|August 10, 2006
Audi Target Counter Strike at the Nurburgring
The Audi squad prepared itself for the eagerly awaited final spurt in the DTM with a three-day test at Oschersleben. The "second-half” of the most popular international touring car race series begins on Sunday, 20 August at the Nürburgring and at whose end an Audi driver should, if possible, head-up the championship table. After the opening five races, Tom Kristensen from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline lies eight-points behind championship leader Bernd Schneider – two less than the ten points that Kristensen lost within sight of the chequered flag due to an unlucky retirement whilst leading at Brands Hatch.
Following the difficult race for Audi at the Norisring, the team, lead by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, aims to strike back by claiming its third victory of the season in the Eifel. The omens are good: Mattias Ekström and Tom Kristensen scored a one-two for Audi last year at the Nürburgring. Ekström set the fastest time ever to be recorded by a DTM car on the 3.629 kilometre track in qualifying with the Audi A4 DTM.
Ekström and Kristensen made intensive preparations for the second-half of the season at the test at Oschersleben. Furthermore, both drivers hope to receive active support from their Audi team mates, of whom several consider the race in the Eifel to be their "home race” – first and foremost Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who will stop at nothing to silence the criticism levelled at him in the media, by producing an excellent result.
With its headquarters at the Nürburgring industrial estate in Meuspath, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, which has shown improving form recently together with Audi Sport Team Rosberg and customer team Futurecom TME with its pair of 2004 cars, has a genuine ‘home game’.
The sixth DTM race of the season promises to be yet another highlight – and this in front of an incredible backdrop: The grandstand seats around the Nürburgring are already sold out; only standing room tickets are available at the turnstiles on the day. The trip to the Eifel is also worthwhile for the ARD Chart Show, during which the band "Silbermond” will set the fans pulses racing shortly before the start of the DTM race. Those who prefer to follow the race in television will get their money’s worth from ARD, which broadcasts the entire race live in "Das Erste” from 1:45 p.m. local time.
Quotes before the race at the Nürburgring
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "The Nürburgring is one of the circuits on which we have always been very competitive and it should also be the case this time around. We’ll try to get a result that will make it easier to forget the Norisring and, which more importantly puts us in a stronger position in the championship. Our goal is to be as competitive as we were at Oschersleben and Brands Hatch.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "It goes without saying that we want to carry on where we left off last year, when we left the Nürburgring with a one-two. The Nürburgring has always been very kind to us, and after the ‘drought’ at the Norisring we are especially motivated to score a good result.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "The past has shown us that the Audi A4 is competitive at the Nürburgring. We have never run the A4 there ourselves, however, we expect that team will also put in a good performance there as well. We’re aiming to score points again, and will work harder to make sure that we qualify better.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "After the relatively good weekend at the Norisring I hope that the good results continue to come our way. It’s actually a home race for both Timo und ‘Stippi’. With luck on their sides they could both finish in the points.”
Facts about the DTM race at the Nürburgring
Pole Position 2005
DTM lap record