Sunday, October 21, 2012

Disappointing DTM finale for Audi

Audi Press Release

  • Audi occupies second place in the manufacturers’ classification
  • Edoardo Mortara is the only Audi driver to finish in the points
  • Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline wins Hankook Best Pit Stop Award

Ingolstadt/Hockenheim, October 21, 2012 - 128,000 spectators in perfect weather witnessed a nail-biting finale of the 2012 DTM season, which Audi finished as the runner-up in the manufacturers’ classification.

The best Audi driver in the last race of the season was Edoardo Mortara, who at the wheel of the Playboy Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg advanced from eighth on the grid to finish in sixth place. "This was one the toughest and most strenuous races in my career," said the Italian who was the only Audi driver to score points at Hockenheim. "I’m pleased to see that Audi Sport Team Rosberg was able to finish the season as the best Audi team with this result. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite manage to be the best Audi driver in the end as well. But considering how the season started for us here I’m relatively happy on the whole nonetheless. We continuously improved."

Overall, for Audi, the DTM finale did not go according to plan in any way. Mattias Ekström collided twice with the BMW of the American Joey Hand on the starting lap and damaged the front section of his Red Bull Audi A5 DTM in the process. The Swede held on to fourth place nonetheless before the front right wheel was not properly tightened at the first pit stop and Ekström was forced to retire. Despite this, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline secured overall victory in the Hankook Pit Stop Award competition with which the DTM’s exclusive tire partner recognizes the quickest stops.

Despite a retirement Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix finished the 2012 season as the best Audi driver in fourth place overall. Rockenfeller retired at Hockenheim after a collision on the first lap. His team-mate Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) went off the track with brake problems on lap 26. Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) was not able to see the checkered flag either after a collision with Robert Wickens on the starting lap.

Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), who finished in the top ten at seven of the ten races in 2012, in eleventh place barely missed scoring another point. Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM) recovered from the last position on the grid to twelfth place despite a drive-through penalty. The two-time DTM Champion had been relegated to the rear of the grid because his car had weighed in too light after qualifying.

The E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM driven by Rahel Frey was damaged in the turbulent starting lap as well. But the Swiss did not give up and took the damaged car across the finish line in 16th place.

"Sincere congratulations to Bruno Spengler and BMW," expressed Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich at the end of what was a difficult 2012 DTM season for Audi. "We simply weren’t strong enough this year. In the DTM everything’s got to fit if you want to win. And sometimes you also need a bit of fortune. This was another weekend on which we didn’t have that fortune. During the winter, we’re going to work even harder on bringing the championship back to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm next year."