The fact that Audi Sport have been able to compete at a high level at the first race weekend of the year gives the Ingolstadt squad good form heading into the next race at Oschersleben in a fortnight, after Mattias Ekström and Adrien Tambay took the last two spots on the podium behind race winner Marco Wittmann.
Defending champion Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider made it four RS5 DTMs in the top ten, finishing fourth and ninth respectively after 42 laps of contrasting strategy and decisive action. Head of DTM Dieter Gass said that the team was showing its strength in terms of competing for points and victories: “The most important thing was to show that the Audi RS 5 DTM is powerful. I think we proved this. The result could even have turned out much better because Timo (Scheider) definitely belongs there at the front, and so does Edoardo (Mortara), who unfortunately suffered a puncture.”
Ekström was “very pleased” about the work that Audi has put in over the winter on the new car, but said that “we’ve still got a bit of work to do though, in order to make the car even faster, because we could tell that the BMW in particular were running really well too.”
There were contrasting fortunes up and down Ingolstadt’s ranks, but several drivers were able to make gains up the field during the course of the race, which bodes well for the brand with the four rings for the rest of the season. Now it remains to be seen if they can keep up the fight with BMW next time out.