Drivers Looking Forward to DTM at Estoril
Source: Audi Sport
Two weeks after the successful DTM debut at Hockenheim, the new Audi A4 DTM is facing its next challenge: In the "Tribute to Ayrton Senna" event at Estoril, Portugal, the two Audi factory teams Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest will race on kown terrain: Both teams got to know the track close to Portugal's capital Lisbon during the official DTM tests in March. Audi driver Tom Kristensen set the fastest overall time of the tests in 1m 34.394s.
Since the test, the Audi A4 DTM was developed in numerous details and meanwhile has an even more efficient aerodynamics that proved itself during the debut at Hockenheim and will have an even more positive effect on a track with many corners like Estoril. Correspondingly the Audi drivers are really looking forward to the first foreign race of the 2004 DTM season.
Quotes before the race
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Audi A4 DTM #5): "Estoril will be very interesting. I am tightened where we stand compared to the competition. Top speed is still an issue at Estoril, but fortunately the track as plenty of corners. that suit our Audi A4 DTM. I hope, compared to Hockenheim, we will be able to reduce the gap to the colleagues from Stuttgart."
Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt Audi A4 DTM #6): "We had a very productive test at Estoril at which we worked out a good basic setup. The track does not have such a long straight as Hockenhheim but many fast and slow corners - this mix suits our Audi A4 DTM very well. I've won a Formula ADAC race at Estoril in 1999, however, whether the track suits to me also in a DTM car I'll be able to tell only after the race..."
Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM #11): "I'm looking forward very much to Estoril. The track is fabulous, the atmosphere near the sea very special. I have good memories to races close to the ocean since my victory in the night race at Misano in 1999, and also of Zandvoort. I hope for our A4 DTM being even more competitive than at Hockenheim. I'll try to be faster in qualifying in order to be able to start further in front and keep out of trouble at the start."
Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM #12): "Hockenheim was a good start for Audi into the DTM. Contrary to Hockenheim, Estoril is one of the race tracks which I know, therefore I have to be fast there. During the tests in March we were competitive. In the last corner before start and finish the balance of the Audi A4 DTM was very good. That is important to take the speed onto the long straight."
Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest Audi A4 DTM #44): "I am quite optimistic for Estoril. We learned a lot about the car at Hockenheim, I feel at home in the A4 DTM. The tests at Estoril were running also very well. The track is very technical. You need a lot of downforce which our Audi has got. I believe we should look very good at Estoril."
Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest Audi A4 DTM #45): "I was at Estoril for the first time ever during the test. The track is demanding and very physical for the driver. It might be even warmer at Estoril than at the tests in march. The track is interesting and fun to drive. What we found out during testing should make the start of the weekend much easier for us. Personally, I'll try to make the best of what I've learned at Hockenheim to produce a good result."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "With the good result at Hockenheim my squad has got even more self-confidence. The preparation of our A4 and the practice of the team ran very calmly, professional and without pressure during the last couple of days. I think the Estoril track should fit better to our car than Hockenheim did. Our aim is therefore clear: At least we want to finish on the podium again."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest): "We tested with the Audi A4 DTM at Estoril before the season started and since Hockenheim our team knows how a DTM weekends runs - in that respect Estoril should not be as hard for us as the debut. We will try to look better, particularly in qualifying. Because the trucks must set off already on Sunday, the preparation time was very tight. Luckily, only minor things had to be done on the cars."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "The Audi A4 DTM made a very strong impression during testing at Estoril. We would like to confirm this impression in the race, trying to be victory-capable. The track at Estoril has a completely different character than Hockenheim. Personally I find the track very beautiful, we look forward to a further thrilling DTM race."