In the paddock, right behind the pit-lane and the team trucks, you can find the Audi Team hospitality. Throughout a DTM weekend, the ‘team tent’ represents the second home for drivers, team members, sponsors and journalists. Here, everybody meets to exchange information, cultivate their contact networks and – quite obviously – to eat.
Still, a lot of hard work has to be executed before the hospitality can open its gates for the team members and visitors. The erection works already start on early Monday morning prior to the respective DTM weekend. And on Thursday afternoon, at 17.00hrs local time, the work is done and the hospitality is opened. During the course of the weekend, a 32-person staff attends to the well-being of the guests. ‘From Thursday to Sunday we serve between 3,000 and 3,500 dishes,’ says Marisa Riedinger who is responsible for the Audi catering.
17 waitresses and waiters make sure that every guest receives what he has ordered. Despite the major effort, a good working atmosphere is vital – and this does not only apply to the mechanics, engineers, drivers and Team Principals alone who give their very best for thee on-track success – but also to the staff that attends to the well-being of team members and visitors. And despite the pressure, the drivers always are friendly. ‘The atmosphere is truly relaxed and amicable,’ reveals Wiebke Petzold, Chef de Rang. ‘And when the order of somebody is forgotten?’ ‘Even then, nobody responds annoyed,’ she says.
The drivers appreciate the quiet hospitality atmosphere. ‘Such a team tent is a nice location,’ explains Martin Tomczyk. ‘There, you just can sit down to get away from it all for a moment or meet somebody for a nice chat.’ And for the mechanics, the hospitality located behind the garages and the team trucks also represents an oasis of calm. ‘The mechanics meet here for off-track conversations,’ Tomczyk adds. ‘That boosts the team spirit.