Saturday, July 12, 2014

DTM: Audi drivers on second row with same time

Audi Press Release

  • Extremely narrow time gaps in DTM qualifying at Moscow
  • Seven Audi RS 5 DTM cars in the top twelve
  • Müller and Rockenfeller only 0.095 seconds short of pole position
Ingolstadt/Moscow, July 12, 2014 – The champion and a rookie will be sharing the second row for Audi in round five of the DTM at Moscow Raceway in Russia on Sunday – and with the same time set in qualifying.

Following the successful Russian debut last year, which ended in Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM taking victory, the DTM is using the long, near-four-kilometer track configuration of the circuit near Moscow for the first time this season. Still, in the end, just thousandths of a second again decided the battle for the best grid positions for a DTM race.

With seven of the eight RS 5 DTM cars in the top twelve, Audi is well-positioned for the race on Sunday. Youngster Nico Müller (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) and young father Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) are spearheading the squad. The two Audi drivers were only 0.095 seconds short of clinching the pole position.

The Swiss Nico Müller, who is only 22 years old, had already attracted attention by setting the fastest time in free practice at Moscow Raceway on Saturday. With grid position three and the best qualifying result in his still young career the DTM rookie in the Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM showed his so far strongest performance in the DTM.

“Obviously, I’m happy,” said the Swiss. “We already managed to start the day well in the first free practice session. In the second one, we made another step forwards. It’s a good feeling to put this on track in qualifying and to be among the top three drivers at the press conference. The lap in Q3 wasn’t completely perfect; naturally you always aim to squeeze out the maximum. From that perspective, a big ‘thank you’ from me to the whole team because the car would probably have been good for pole today.”

Title defender Mike Rockenfeller set exactly the same time as his brand colleague down to a thousandths of a second, albeit 15 seconds after Müller. That’s why ‘Rocky’ will be starting the race on Sunday from position four. The reigning champion was the only driver to have two sets of fresh Hankook tires available in Q3 because in Q1 he only needed one set of tires to make it into the next session.

Two drivers from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline – Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) in position five and Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) in eighth place – managed the leap into the top eight as well. Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM in ninth place missed this by only 13 thousandths of a second.

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM) and Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) are sharing the sixth row. Timo Scheider in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM will start from position 17.

“Not only the FIFA World Cup final will be a thriller tomorrow, but so will the DTM race,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Although we’re racing on the long track configuration at Moscow this year, the time gaps are extremely narrow. Nico (Müller) and Mike (Rockenfeller) were short just 0.095 seconds of the pole position. With seven Audi cars in the top twelve we’re in a good overall position for the race. Our youngest driver was really strong today: Nico Müller is showing why we got him to join Audi in the DTM.”

The DTM race at Moscow Raceway will start on Sunday at 15.30 local time (13.30 CEST). ARD will start live coverage from Russia on ‘Das Erste’ at 13.15.

Audi drivers bet on Germany winning World Cup

The final match of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil is a topic at the DTM at Moscow as well. The Audi squad will be watching it at a lounge above the pits on Sunday night. Except for Miguel Molina and Edoardo Mortara, all Audi drivers are betting on a clear victory of the German national team over Argentina. Here’s how the Audi squad expects the match to end:

Mattias Ekström: 6-1
Jamie Green: 2-0
Miguel Molina: 0-0 (Argentina wins on penalties)
Edoardo Mortara: 0:0 (Argentina wins on penalties)
Nico Müller: 3-1
Mike Rockenfeller: 3-1
Timo Scheider: 2-0
Adrien Tambay: 2-0
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): 2-0
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): 2-1

Photo credit: Audi Media