After a four-week summer break the battle for points in the DTM, the most popular international touring car series, will finally resume at the Nürburgring from August 6 to 8. Clearly, the car to be beaten in the Eifel is the Audi A4 DTM.
Each of the three most recent events held on the 3.629-kilometer short-version of the Nürburgring saw an Audi A4 DTM start from the pole position. Three victories in the past five years speak a clear language as well. Particularly impressive was last year’s performance when Audi celebrated a commanding one-two-three-four win and significantly outdistanced its rivals from Stuttgart.
- Past five years have seen three Audi victories in the “Eifel”
- Audi A4 DTM has been on pole at Nürburgring three consecutive time
- Home round for Audi Sport Team Phoenix
The squad around Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich now aims to continue this outstanding exploit. “I’m sure that we’ve got several irons in the fire to have some say in the battle for victory at the Nürburgring again this year,” assures Dr. Ullrich. “Our goal is to make up ground in the standings with a strong performance by the whole team.”
In this endeavor Dr. Ullrich can not only rely on the Nürburgring having suited the Audi A4 DTM well so far. Most of his drivers, too, are looking forward to the race in the Eifel with particularly eager anticipation – above all this applies to Martin Tomczyk, who won the 2007 and 2009 races after having started from the pole position and who posted the fastest race lap in 2008. In 2009 the driver from Rosenheim, Bavaria, who lives in Switzerland, was the front runner in each of the practice sessions, which even got his team colleagues thinking. No wonder that Tomczyk himself calls the race at the Nürburgring his “season highlight.”
Home round for one team and two drivers
For Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider, the race is a highlight as well because the Nürburgring has traditionally been a home round for all three of them. The distance between the Phoenix team base in the Meuspath industrial park and the entrance to the paddock is less than three kilometers. In addition, team director Ernst Moser’s driver line-up includes a native of the Rhineland – Mike Rockenfeller. The Le Mans winner grew up in Neuwied, about 50 kilometers away from the “Ring.” The roots of the current champion, Timo Scheider, are not far away from the Nürburgring either: he was raised about 70 kilometers from the venue, in Braubach on the Rhine.
Special topographical and meteorological characteristics
With respect to the set-up of the Audi A4 DTM the Nürburgring does not require any extreme solutions like the Norisring most recently did. “We are starting into the Eifel weekend with the same set-up as last year,” explains Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, the Technical Director of Audi Sport. “The modifications consist of adapting the tires, which are new this year, to this track.” In addition, the “Ring” requires the engineers and strategists to practice the art of improvisation primarily in two areas. The topography of the circuit causes interruptions in radio communications between the drivers and teams on each lap. And the unpredictable weather in the Eifel has repeatedly played a crucial part in determining the outcome of the races in recent years.
Topics of the weekend
- Will Martin Tomczyk manage to clinch his third Nürburgring win since 2007?
- Will Audi, like last year, capture the best grid position in the Eifel?
- Will Audi Sport Team Phoenix be able to shine with a strong showing at its home round?
- Will Markus Winkelhock manage to continue his good performance from last year?
- Will Miguel Molina be able to convert his track knowledge of the Nürburgring into points again?
- Will the weather in the Eifel again be marked by rapid changes?
Quotes by the officials
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
“In recent years the Nürburgring has consistently been a very good track for Audi. I think that we’ll be able to show a good performance again this year. We’ve got to make use of our potential to achieve maximum points, and we’ll all be working toward achieving this goal. I’m looking ahead positively and, like all DTM fans, am eager to see the season continue after the four-week break. After this break our motivation is particularly high.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
“The Nürburgring is tied to many great experiences for us. We’ve clinched many victories there. Our racing series is just really getting started now. Obviously, I’m hoping for us to go home with a great result. We’re doing our best to keep the championship thrilling.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):
“The Nürburgring is the home round not just for Phoenix. ‘Rocky,’ too, hails from this region. So it’s the home race for two parties in the team. Consequently, we’re expecting many acquaintances, friends and partners from the surrounding area, which gives us particular motivation to improve compared with the Norisring. Considering the experience ‘Rocky’ and we’ve got at the Nürburgring, a good result should be possible. The track has many narrow sections. That’s where you’ve got to let the car coast, in other words, you enter the turn at high speed and then take that speed with you. In the inside sections you need good traction and on the others good balance.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):
“I’m looking forward to the Nürburgring and the Rhineland Evening hosted by quattro GmbH. For us it’s sort of a second home race because I was born in the vicinity of the circuit. I’m hoping for us to break our duck and to score points for the first time. We saved a few tires at the Norisring. Hopefully, this will benefit us at the Nürburgring.”
- Audi Motorsport