Sights set on clinching first win of the season at Spielberg (Austria).
Ingolstadt, July 28, 2014 In the DTM, Spielberg stands for thrilling races and enthusiastic fans in a beautiful setting. Next weekend (August 1 to 3) the circuit in Styria is to become the venue of the Audi squads first victory this season. Motorsport fans will get to watch the qualifying session on Saturday on prime time: ARD will start to broadcast live from Austria at 18.00 (CEST).
From bustling Moscow to tranquil Styria: Round six at Spielberg next weekend marks the start of the DTMs second half of the season. Audi is lying in wait: Mattias Ekström, the 2004 and 2007 Champion, in second place of the standings, is within striking distance of the leader Marco Wittmann. Four other Audi drivers are waiting for their opportunities in the top ten. In the manufacturers standings, the brand continues to rank at the top.
The 4.326-kilometer circuit, which is the third-longest one on the calendar, has been a good track for the four rings in previous races. The first two victories after the circuit was re-opened three years ago went to Audi drivers. Now, the squad is wishing for the next win and first one of the season to follow. While in the first half of the year the Audi drivers have been scoring more points (223) and podium places (8) than BMW and Mercedes-Benz, a first place has been missing in the brands tally of success so far in 2014.
The Red Bull Ring is equally popular with fans and drivers. The main reason, besides the picturesque Alpine scenery, is the tracks challenging configuration with long straights, as well as fast and slow combinations of turns that guarantee gripping races with plenty of overtaking maneuvers. The vertical differences with a maximum incline of twelve and a maximum drop of 9.3 percent are a special characteristic of the circuit.
Quotes by the officials
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): Our aim remains unchanged for the race at Spielberg: Were set on clinching the first victory of the season for Audi. The track suited our car well in the past, which makes us feel optimistic. We learned our lessons from the less than perfect weekend at Moscow and fully focused on preparing for the start of the second half of the season. Although in the standings we no longer have the concentrated force of the Audi squad in striking distance were still in a good position to attack.
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): At Spielberg, the second half of the season will start, which makes the battle among the front runners in the standings increasingly thrilling. In Mattias (Ekström) and Edo (Mortara) weve got two hot irons in the fire that were set on attacking the leader of the standings with. Edo has won a race there before and Mattias was often beaten below his potential. And our two youngsters, Adrien (Tambay) and Miguel (Molina), are determined to be in contention again at the very front too.
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): Weve chalked the unfortunate race Sunday at Moscow up to experience and are only looking ahead. At Spielberg, were aiming to regain our old strength. Im optimistic that well manage that because our car always worked well there in the past years. Personally, Im really eager to see the Ring to which a lot of modifications have been made. If theres only half as much interest and enthusiasm by the fans as there was in Formula One, we can expect a great crowd.
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): I lived in the area for a little more than ten years, so the race at Spielberg is a bit of a home round for me. Im really looking forward to it because Ive got fond memories: in 2012, we won the race there. Obviously, wed like to repeat that.
Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers
Mattias Ekström (36/S), Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #7 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
Has finished in the top five three times at Spielberg but never on the podium
Is the only driver with a chance of catching up with the DTM leader at Spielberg
The Red Bull Ring should actually be a good track for me, if for no other reason than its name but Ive still got some unfinished business with it because Ive never been on podium there. Even though Ive already clinched three trophies this year I feel an increasingly burning desire to hold the biggest trophy and hear the Swedish anthem.
Jamie Green (32/GB), Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #21 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
Most recently mounted the podium in the race at the Norisring
In 2014 is in his tenth year of racing in the DTM
The long straights and some thrilling combinations of turns make Spielberg a very interesting track thats great fun also for the spectators because there are good overtaking opportunities. Even though Moscow didnt go well for me, I feel comfortable and am set on clinching a place on the podium again in Austria.
Miguel Molina (25/E), Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM #8 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
Drove the fastest race lap at Moscow
Was on podium in the race at Budapest
Ive now had two consecutive races that didnt go well. But in spite of that I know that well clinch a good result if everything fits together. Were going to try and manage that again at Spielberg.
Edoardo Mortara (27/I), Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM #15 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
Won the race at Spielberg in 2012
In fourth place is the second-best Audi driver in the standings
Spielberg is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar. I clinched my first ever DTM victory here two years ago and feel very comfortable. So everything speaks for a successful race weekend.
Nico Müller (22/CH), Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
Scored the first points in his DTM career at Moscow
Was the best-placed Audi driver in qualifying at Moscow
Id like to build on the result at Moscow and continue to increase my upwards trend. More points are the aim. To achieve it, Id like to create the best possible starting base in qualifying in order to subsequently attack in the race.
Mike Rockenfeller (30/D), Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #1 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
Finished out of the points for the first time this season in the race at Moscow
Together with Timo Scheider, competed in a 24-hour bicycle race at the Nürburgring last weekend
Spielberg is a great track on which weve seen a lot of thrilling races in the past. The race day at Moscow was obviously a disappointment but the speed and the work in the team perfectly fit in spite of this. If we continue that in Austria, weve got good chances of taking home a trophy.
Timo Scheider (35/D), AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #2 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
Competes in the DTM with an Austrian racing license
Therefore, calls the race at Spielberg a second home round
Spielberg is my second home race. Im very much hoping for my streak of misfortune to finally end there in front of many friends and fans and that Ill score a decent result.
Adrien Tambay (23/F), Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #16 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
Remained without points at Moscow for the first time this season
Has contested 25 DTM races in his career
After the frustrating race at Moscow, where a good place would have been possible, I can hardly wait to finally be sitting in the race car again. The aim is clear: I want to clinch a podium position again.
DTM drivers standings after five of ten rounds
1 Marco Wittmann (BMW) 70 points
2 Mattias Ekström (Audi) 50 points
3 Bruno Spengler (BMW) 41 points
4 Edoardo Mortara (Audi) 41 points
5 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) 35 points
6 Maxime Martin (BMW) 33 points
7 Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) 31 points
8 Adrien Tambay (Audi) 28 points
9 Miguel Molina (Audi) 26 points
10 Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) 25 points
11 Jamie Green (Audi) 24 points
12 Timo Glock (BMW) 18 points
13 Augusto Farfus (BMW) 15 points
14 Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz) 14 points
15 Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) 12 points
16 Nico Müller (Audi) 10 points
17 Timo Scheider (Audi) 9 points
18 Martin Tomczyk (BMW) 8 points
19 Joey Hand (BMW) 7 points
20 António Félix da Costa (BMW) 4 points
21 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) 4 points
DTM manufacturers standings
1 Audi 223 points
2 BMW 196 points
3 Mercedes-Benz 86 points
DTM teams standings
1 BMW Team RMG 103 points
2 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 76 points
3 Audi Sport Team Abt 69 points
4 BMW Team Schnitzer 49 points
5 Audi Sport Team Phoenix 44 points
6 Original-Teile Mercedes AMG 43 points
7 Audi Sport Team Rosberg 34 points
8 EURONICS/FREE MANS WORLD Mercedes AMG 29 points
9 BMW Team MTEK 22 points
10 BMW Team RBM 22 points
11 gooix Mercedes AMG 14 points