Audi Set the Benchmark at Zandvoort As Well

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September 3, 2004

Source: Audi Motorsport

Zandvoort is obviously another circuit well suited to the new Audi A4 DTM: in both of Friday’s test sessions the Audi drivers were setting the pace on the circuit along the North Sea coast of the Netherlands. At the end of the first test four Audi A4 DTM cars were at the front of the field for the first time ever, and in the second session Audi drivers took the first three places. Quickest driver of the day was Tom Kristensen, the winner of Oschersleben, who was the first DTM driver to undercut the 1m 35s mark at Zandvoort. Leader of the standings Mattias Ekström clocked the second-best time of the day, Christian Abt came in third.

Quotes after Friday’s tests

Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12)
3rd / 1st place, 1m 34.891s (54 laps)
“Zandvoort is a fantastic circuit in a great setting. The A4 responds immediately and positively to all changes. This has helped me feel almost at home during my first race weekend here at Zandvoort already now. Unfortunately there are no points or cups to clinch on Friday.”

Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5)
1st / 2nd place, 1m 35.273s (51 laps)
“No matter whether it’s the TT-R or the A4 DTM – Audi must have installed something that makes us drive like on rails here at Zandvoort. I’m happy with Friday. It certainly looks like we’ve got a powerful Audi squad leading the field.”

Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11)
4th / 3rd place, 1m 35.401s (53 laps)
“I’m super satisfied with both test sessions. We’ve sorted everything out that you possibly could sort out, and that means we’re right on schedule for this weekend. Driving at Zandvoort is great fun. This is where I won my first Formula Junior race years ago, and ever since then I’ve had a special affinity with this unique circuit.”

Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6)
2nd / 5th place, 1m 35.480s (32 laps)
“The need to change the water pump caused me to lose almost an hour of valuable time in the second test this afternoon. But – we made it nevertheless. We’ll just have to use tomorrow’s free practice session to come up with an optimum set-up for the qualifying.”

Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45)
17th / 14th place, 1m 36.266s (60 laps)
“Actually, the car feels very good, and the balance is right. Our performance, though, is not good enough to be at the very front of the field. We have to achieve better grip overall.”

Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44)
11th / 15th place, 1m 36.463s (64 laps)
“My long run was very good, and that makes me optimistic for the race. But for some reason the new tyres aren’t working out, we haven’t improved our lap times enough. Now, we’ve got to find out what’s keeping us from getting the best out of the new tyres.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “This Friday has been exactly to my liking. We know that during the hot battle for the title win we need a solid team performance – and today we’ve taken the first step in this direction. Yet none of our mechanics or drivers will rest on the laurels of the places we’ve clinched today. Instead, everyone will be giving their level best to repeat this performance tomorrow afternoon between 1 and 2 p.m.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest): “Our drivers are very happy with their cars. The long runs went well. Getting the best out of the new tyres continues to be our main problem. An improvement of two tenths of a second is simply not enough. With new tyres, you need to squeeze out almost one second here. We now have to analyse why we’ve not been able to do that so far.”

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “We expected the circuit at Zandvoort to suit our Audi A4 DTM well, and so far our performance has been good. In both tests, we’ve had four cars among the top five respectively, despite the fact that everyone was focused on finding a good set-up for the race today. Having achieved the goals we’ve set so far, our challenge now is to put in the same good work for the qualifying tomorrow.”

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