Sunday, September 14, 2014

DTM: Audi on front row of the grid at the Lausitzring

Audi Press Release

  • Mattias Ekström secures grid position two
  • Four Audi RS 5 DTM cars in the top six
  • Fog and rain make for difficult conditions
Ingolstadt/Lausitzring, September 13, 2014 – The two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström in his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM will be starting the race at the Lausitzring from the front row of the grid. With four RS 5 DTM cars in the top six Audi is in a very good overall position for round eight of the season.

The spectators’ patience at Lausitz was tested on Saturday. Due to fog the rescue helicopter was grounded until the late afternoon. As a result, the DTM cars were able to go out on track for the first time at 4 p.m. And instead of two one-hour sessions the teams only had 15 minutes of free practice to prepare for qualifying.

In addition, a partially wet track made for difficult conditions which the Audi drivers, on the whole, managed to handle well. When the first part of qualifying had to be interrupted due to an excursion of a BMW driver Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) was at the front of the field. The two-time DTM Champion again set the fastest time in the extended second section (Q2).

In the crucial third segment (Q3) Mattias Ekström struck. The Swede missed the pole position by merely 0.057 seconds and will be starting in a DTM race from the front row again for the first time since August 2013 (Moscow). “It was an impeccable performance. I drove without making mistakes and am happy,” said the Swede who before the race at the Lausitzring is in second place of the standings. “We’re enjoying this day and are looking forward to the race.”

Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM) and Timo Scheider secured grid positions three and four. With that, drivers from Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Rosberg and Phoenix are starting from the first two rows. The strong performance by the Audi drivers was completed by Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) taking sixth place.

Title defender Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM in tenth place just barely missed the leap into the top eight. Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM), Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) secured grid positions 13, 18 and 20.

“We’ve got to be happy with four RS 5 cars among the top six – especially since the conditions today were extremely difficult,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “I’m particularly pleased that Mattias (Ekström) has regained his former qualifying form. It’s been a long time since he started from the front row. We know how strong he is in the race. That gives rise to hopes for tomorrow. But Jamie (Green) and Timo (Scheider) clinched very good starting bases as well.”

The race at the Lausitzring will start at 13.30 on Sunday. ARD will start to air live coverage 13.15 (CEST). Mattias Ekström’s team director Hans-Jürgen Abt, who led Audi factory driver Lucas di Grassi to the historic victory in the inaugural race of the new FIA Formula E Championship in Beijing (China) on Saturday, will arrive at the Lausitzring in time for the race.

Photo credit: Audi Media