It may have been a case of BMW’s return to the top of its game this last time last year, with defending champion Bruno Spengler winning the first race for Munich in 20 years from lights to flag, but a renewed vigour from a very competitive set of 8 drivers at Ingolstadt look to make the best from a good start over the last three races. A win from Mike Rockenfeller at Brands Hatch saw the Audi driver lead the standings under the ‘optimized’ DTM for a single race, before the tables were quickly turned two weeks ago at the Red Bull Ring, with the Franco-Canadian putting in a stellar performance to make it three different winners from the first three races, with Augusto Farfus making his mark at Hockenheim.
Several of the drivers, including Rockenfeller, Mattias Ekstrom, Timo Scheider and Jamie Green, have had some great successes, both in qualifying and in the race, as the Swede has won twice in 2004 and 2005, but Audi’s Head of DTM, Dieter Gass, said that it is still incredibly close, as the performance of the Audi RS5 DTM has been on the pace from the onset of the racing season, as testing was there to make sure the car was ready for the task at hand: “This means that it’s crucial to be perfectly prepared, concentrate on the smallest detail and to get everything together at the decisive moment in order to achieve a good race result in the end.”
Team Rosberg’s Arno Zensen has said that both Filipe Albuquerque and Edoardo Mortara have not had the best of luck over the first three races, but with the Italian securing P3 in qualifying, things are looking up for the squad, as they hope to start scoring consistently good results: “We’ve also had a few positive things. At the last event at Spielberg, we were at least able to show that we can still be fast. At the Lausitzring, we aim to convert that into results and score our first points of the year.”
Ernst Moser‘s Team Phoenix says that Audi Sport has not had its fair share of luck at the track, having only won three times in the last 11 years, as Mercedes-Benz have exerted their dominance over the years under the now-departed Norbert Haug: “The Lausitzring has never been an Audi track but two years ago we managed to break this spell and win there. We’d like to continue this. In any case, we aim to be in contention for the Championship, that’s why we’ve got to position ‘Rocky’ as far at the front as possible at Lausitz – and to score the first points with Miguel (Molina), whose curve is pointing upward. That would also be important with a view toward the team classification.”
So with “Rocky” just 11 points behind Spengler, as the racing will be one of the major focuses for the race weekend, Audi Sport looks to hit hard back at the competition, and give them a run for their money, making sure that the RS5 DTMs of all the drivers are ready to fight hard…