ROCKY TAKES PODIUM FOR AUDI
- Mattias Ekström improves to third place in the standings
- Five Audi A5 DTM cars in the points
Ingolstadt/Brands Hatch, May 20, 2012 - Mike Rockenfeller in the new Audi A5 DTM took third place and thus achieved a podium result for Audi in the DTM race at Brands Hatch (Great Britain). Mattias Ekström improved to third place in the overall classification. In front of 27,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) a total of five Audi A5 DTM cars finished in the points.
On the shortest DTM track of the year, on which overtaking is extremely difficult, the German from Audi Sport Team Phoenix laid the foundation for the podium finish right at the start. At the wheel of his Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM he overtook the Mercedes-Benz of Christian Vietoris, who had started from the front row, and thus advanced to third place behind Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler. In the final phase of the 98-lap race "Rocky" closed the gap to the BMW running in position two but was no longer able to overtake the Lausitzring winner. "We all know how difficult overtaking is at Brands Hatch," said Mike Rockenfeller after the race.
"I wanted to secure the points because this third place was enormously important. It gives the whole team a new motivation boost. I want to thank the guys who worked extremely hard during the past few weeks and gave me a superb car here. The situation in yesterday’s qualifying was extremely close. In the race we almost managed to take second place. Finally, we’ve clinched a good result again - we’re going to give everything to continue this way."
Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi A5 DTM from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline managed to make up ground from position eight on the grid to fifth place, thus improving from fourth to third place in the overall standings. The Swede overtook Christian Vietoris on lap one, Adrian Tambay on lap two and subsequently profited from a slower pit stop of the Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Sport Team Rosberg), who in his TV Movie Audi A5 DTM was running on position four for a long time but in the end had to settle for tenth place. With Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) in seventh and Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM) in ninth place a total of five Audi racers finished in the points. This made Audi the strongest brand in the top ten in terms of numbers. Particularly impressive was the race of Miguel Molina, who had shone with the quickest long run as early as in the warm-up session.
The Spaniard returned from the first lap in 14th place but managed to move forward to position seven with consistently fast lap times. He was the quickest driver in the entire field across extensive phases. Youngster Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) was running in the points with good prospects in the early phase of his third DTM race but after several scraps and incidents of body contact dropped to twelfth place. Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM) in 18th place won the ladies’ duel against her rival Susie Wolff for the second consecutive time.
Timo Scheider on the other hand experienced a weekend to forget. The two-time DTM Champion dropped to 17th place on the starting lap, subsequently was stuck in traffic and had to park his AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM after 55 laps due to a misfiring engine. "I think we made the best of our possibilities today," commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Mike (Rockenfeller) and Miguel (Molina) in particular were very quick in the race.
The podium reflects the current picture in the DTM: all three manufacturers are battling on an equal footing. It’s about tenths, hundredths and thousandths. ‘Rocky’s’ third place gives the entire squad additional motivation. Mattias (Ekström) improved to third place in the standings. We’ll continue from there and keep on working hard."