|April 11, 2007
Audi Sport’s “Lake Constance Connection”
The final test days before the new DTM season starts in earnest on 22 April at Hockenheim have been running at the Motorsportarena Oschersleben since Tuesday. Mattias Ekström, Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider could have easily shared one of their 420 hp Audi RS 4 road cars on the way to north-east Germany: In the meantime, the four Audi factory drivers have all set-up their home at Lake Constance.
The scene already speaks about the "Lake Constance Connection”, which is completed by sportscar driver Marco Werner: The two-time Le Mans winner lives, like Lucas Luhr, in Ermatingen (Switzerland). "Marco and I do a lot together,” explains Luhr. Motorbike tours or water sports for example. "Eki also shows up now and again with his dogs.”
While Marco Werner set up home at Lake Constance several years ago, Mattias Ekström moved residence from his Swedish home to Salenstein a year ago. "I wanted to be closer to both Audi Sport and my team,” explains the DTM Champion from 2004. "I liked the area around Lake Constance the most when I was searching for a new home.”
Lucas Luhr and Mike Rockenfeller moved to Lake Constance from Monaco at the beginning of the year, and are now working through their daily fitness programme in the luscious green countryside rather than jogging through the Monegasque concrete jungle.
While Ekström, Luhr, Rockenfeller and Werner live on the Swiss shores of Lake Constance, Timo Scheider moved to the Austrian village of Altach a few years ago. The young family father particularly appreciates the proximity of the mountains. "I’m a child of nature and find the peace and tranquillity here I require to recharge my batteries before a hectic race weekend,” explains Scheider.
That the Audi factory drivers living on Lake Constance regularly meet in their spare time is absolutely in the interests of Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport: "Sportscar racing and the DTM are a team sport,” says Dr Ullrich. "It is teamwork and not lone wolves that are required at Le Mans or in the DTM. You can only be successful if you respect and pay attention to one another. You need your team mates.”
The two new Audi factory drivers Lucas Luhr and Mike Rockenfeller have already benefited from the "Lake Constance Connection”: They received valuable tips for their forthcoming DTM debut from their well-known neighbour Mattias Ekström. Just how useful they were, will be revealed on 22 April at Hockenheim.