March 6, 2005

Audi Works Drivers Given Clean Bill of Health
Source: Audi Motorsport

  • Audi DTM and sportscar drivers fit for the 2005 season
  • Successful fitness and team spirit week in the Allgau
  • Extreme mountaineer and downhill skier pay a visit

While Audi Sport continues to work flat out on the new Audi A4 DTM and for the sports car season, the Audi drivers made intensive preparations for the 2005 motorsport season at the fitness and team spirit training in Ofterschwang. The Audi works drivers' mental and physical fitness was under close scrutiny for six long days. The results were extremely positive: "Our drivers are in even better shape than one year ago," says Audi team doctor Dr Christian John after taking stock at the end of the week in wintry Allgau.

The training programme was specifically conceived to optimise the basic condition and stamina. The fitness of every single driver was analysed, although special attention was paid to the holding muscles, which are severely stressed in motorsport. "On account of the results we have created an individual fitness plan for each driver to work through till the season starts," says Dr John. "Good condition is particularly important in touring car racing because the physical punishment is very high due to the high cockpit temperatures. During the endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans stamina is of great importance."

The training programme tailored for fitness consisted mainly of jogging, cross-country skiing, spinning, weight training and aqua power. The drivers' powers of concentration were sharpened during archery practice. Team games such as football and water basketball or a snow-shoe tour to the summit of the "Ofterschwanger Horn" to end the training were aimed specifically at intensifying the team spirit. "Obviously at such a training week the main priority is the fitness of our drivers," says Audi Motorsport Head Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "The week is however, also an excellent opportunity for them to get to know each other more intensive and to strengthen the team spirit. It is important that our drivers understand one another and form a real team - team spirit is of great importance especially in a racing series like the DTM and in the endurance races with the R8, which has always been one of Audi's strengths."

That's why Head of Audi Motorsport Head Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and the two team directors Hans-Jurgen Abt and Ralf Juttner also participated in the fitness and team spirit training in addition to the eleven Audi works drivers Christian Abt, Frank Biela, Rinaldo Capello, Mattias Ekstrom, Pierre Kaffer, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, Emanuele Pirro, Frank Stippler, Martin Tomczyk and Marco Werner.

The Audi team were also visited during the week by extreme mountaineer Thomas Bubendorfer and German DSV team downhill skier Stefan Stankalla. In a meeting consisting of Pierre Kaffer, Martin Tomczyk and Dr Christian John the two athletes discussed parallels between their sport and motorsport.

After the successful fitness training week things start to get serious for the Audi drivers: The sportscar season starts on 19 March with the 12-hour race at Sebring (Florida) and the DTM one month later at Hockenheim on 17 April.

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