|July 30, 2004
Audi Driver Ekström is Quickest by Far
Mattias Ekström has impressively affirmed his stated intention to recapture Audi's lead in the DTM. On Friday, the 26-year old Swede in his Audi A4 DTM was the quickest contender far ahead of the competition. In the morning, he relegated team-mate Tom Kristensen to second place by 0.045 seconds, in the second test in the afternoon the Audi works driver topped the competition by nearly half a second. Five of the six Audi drivers managed to make it into the top ten.
Prior to the qualifying session (starting at 1 p.m. local time) the Audi drivers will be receiving a group of distinguished visitors: the football team of FC Bayern München will be dropping round at the Nürburgring. A tour of the Audi pits is on the agenda to provide the team with a backstage impression of Europe's most popular touring car series.
Quotes after Friday's tests
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5) 1st / 1st place, 1m 24.466s (67 laps)
Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11) 7th / 6th place, 1m 25.129s (59 laps)
Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12) 2nd / 8th place, 1m 25.199s (46 laps)
Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44) 16th / 7th place, 1m 25.252s (77 laps)
Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45) 17th / 10th place, 1m 25.330s (69 laps)
Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6) 12th / 14th place, 1m 25.570s (47 laps)
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "The work we did today was clearly focused, and we tried out different things with our four cars to collect as much data as possible. Mattias was the quickest in both tests, and his long run was very good, too. This makes me feel very confident."
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest): "Compliments to the squad who had only a short time to prepare the cars after our trip to China. Today was very productive, and we consistently worked in the right direction. Mattias - yet again - is in a class by himself, but the rest are incredibly close to each other. Nevertheless, we had both cars make it into the top ten. If we can manage to do that tomorrow as well, I'll be happy."
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Five cars among the top ten - that's a very good result. Today, we focused on working our way through our whole programme. I think we'll have a very good setup for tomorrow. It would be nice if tomorrow we could show the same strength we demonstrated today."