Audi Driver Ekström Fastest of the Day at Brno

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September 17, 2004

Source: Audi Communication Motorsport

Clearly achieving the day’s best time, Audi driver Mattias Ekström has entered the crucial phase of the fight for the DTM title at Brno. Shortly before the end of the second test on Friday afternoon, the leader of the standings in his Audi A4 DTM was clocked at 1m 54.121s, putting the Swede almost half a second ahead of the runner-up in the tests. The other Audi drivers, too, found the demanding circuit in the Czech Republic to suit them well right from the start. In the first test in the morning, all of the six Audi A4 DTM cars finished among the top ten.

Quotes after Friday’s tests

Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5)
3rd / 1st place, 1m 54.121s (59 laps)
“I was highly satisfied with my long runs today. It took us a long time to find the optimum set-up for the qualifying – but better late on Friday than not until the free practice session on Saturday. Everything has been sorted out, and I’m happy to be able to go to bed tonight with a good feeling.”

Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12)
2nd / 3rd place, 1m 54.759s (56 laps)
“At Brno we’re driving the longest lap of the whole year. The circuit has many quick corners, which are thrilling and good fun, but sure to be tough across the whole racing distance. My team and I put in a great deal of concentrated work today, though focused primarily on the race – that’s why I was a bit surprised about the good place I achieved today.”

Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6)
6th / 8th place, 1m 55.203s (44 laps)
“I’m not satisfied, because in both test sessions my car didn’t have enough grip. We were heading in all possible directions with our work, but there was nothing to really push us ahead. The distance from the front runners is simply too big. Consequently, we still have a lot of work to do tonight before sorting out what’s left tomorrow morning.”

Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44)
4th / 9th place, 1m 55.211s (59 laps)
“This has been a positive day, I’m quite happy with my car. Being familiar with the circuit from previous stints really helps. This means you can concentrate on working with your car right away without first having to get to know the circuit. At the end of the second test we tried a few more things that didn’t work out so well though. But aside from that everything went very well.”

Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11)
9th / 13th place, 1m 55.865s (47 laps)
“Actually, I’m very fond of drivers’ tracks like Brno. But this circuit is extremely rough on the tyres and has only little grip, so you start sliding about pretty much after merely two or three laps. With more than five kilometres, the track is very long – so a driver can make plenty of mistakes in a single lap.”

Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45)
10th / 16th place, 1m 56.026s (55 laps)
“Having fitted the car with used wheels, this morning looked pretty good. In the second session, as well, the car’s balance was okay with old tyres. We did expect a better result with fresh tyres, though. Tomorrow, quite frankly, there’ll have to be more in it for us.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “So far, everything has been going exactly according to plan: the team and drivers are going about their work in a fully focused and professional manner, without letting anything distract their attention. Even though Friday’s times are not necessarily conclusive, our performance indicates that we are capable of competing at the very front of the field here at Brno as well. That’s the most crucial prerequisite for going into the title fight this weekend.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director, Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest): “We worked very methodically today and pulled off our whole programme. The drivers are quite satisfied with their cars. Emanuele was part of the very front most of the time. The results are encouraging. I do hope that we’ll be able to apply them on the track tomorrow.”

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “As expected, the cars of all three manufacturers are very close to each other at this venue. Today, we primarily prepared for the race, working out good set-ups in the process. Our long runs went quite well. Overheating of the tyres will probably be an issue in the race here, but I think we’re well set to handle this.”

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