- Strong partners for Audi in “title defense” project
- Testing activities of the three race teams have begun at Valencia
- Five weeks to go before the DTM starts at Hockenheim
Five weeks before the eagerly awaited DTM season opener at the Hockenheimring on April 29 Audi is making a colorful visual statement. At the first official DTM track tests at Valencia, four new Audi A5 DTM cars will be on track sporting their final outfits for the first time. The designs of the other four race cars plus the partners for the "title defense" project have been determined as well.
To be seen at Valencia will be the race cars driven by Mattias Ekström, Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Scheider and Edoardo Mortara. The A5 DTM vehicles sporting the liveries of Filipe Albuquerque, Rahel Frey, Miguel Molina and Adrien Tambay will be used for the first time two weeks later, in tracks tests at Hockenheim from April 2 to 5.
The test at Valencia marks the beginning of the "final countdown" for the three Audi Sport teams, Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg. After the engineers and mechanics of all three teams had been jointly supporting Audi Sport’s development work on the A5 DTM, the preparation of the race cars has started in Ingolstadt following the A5 DTM’s homologation on March 1. At Valencia, the three teams will be testing their "own" cars for the first time.
As in previous years, Audi can rely in its DTM project on strong partners whose brand logos will be featured on the total of eight new Audi A5 DTM cars, the trucks, garage equipment and of course the racing suits of the Audi drivers.
The two vehicles of the two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström (S) and the Spaniard Miguel Molina are sporting the same graphics as before. Their blue Audi A5 DTM cars are emblazoned with the striking red bull of the Austrian energy drink producer Red Bull.
Timo Scheider (D), the 2009 and 2010 DTM Champion, is advertising the AUTO TEST monthly magazine published by Axel Springer Auto Verlag like last year. After a season with a completely white vehicle, his A5 DTM is now receiving a large portion of yellow, which stands for the E-POSTBRIEF (secure electronic mail) product from Deutsche Post AG.
Starting into the new season with white-yellow graphics as well, albeit with the colors in reverse order compared to Scheider’s car, is Rahel Frey, as the young Swiss is spurred on by the postal service as well. The second partner featured on her A5 is the Computer Bild Spiele magazine published by Axel Springer Verlag.
The yellow with which Mike Rockenfeller (D) will start from the grid has a different color tone. The 2010 Le Mans winner is driving the A5 DTM sporting the conspicuously brilliant yellow-green livery with which Martin Tomczyk won the DTM title for Audi last year. The Schaeffler Group with its LuK, INA and FAG product brands is the sponsor.
The race car driven by Edoardo Mortara (I/F), the 2011 rookie of the year, has acquired a more colorful look as well. The black base color continues to stand for the men’s magazine Playboy. The red on the vehicle flanks of his new A5 DTM is reserved for Audi Sport performance cars.
Filipe Albuquerque’s Audi continues to be blue. As before, the Portuguese is advertising the TV Movie magazine published by Bauer Media Group.
The silver-white eighth Audi A5 DTM to be driven by newcomer Adrien Tambay (F) bears the "Audi ultra" inscription. Under this nameplate, the brand with the four rings has consolidated its ultra-lightweight technology which Audi aims to communicate to a large audience in the DTM for the first time as well.
Further renowned brands - Alpinestars, the world’s leading company for high-performance motorsport clothing, Audi Top Service, watchmaker TAG Heuer, who has been on board ever since Audi’s Le Mans commitment in 2010, cloud computing specialist EMC2, Kicker sports magazine, game console ace Nintendo, the Würth Group, spring manufacturer Eibach and wheel expert O.Z. - are joining Audi on the 2012 DTM grid as co-sponsors.
"That almost all our partners from last year continue to be with us and that we managed to inspire the enthusiasm of Alpinestars, EMC2, Kicker and TAG Heuer as new strong brands for the DTM and for Audi clearly shows that the DTM’s popularity will increase even further this year," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Without the support of our partners it wouldn’t be possible to field a total of eight cars under a factory commitment in such a high-caliber racing series. In addition, they are adding color. I think that our designers in collaboration with our partners have managed to get very beautiful cars off the ground. I’m convinced that the fans will feel similarly and that the sporty elegance of the Audi A5 and the unique shape of the coupe will impress in the DTM as well."
The Audi teams in the 2012 DTM
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM)
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM)
Audi Sport Team Abt
Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM)
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM)
Audi Sport Team Phoenix
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM)
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM)
Audi Sport Team Rosberg
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM)
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM)