|May 6, 2012
Source: Audi Motorsport
· Mattias Ekström in fifth place is best Audi driver
· Timo Scheider advances from grid position twelve to sixth place
· Four Audi A5 DTM cars in the points
Ingolstadt/Klettwitz, – Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider occupied positions five and six for Audi thus scoring important points in the DTM race at the Lausitzring in front of 72,000 spectators (throughout the weekend). In total, four Audi A5 DTM cars finished in the top ten.
In extremely low temperatures the two drivers from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline pushed forward from grid positions eight (Ekström) and twelve (Scheider) – also assisted by the quickest pit stops in the entire field and consistently good lap times. The fast lap by Mattias Ekström was merely 101 thousandths slower than that of winner Bruno Spengler (BMW).
Ekström in the Red Bull Audi A5 DTM improved by one position right at the start, thanks to a better first pit stop moved past Martin Tomczyk in the BMW and ultimately overtook Edoardo Mortara as well. In the final phase, Ekström on position five was able to drive similar times as the front runners. “We didn’t have the pace today to win the race but we again learned a lot,” said the Swede after crossing the finish line. “This is the most important thing. In addition, I scored more valuable points.” Ekström, with 25 points after two rounds, has an equal score as Bruno Spengler, who is ranking third in the standings.
Timo Scheider drove a strong race as well. After starting from P12 on the grid, the two-time DTM Champion in his AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM advanced to ninth place as early as on lap one. With a long first stint he improved to sixth place. After the second pit stop, Scheider fought a brief duel with Mattias Ekström for fifth place. Afterward, he concentrated on bringing the eight points for sixth place home.
With Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM) and Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM) taking eighth and ninth place, the two drivers of Audi Sport Team Rosberg scored points as well. Albuquerque pushed forward into the top ten after starting from position eleven on the grid. After a good start, Mortara was running in fourth place at first but then complained about a lack of grip and lost four positions.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix that celebrated victory at the Lausitzring last year was unable to score any points. Mike Rockenfeller started from the second row in his Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM but hit the outside curbs hard in turn one and afterwards – also due to a problem during the second pit stop – dropped all the way to position 13. His team-mate Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) lost valuable time in the pits too and finished the race in 15th place.
After his early retirement that was no fault of his own at Hockenheim, Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) finished his second DTM race on position 18 after many duels. Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM) drove consistently fast lap times and on position 20 clearly won the ladies’ duel against her rival Susie Wolff.
The assessment by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “Obviously, we can’t be satisfied with the result because we again failed to get the tires on our cars to work properly in the race. Mattias (Ekström) and Timo (Scheider) made the best of their less than optimal grid positions today and improved by several places – and with very good lap times in some of the phases. Still, we’ve got to gain a better understanding of our A5 and fully exploit the potential. We’re going to work hard on this. Congratulations to BMW! I’ve always said that they’ll be competitive in the DTM right from the outset.”
Quotes after the race at the Lausitzring
Ingolstadt/Klettwitz, May 6, 2012 – Four Audi A5 DTM cars in the points, Mattias Ekström with an equal point score as the third-placed driver in the standings. Recovery by Timo Scheider. Quotes after the DTM race at the Lausitzring.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “It was a very tough race. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the overall performance we’d been hoping for. In the case of Timo (Scheider) and Mattias (Ekström) we tried something between warm-up and the race – I think that was a step in the right direction. But we’ve got to use the two weeks between now and the next race at Brands Hatch to be in contention for victory there again.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), 5th place
“Naturally, it’s a nice thing to be the best Audi driver. Fifth place isn’t perfect but we scored important points for the championship. We’ve got to continue to work hard in order to have a better pace at the next race weekend.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM), 6th place
“It was a good race. I had a really good start; there was a bit of commotion in turn one. Performance was good afterwards, I moved forward with a few overtaking maneuvers and a good strategy. In the end, I caught Mattias (Ekström) and that meant I couldn’t advance any more. We had a nice fight. I’m glad to be taking a few points home.”
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM), 8th place
“These were the first points for me this season. I’m a bit disappointed about the result. After the start, we were running in fourth place but unfortunately I wasn’t able to maintain this position. It was a difficult race for me and we know that we’ve got to improve.”
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), 9th place
“I started from eleventh place and finished in ninth. The team had a good strategy and quick pit stops. I was a bit faster than Edo (Mortara). For the future, I need to concentrate more on qualifying in order to have a better starting base for the race. But I’m happy that I was able to score points here again.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), 13th place
“My start wasn’t very good but until turn one everything was okay. Then I was slightly hit in the rear, unfortunately had to open up the steering, ran a curb and made a huge jump. Something on the car probably got damaged in the process. We lost a few places. Afterward, there was no pace in the car anymore. Unfortunately, we also had a problem at the second stop and lost points. A race to forget. Now we need to look ahead – to the next race at Brands Hatch.”
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), 15th place
“The race was not as good as we’d been hoping for. Our pace was good but we made a mistake at the first pit stop. I gave my best, tried to be quick and to overtake a few rivals. I’m hoping for the next race to be better.”
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM), 18th place
“It was really a tough race. My pace at first was good but then the situation really became difficult. I had a lot of problems with the car and had my hands full. My A5 in the race was not comparable to the car in practice and qualifying. We need to analyze now what happened.”
Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM), 20th place
“For me, the race ended the weekend on a positive note. Toward the end we had a great pace and superb pit stops. After the jinxed qualifying and poor free practice, this was satisfactory. I’m hoping to be able to continue this way at Brands Hatch.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “You could tell that we were lacking pace. We fought hard for positions. Fifth and sixth place are improvable. We advanced with both cars from positions eight and twelve. This is only the second round and we’ve got to continue to work hard on further improving our speed in the race.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “Congratulations to BMW on achieving victory at the second race. For us, it was clearly a disappointment. Both cars started in the top ten and finished in 13th and 15th place. After the starting lap, both cars lost positions. The pit stops didn’t work out; that’s why we hit traffic with both vehicles. We need to analyze this and see where we can improve, find a bit more race speed and attack again next time.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “A difficult race. The expectations I pinned on Edo (Mortara) had been a bit higher. Having both cars in the points is positive as well as the fact that both vehicles are not damaged. That was important. ‘Well done’ to the squad that has been working hard over the past few months.”