk took positions five and six.
However, in the subsequent single timed lap of the quickest ten, with slightly different grip conditions, the Audi drivers did not match their qualifying times. Despite being seven tenths slower, Mattias Ekström managed to claim third place on the grid. Tom Kristensen, Martin Tomczyk and Allan McNish claimed positions six, seven and eight. Christian Abt as the quickest driver of a car from last year will start from the fifth row. Frank Stippler, Rinaldo Capello and Pierre Kaffer will enter the race on Sunday, which is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., from 14th, 17th and 19th place. ARD will broadcast live from the Eifel, starting at 1:45 p.m. (local time).
Quotes after qualifying
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #1)
Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt #5)
Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #2)
Allan McNish (Audi Sport Team Abt #6)
Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #14)
Frank Stippler (Audi Sport Team Joest #19)
Rinaldo Capello (Audi Sport Team Joest #18)
Pierre Kaffer (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #15)
Albert Deuring (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “After the strong qualifying, we had difficulties with track conditions in the Super pole. Whilst our competitors knew the pace from the qualifying practice, we lost too much time compared to our qualifying performance, and this was reflected by the result. Now, we’re going to try and work our way forwards in the race with a good strategy.”
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “I have mixed emotions. I regret that both Pierre Kaffer and Rinaldo Capello were not satisfied with their tyres and that Frank Stippler was slowed down in both of his fast laps. Then we had to replace a leaking radiator on his car, which our boys accomplished in a fantastic six minutes. Unfortunately, we saw no major improvement in the third attempt either. I’m happy for Christian Abt, who, clocking the third-best time in the qualifying session, showed an incredibly strong performance. I suppose that afterwards, in the Super pole, he was a bit too cautious. Still: for tomorrow, we’re hoping for points again.”
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “The qualifying result was a strong performance of the whole squad. In the Super pole, all of our drivers immediately complained about poor grip. We need to find out the reason for this and make the best of it in the race. Generally speaking, our cars have so far left a strong impression here.”