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|• Audi takes top five grid positions for DTM race at Zandvoort
• Timo Scheider is back with pole position
• Audi A5 DTM on top spot of the grid for the third time
Ingolstadt/Zandvoort, August 25, 2012 – A great day for Audi at Zandvoort: The brand with the four rings dominated the qualifying session for the DTM’s visit to the Netherlands (Sunday live on “Das Erste” starting 13:45 local time) and secured the five best grid positions on the challenging track on the North Sea coast.
Five cars from a single brand on the top five grid positions – this has never happened before since the new DTM regulations were introduced. Audi managed this feat at Zandvoort. The Audi A5 DTM is thus the first new-generation DTM vehicle to have scored three pole positions.
“With three cars in the top four last weekend at the Nürburgring, we showed that we’ve made a significant step forward,” commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We continued to work and reaped the fruits here in qualifying. Of course it’s fantastic to have five cars at the front. But the important thing is the race tomorrow: that’s when we want to look good. I’m particularly happy today for Timo (Scheider), who’s gone through some hard times and impressively came back today.”
The racer from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, who experienced a difficult first half of the season, in his AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM was the quickest driver as early as in the morning’s free practice and in the crucial shoot-out for the top four spots on the grid secured the pole position – marking as much as his fourth one at Zandvoort – with a 0.249-second advantage.
“It’s been a while – 21 long months – that I was at the very front in qualifying,” said Scheider. “Now I’ve clinched pole at Zandvoort for the fourth time. That’s a great feeling and a nice birthday gift for my father. Behind us are some hard months and races. There’ve been many discussions about what’s going wrong. At a certain point we managed to come together. This is a team result. The guys believed in me and did a fantastic job. This pole is the reward for all the hard work.”
All three Audi teams managed to make it into the fourth qualifying segment at Zandvoort. Last year’s winner Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM clinched grid position two for Audi Sport Team Phoenix. Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM) and Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM) secured the second row of the grid for Audi Sport Team Rosberg.
The Audi quintet at the front was completed by Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi A5 DTM in fifth place. With youngster Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) on grid position ten, a sixth Audi racer made it into the top ten.
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) and Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM) will start from positions 13 and 21 on Sunday after both had been able to do only a few laps in the morning’s free practice.
Audi has won the DTM race at Zandvoort since its DTM comeback with a manufacturer’s commitment in 2004 as many as five times and now took the top spot for as much as the sixth time. On race day, changeable weather conditions have been predicted for the Dutch North Sea Coast.
|Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
“Things really couldn’t be better than this: five Audi cars in the top five, four vehicles in the top-4 qualifying session – a fantastic performance! This continues our showing in qualifying at the Nürburgring. The performance there already suggested that we started into the second half of the season with very good cars after a lot of work and that all teams and drivers are on a similarly good and well-balanced level. I’m hoping for us to be able to convert this strong qualifying result into a similarly positive race result.
”Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM), grid position 1
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), grid position 2
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), grid position 3
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM), grid position 4
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), grid position 5
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM), grid position 10
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), grid position 13
Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM), grid position 21
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)