|May 14, 2004
Audi Drivers Set the Pace at Adria
At the second foreign event of the DTM 2004, the Audi drivers are once again setting the pace. At Adria International Raceway near Venice, Mattias Ekström and Tom Kristensen with their Audi A4 DTM touring cars, were the quickest on Friday. In the morning, Ekström was leading the field just ahead of Kristensen, while in the afternoon the Danish driver turned the tables by clocking the best time of the day in 1m 11.873s. Matthias Ekström followed a mere 0.011 seconds behind in second place. Frank Biela, as well, returned to the front of the field: the former DTM champion drove the third-best time in the morning.
Quotes after Friday's tests
Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12)
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5)
Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44)
Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45)
Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6)
Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11)
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "With places one and two, we've achieved a perfect start to the weekend. Yet, tomorrow's qualifying will be the real acid test: because overtaking will be extremely difficult here at Adria, a good grid position is worth its weight in gold. And today we've laid the foundation for this."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director, Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest): "Compliments to the team: things here are running a lot better at this point than they were at Hockenheim and Estoril, and our drivers, as well, seem to be handling the circuit that's new to them well. Aside from the fact that we had to change the battery on Emanule's car several times, we managed to pull off our full programme today. If we can repeat this result in the qualifying session, I'll certainly be satisfied."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi motorsport): "Yet again, our Audi A4 DTM cars were running without any problems worth mentioning. They're consistently quick, as our long runs have shown. The tests confirmed that the track is extremely hard on the brakes, but we're prepared for this. I'm sure that we'll have a good setup for the qualifying session as well. Today's tests have shown how tight the fighting is at this venue: the first ten cars are within four tenths of a second of each other. The fans can look forward to a thrilling qualifying."