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DTM: Audi with Strong Team Performance

Ingolstadt/Valencia, September 29, 2012 – In qualifying for the penultimate DTM race of the season, Audi showed a strong team performance at Valencia, Spain. Four Audi drivers managed the leap into the top five, seven into the top ten. And Rahel Frey caused a sensation as well. 

Last year, Audi managed to score a six-fold success at Valencia. And this year, the brand with the four rings is presenting itself well-prepared on the Spanish race track. With grid positions two, three, four and five plus a total of seven vehicles on the five front rows of the grid, Audi has an outstanding starting base for the race on Sunday (starting at 13:45 – local time — live on “Das Erste”).

The quickest Audi driver in qualifying was Edoardo Mortara, who set the second-fastest time in the Playboy Audi A5 DTM. His team-mate Filipe Albuquerque in the TV Movie Audi A5 DTM completed the strong showing by Audi Sport Team Rosberg. Only BMW driver Augusto Farfus was quicker than the Rosberg duo.

“Grid positions two and three are a good result for Filipe (Albuquerque) and me,” said Edoardo Mortara. “Augusto (Farfus) was a bit quicker today. But I’m very optimistic for tomorrow. I believe that in our A5 DTM we’ve got a superb car for the race.”

Adrien Tambay, the Frenchman who is only 21 years old, achieved his best qualifying result in the DTM so far. For the first time, the youngster from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in the Audi ultra A5 DTM qualified for the shoot-out for the top four grid positions and will be starting into the race from position four on Sunday.

Grid position five was secured by Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix. The two former DTM Champions Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM) and Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) are sharing the fourth row of the grid. The top ten are completed by the Spanish local hero Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM).

Rahel Frey caused a sensation as well. The Swiss in the E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM managed the leap into Q2 for the first time and will start into the penultimate race of the season from position 15, which even puts her in front of Gary Paffett on the grid.

“We’ve got four cars on the five front grid positions and seven in the top ten – that’s a great team performance, particularly with a view toward the battle in the manufacturers’ championship,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich after the qualifying session in Valencia. “Especially in the DTM, this is something very special and not the kind of thing you expect. It shows that on the whole we’re in a strong position. Of course we want to advance by another position tomorrow.”

Quotes after qualifying

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “It was an extremely strong team performance. We’ve got seven Audi cars in the top ten and Rahel (Frey) managed to make it into Q2 as well. Three of our drivers made it into the top four – for Adrien Tambay, our rookie, this is a special achievement. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out one hundred percent with Edo (Mortara) and Felipe (Albuquerque) in Q4. But the strong performance of all our cars and teams is a good base for the race.”Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM), grid position 2
“Front row of the grid, two Rosberg Audi in Q4: It was a positive qualifying session. Naturally, I’d have preferred taking pole. But you’ve got to be realistic. Augusto (Farfus) drove a perfect lap in Q4 on a fresher set of tires. In Q4, it would have been difficult to beat him. I had the chance to do so before but didn’t do a perfect job then. If you want to be on the pole position in the DTM you’ve got to give 100 percent. I’m very pleased and am hoping for a good start in the race.”

Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), grid position 3
“In the beginning I was struggling a bit. Q2 wasn’t good because I hit traffic. In Q3, I was disappointed. I was very quick and it would have been enough to be all the way in front and to return to the pits. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the last turn and had to drive another lap. That meant I had tires that were two laps old in Q4. Augusto (Farfus) had fresher tires and thus more grip. He was really quick, ‘well done’ to him. But everything’s open in the race tomorrow.”

Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM), grid position 4
“I’m happy to have made it into Q4 for the first time. My performances in Q1 and Q3 were very good. Fourth place is a very good result for me. I hope that we’ll be able to build on that in the race. My car was fantastic; I’ve got to thank my guys for that.”

Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), grid position 5
“Fifth place isn’t what I’d been hoping for. I wasn’t able to squeeze the optimum out of the car and in that case it’s simply not enough in the DTM to be all the way in front. But I’m satisfied because the car was basically good. Maybe we were lacking a bit of fine tuning. Tomorrow we’ve got the chance to advance all the way to the front.”

Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM), grid position 7
“Position seven isn’t a dream result. But it’s a result you can build on. After Oschersleben, it’s a step ahead. All Audi cars showed a good performance. We already had a good feeling after free practice. I think we can score a few important points in the race.”

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), grid position 8
“I’m not happy. We were too slow. Now we’ve got to analyze what went wrong and prepare for the race.”

Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), grid position 10
“I had a good car for qualifying. But in the DTM you need a perfect lap to make it into Q4. Tenth place is a good starting base for scoring points in the race. I’m very optimistic. With a good strategy and a quick car I can clinch a good result. The many Spanish fans motivate me very much.”

Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM), grid position 15
“I’m really happy with my performance. Q2 was my primary aim, and I managed to achieve it today. Audi delivered a good performance and I was able to take advantage of that today too. With position 15, I’ve achieved my best result in qualifying so far.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): 
“It was a very good team result for Audi. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for the pole position. The starting base for the race is very good and we’re hoping to clinch a lot of points for Audi in the manufacturers’ championship. I’m especially happy that Adrien Tambay has achieved his so far best result today. By taking fourth place he showed his potential. It’s an uplifting experience for us to see him advance so much in his first year and we’re hoping for his form curve to continue.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “Our two drivers took positions five and ten. Both barely missed making it into Q4 but three other Audi cars made it. I want to really thank Audi Sport and our engineers and drivers for their faith in the technology and in us after the past difficult race weekend. With seven A5 cars on the top ten grid positions, I’m hoping for a good result for Audi in the race.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): 
“I’m very happy. It’s the third time for us to have both drivers in Q4. With grid positions two and three we can be more than happy. Valencia seems to be a good venue for us.”

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