|May 4, 2013
Source: Audi Media
· Audi begins new DTM season at Hockenheim in position one
· Timo Scheider decides thrilling qualifying session in his favor
· Mattias Ekström in difficult conditions in fifth place
Ingolstadt/Hockenheim – Audi is tackling the new DTM season at the Hockenheimring (Sunday from 13:15 live on “Das Erste”) from position one on the grid. In the first qualifying session of the year, Timo Scheider in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline secured the pole position in extremely difficult track conditions.
Pouring rain in the morning, a track that became increasingly drier in the afternoon: In the battle for the best grid positions, the teams were confronted with continually changing conditions in the DTM opening round at Hockenheim – a case right up the alley of the most successful Audi DTM team and the two-time DTM Champion. In the third qualifying section (Q3), Timo Scheider switched from rain tires to un-treaded rubber at the right moment and on the crucial lap in Q4 was a tenth of a second quicker than BMW driver Augusto Farfus.
“Today you had to make the right decisions, and that’s what we did,” said an overjoyed Timo Scheider after posting his eleventh fasted qualifying time in total in the DTM. “Tomorrow, it’ll be about carefully handling the tires and making the best of this pole position. In any event, starting from the very front with the RS 5 DTM at the DTM season opener at Hockenheim is fantastic – particularly since, before the qualifying session, we really didn’t know where we stood after it was raining in free practice.”
Scheider’s team-mate Mattias Ekström, in fifth place in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, barely missed the shoot-out of the top four. But the Swede showed a strong performance in each of the first three qualifying segments and with his place on the third row of the grid also has a good starting base for the race on Sunday, in which option tires and an adjustable rear wing (DRS) will be used for the first time in the DTM. Furthermore, changes to the set-up of the cars after qualifying are no longer permitted.
The other Audi drivers were less fortunate. Newcomer Jamie Green in his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM was one of the quickest on a wet track but at the crucial moment had to settle for twelfth place. Adrien Tambay whose Audi ultra RS 5 DTM is starting from the Hockenheim grid featuring the colors of the new “Iron Man 3” movie and Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix will be sharing the seventh row.
Filipe Albuquerque in the Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg made it into Q2, but in the second segment complained about oversteer and will start from position 16 on Sunday. Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM) and Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) were eliminated in Q1 in 18th and 19th place.
Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport: “Well done to Timo Scheider, his engineer and Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline: They did everything right today in these extremely difficult conditions and deserve clinching the pole position. But I think that qualifying was just a foretaste of the race tomorrow, which not least due to the conditions today will be a journey into the unknown. Of course it’s our aim to make it into the top ten with more than two cars.”
For the race, sunshine has been predicted. ARD will start airing live coverage from Hockenheim on “Das Erste” on Sunday at 13:15. The new DTM format no longer provides for a warm-up session. Instead, the fans on location will experience a pit stop practice of the DTM teams for the first time as part of the “Pit Walk” starting at 8:55.
Quotes after qualifying at Hockenheim
First DTM race of the season, first pole position for Timo Scheider, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and the Audi RS 5 DTM. Quotes after qualifying at the Hockenheimring. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “After a winter of intensive work in which we tried to squeeze the optimum out of the Audi RS 5 DTM, grid position one at the first race of the season is a nice reward for the entire squad of Audi Sport, our three teams and the suppliers who worked extremely hard over the past few months. Today, we could see how close the competition is again this year in the DTM. The spectators can look forward to an interesting race tomorrow.”
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): “Well done to Timo Scheider, his engineer and Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline: They did everything right today in these extremely difficult conditions and deserve clinching the pole position. But I think that qualifying was just a foretaste of the race tomorrow, which not least due to the conditions today will be a journey into the unknown. Of course it’s our aim to make it into the top ten with more than two cars.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 1
“When you analyze the data in the winter, of course your wish is to do everything better in the new season. We had a rough winter with respect to the development. But I, personally, wanted to improve compared to the previous years as well. Being on the pole position after the first day in the 2013 season is an incredible feeling and is very good for the team too.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 5
“I’m happy with qualifying. My new engineer Florian (Modlinger) and his guys did a perfect job in the wet. In the end, I was struggling a bit in mixed weather and my driving wasn’t perfect. I didn’t make any mistakes but drove too conservatively.”
Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 12
“It was a bit frustrating because we couldn’t squeeze the maximum out of the rain tires in the conditions of a drying track. That’s why, in the end, I didn’t have enough grip when the track got drier. As a result, it was only enough for twelfth place.”
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM), grid position 13
“Compared with free practice on Saturday morning qualifying wasn’t so bad. I only missed Q3 due to a small mistake in the last turn. In the end, we were struggling a bit with the tires but I probably pushed a little too much when the track became drier. We’re starting in the middle of the field, which is always a bit dangerous here at Hockenheim. But I’m going to try and have a good first lap and then continue to battle my way forward.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 14
“Grid position 14 is disappointing. We were running well when it was really wet. In the mixed conditions we did something wrong. Even in Q1 nothing was possible anymore and Q2 was a real catastrophe for me.”
Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM), grid position 16
“In Q1, my performance was good. I was struggling with the set-up because my car had understeer but I managed to compensate for that pretty well and was able to drive a fast lap. But in Q2 it was impossible for me to improve. Something wasn’t right; maybe it was the air pressure.”
Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 18
“This wasn’t the best way to start into the new season. I had traffic in Q1 and wasn’t able to drive a fast lap. That meant it was over for me right after Q1. Tomorrow we’ve got to try and do as good a job as possible of putting the new regulations on track in the first race.”
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 19
“For me, it was a tough qualifying session. We were a bit unfortunate with the conditions and probably didn’t manage making some minor settings on the tire pressure perfectly. The track was starting to dry and I think that our set-up was more suitable for the wetter track because I wasn’t able to improve as much as the other drivers.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “Getting started again after such a long winter with such a result at Hockenheim makes me proud. That’s the reward for the work done by Audi and our team over the past few months. We didn’t know for a long time where we stood. But due to the perfect work of our team and of course of Timo (Scheider) in today’s difficult conditions we clinched the pole position. We can all be very pleased with that.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “After free practice in the rain we were pretty confident. When it was still very wet at the beginning of the qualifying session both drivers were happy. When the track began to dry we had difficulties with the tires, neither of our two drivers was able to improve toward the end of Q1. Miguel (Molina) was eliminated while ‘Rocky’ had a better lap time and moved on. In Q2, we wanted to take advantage of the drying track at the end and only go out then to set our time. But we didn’t manage to do that either. Now we’ve got to advance in the race from unfortunate positions. But thanks to the regulations a lot is possible. We can probably recover quite a bit in the race.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “Congratulations to Dieter Gass and to Timo Scheider. We don’t know exactly yet what we did right or wrong. We’ll only find out in the race on Sunday whether our set-up is on the mark or not. In any event, it’ll be very thrilling.”