Sunday, September 30, 2012

Audi takes lead in the DTM manufacturers’ championship

Audi Press Release

  • Best brand before the finale at Hockenheim
  • Impressive Audi team performance at Valencia
  • First podium for Adrien Tambay, first points for Rahel Frey

Ingolstadt/Valencia, September 30, 2012 – The aim has been achieved: In the Spanish DTM round at Valencia, Audi took the lead in the manufacturers’ championship with an impressive team performance and is now traveling to the grand finale at the Hockenheimring (October 21/live on “Das Erste”) with a 31-point advantage.

In front of 24,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) the Audi drivers were among the protagonists of a turbulent race held at significantly higher temperatures than those prevailing on the two days of practice and qualifying. At times, all eight Audi A5 DTM cars were running in the points. In the end, Audi with positions two, three, four, five and seven, scored 61 points for the manufacturers’ championship and is now heading the standings with 327 in front of Mercedes-Benz (296) and BMW (286).

In the end, the youngest member of the Audi squad was the best driver of an Audi A5 DTM: Adrien Tambay, the merely 21-year-old son of former Formula One driver Patrick Tambay, in the Audi ultra A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline drove a flawless race which he finished as the runner-up behind the winner, Augusto Farfus. “I’m totally bushed but overjoyed,” said the Frenchman after his first podium finish in the DTM. “This is the greatest moment in my career so far. I gave everything and was rewarded with second place – unbelievable! It was a brilliant overall result for Audi today and my team performed fantastic pit stops. I want to thank everyone for this!”

With Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), two drivers from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline mounted the podium. The Swede, also thanks to a good strategy by his team, managed to improve from position eight on the grid to third place and, after his two victories in 2010 and 2011, was on podium for the third consecutive time at Valencia.

Positions four and five went to Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Rosberg) and Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Phoenix). Albuquerque lost valuable time when a hose got caught in the wheelhouse of his car during the first pit stop.

A small sensation was caused by Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM). The Swiss advanced into the points at an early stage of the race, subsequently drove BMW driver Dirk Werner into making a mistake and in a spectacular duel even prevailed over the multiple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx. Taking seventh place, she was the first woman to score points in a DTM car of the new generation. At the same time, her result meant that all eight Audi drivers have finished in the points this year.

The driver who suffered major misfortune in the race was Edoardo Mortara. The Italian from Audi Sport Team Rosberg was running in second place from the outset but was forced to park his Playboy Audi A5 DTM eight laps before the end of the race because he was no longer able to shift. Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM/power transmission) and Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM/brakes) retired while running in promising positions.

“We’ve achieved the aim we set for this weekend and taken the lead in the manufacturers’ championship,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich in summing up the results. “We were very strong here at Valencia on the whole and at times had all eight cars running in the points. It’s a shame that Edo (Mortara), Timo (Scheider) and Miguel (Molina) retired. I’m particularly happy for Adrien (Tambay), who clinched a podium right in his first DTM season, and for Rahel (Frey), who scored her first points in an impressive battle.”