Scores Podium Result at DTM Comeback
118,000 spectators witnessed a good DTM debut for the Audi
factory team: The Swede Mattias Ekström brought the Audi A4
DTM home on the podium in its first ever race. With Tom
Kristensen (4th), Martin Tomczyk (5th) and Emanuele Pirro
(7th), three further Audi drivers finished in the points. Audi
was the only manufacturer to score points in the DTM season
opener with four cars. Christian Abt and Frank Biela had no
such luck when being involved in a collision on the opening
lap of the race. While Abt retired, Biela was able to complete
the race after changing the front bonnet.
Quotes after the race
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5)
3rd (+ 9.200s)
"Everybody speaks about the battle between the young guns
and the old hands - now the score is 1:0 for the young guns.
I am also happy for Audi: Finishing the first race as a
factory team on the podium is a good achievement. We must
become a little faster, but I am sure that is something we can
achieve by doing our homework. The race was really hard
especially at the beginning. Everybody was fighting for
Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM
4th (+ 11.798s)
"Unfortunately I lost the winglets on the left side of the
rear when I was hit early on in the race. The balance of the
car was affected, I had problems turning into right-hand
corners - and there are a lot of them at Hockenheim. I
lifted twice not to take any risks on my team mate Martin
Tomczyk. The second time I had to let Mattias by. Compliments
to my pit-crew: Both pit-stops were great."
Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6)
5th (+ 13,836s)
"I am very satisfied with my fifth place in spite of losing
a place to Tom due to the pit-stop strategy. I wanted to come
to the pits earlier, but unfortunately that did not work out
because the radio didn't work. Because of this I dropped
Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM
7th (+ 43.364s)
"I achieved my targets: I finished the race and scored
points although it did not look like that after the start.
First gear jumped out, therefore I dropped way back. The car
was great throughout the entire race, so I could work my way
up to seventh place."
Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45)
16th (- 1 lap)
"For me the race was as disappointing as qualifying. For the
first-lap collision nobody was actually to blame for. Of
course it was a shame, because today a point would have been
possible. At least I could finish the race and see what
happens to the car over a race distance. I hope that will help
me next time."
Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM
Retired (accident damage)
"I was pushed from behind on the first lap and consequently
touched the car in front. The collision resulted in a puncture
and strong vibrations - it was impossible to continue the
race. Of course I am disappointed, because the first race is
always particularly important."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"I am proud of my team; they worked hard over the last
weeks. Particularly here at Hockenheim many things were new
which we had to get used to. In spite of that, the cars were
perfectly prepared, all pit stops worked smoothly, and we
collected our first trophy. This is a good basis on which we
will continue our work."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team
Joest): "A seventh place is not what we are used to from the
previous years. But faced with the fact that it was our first
race in the new DTM and starting from 13th and 14th on the
grid, I am satisfied. The team did a great job; we had clean
pit-stops and good tactics that we adapted during the race.
Thanks to this we made up at least three places."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "That was a
good team effort for the start of the Audi season, despite not
being able to win. Presumably we were a little too
conservative with the entire car set-up, that's why we could
not totally match the speed at the top, especially on fresh
tyres. However, the basis is created. Compliments to the whole
Audi team that made this good debut possible."