Following 202 race-free days, not only DTM fans are simmering with excitement before the season opener. “At Audi Sport, we’re excited to see what effects the fine-tuning of the regulations will have as well,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “The winter was long, but productive. We’re expecting an extremely close field.”
In recent months, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, together with the DMSB umbrella organization and the series’ marketer, ITR, intensively worked on delivering even more exciting races and action to the DTM spectators. That is why Gass is expecting an all the more challenging season “in which you can’t afford to lose sight of any detail or have a bad patch if you want to win the title.” The title is Audi Sport’s designated aim.
With ten victories in a total of 18 races, the Audi RS 5 DTM was the car to be beaten last season. The tally of the four rings at Hockenheim is impressive as well. Five victories in succession were celebrated by Audi on the Grand Prix circuit in Baden-Wuerttemberg. In the 2015 finale, the brand even achieved a one-two-three triumph. “Our aim is to pick up where we left off last year in a similarly powerful way,” says Dieter Gass. “We prepared ourselves well and had four productive test days at Hockenheim in early April, among other things. But: everyone knows how close the competition is in the DTM. We’re only going to see the relative strengths in qualifying on Saturday.”
That is the moment Audi driver Mattias Ekström is looking forward to with eager anticipation as well. “Even after 15 DTM years, the first qualifying session of the season is really special,” says the Swede who will be tackling a double commitment next weekend. In addition to the DTM, the two-time DTM Champion is going to compete in the round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship that will be attracting additional fans to Hockenheim.