|June 26, 2004
Three Audi Cars Among Top Ten at Norisring
In the qualifying session for the DTM race at the Norisring three Audi drivers finished among the top ten. Tom Kristensen, Christian Abt and Mattias Ekström in their Audi A4 DTM cars qualified on Saturday for the single timed lap of the ten best-placed drivers. The quickest Audi driver in the so-called "super pole" qualifying was the Dane Tom Kristensen, who finished sixth. Christian Abt and Mattias Ekström were struck by bad luck: the German had to repeat his super pole lap due to yellow flags in the final corner and did not achieve the same speed in his second attempt. Leader of the standings Mattias Ekström was slowed down by a tyre puncture and will be starting from position nine on Sunday. Martin Tomczyk, Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela will be starting from positions 13, 17 and 19. The race will start at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday.
Quotes after qualifying
Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12) 6th place, "Super Pole", 49.060s
Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11) 8th place,"Super Pole", 49.511s
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5) 9th place, "Super Pole", 49.524s
Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6) 13th place 49.047s
Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44) 17th place, 49.334s
Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45) 19th place, 49.383s
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "Our team performance, yet again, was very good. We've managed to get three cars into the top ten. That's a very good base for contesting the race. 72 laps at the Norisring are very long. That Mattias suffered a setback from a puncture was really too bad. But, if given the choice, I'd rather see this happening in the qualifying session than in the race."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest): "This has really been a very difficult weekend for us so far. The past two days, our crew worked on both cars late into the night. We've tried a lot of different things, and now it looks at least as though Emanuele is getting along better. We know that he's always good in the race. What shall I say, we'll simply have to attack the field from the rear."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Today has clearly shown that there's no such thing as a home advantage in the DTM. We knew that the Norisring is a difficult track for us. Nevertheless, we're somewhat disappointed by the qualifying result, particularly since things weren't looking all that bad after the free practice session in the morning. Now, we'll leave no stone unturned to make the best of the situation in the race."