Thursday, June 18, 2015

DTM: Audi to thrill DTM fans at the Norisring‏

Audi Press Release

Spectators at the DTM races in Nuremberg on June 27 and 28 will get an unusual ‘special feature’ for the fans from Audi Sport: 25 years after Audi’s victory on the debut at the Norisring, Mattias Ekström will be running in an Audi RS 5 DTM sporting the colors of the Audi V8 quattro from 1990. This car will be seen in action at the Norisring as well.

Many DTM fans still rave about the races of the large, four-wheel drive sedan in the DTM with which Audi immediately won two consecutive championship titles in 1990 and 1991. With this car, on July 1, 1990 and with Hans-Joachim Stuck at the wheel, Audi also celebrated its first victory in its ‘home round’ at the Norisring.

2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the event almost to the day and Audi Sport took the opportunity to redesign Mattias Ekström’s blue Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM and to let him race in the typical colors it had back then: white as the basic color, plus red, gray and brown – the colors of Audi Sport at the time, which subsequently became the distinctive red rhombus.

“This retro special is a really brilliant idea that the fans will no doubt enjoy,” says Hans-Joachim Stuck. The 1990 DTM Champion and current President of the German Motorsport Association (DMSB) will personally be on-site during the Norisring weekend and drive some demo laps in his winning car. “Thinking about 1990 still gives me goose bumps today. With the Audi V8 quattro we carried along a different, own community back then that has remained to this day and also helped make the DTM as big as it is now.”

Mattias Ekström, the most successful Audi driver in DTM history with two titles in the years 2004 and 2007, as well as 20 victories under his belt is also enthralled: “In the early 90s, I was sitting in front of my TV and started developing an interest in the DTM. Drivers like Stuck and Röhrl – they were my heroes. They gave me the motivation for my career. Seeing my Audi RS 5 DTM and the V8 quattro from those days standing side by side with the same graphics, and being able to race at the Norisring with the livery from those days, is very special for me,” says the most successful, currently active DTM driver.

Stuck and Ekström are ardent fans of the DTM’s only city street race. “The atmosphere at the ‘Dutzendteich’ and in the stone grandstands is simply incredible,” says ‘Strietzel’ Stuck. “The Norisring race is one of the most important motorsport events in Germany that offers a lot to the crowd in full view. It’s really grand motorsport.”

“The Norisring has been and will continue to be Audi’s home race,” Mattias Ekström adds. “I’ve been trying to win it for 15 years and came very close many times. Once I even made it but wasn’t allowed to keep the trophy. It’s one of the races that I want to win at all cost. Obviously it would really be great if it worked out on the 25th anniversary with this cool retro livery car.”

Audi Sport has invited former campaigners from the 1990 season to the Norisring. “I’m hoping that many of them will accept our invitation and meet on our terrace at the Dutzendteich,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, who personally remembers the days of the Audi V8 quattro in the DTM well. “That’s when I seriously began to take notice of Audi Sport and the DTM. I still have fond memories of the many ‘red Audi caps’ in the grandstands, especially at the Norisring. I think it’s marvelous that our partner Red Bull spontaneously agreed with our ‘special feature’ and that, at the Norisring, there won’t be a blue but a white Red Bull Audi for the first time. This special feature is meant as a token of our appreciation to the many loyal fans that kept their fingers crossed for us in the DTM as far back as 25 years ago and continue to do so today.”

Photo credit: Audi Media