- Mike Rockenfeller third in DTM race at Brands Hatch
- Mattias Ekström improves to third place in the standings
- Five Audi A5 DTM cars in the points
Mike Rockenfeller in the new Audi A5 DTM took third place and thus achieved a podium result for Audi in the DTM race at Brands Hatch (Great Britain). Mattias Ekström improved to third place in the overall classification. In front of 27,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) a total of five Audi A5 DTM cars finished in the points.
On the shortest DTM track of the year, on which overtaking is extremely difficult, the German from Audi Sport Team Phoenix laid the foundation for the podium finish right at the start. At the wheel of his Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM he overtook the Mercedes-Benz of Christian Vietoris, who had started from the front row, and thus advanced to third place behind Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler. In the final phase of the 98-lap race "Rocky” closed the gap to the BMW running on position two but was no longer able to overtake the Lausitzring winner.
"We all know how difficult overtaking is at Brands Hatch,” said Mike Rockenfeller after the race. "I wanted to secure the points because this third place was enormously important. It gives the whole team a new motivation boost. I want to thank the guys who worked extremely hard during the past few weeks and gave me a superb car here. The situation in yesterday’s qualifying was extremely close. In the race we almost managed to take second place. Finally, we’ve clinched a good result again – we’re going to give everything to continue this way.”
Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi A5 DTM from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline managed to make up ground from position eight on the grid to fifth place, thus improving from fourth to third place in the overall standings. The Swede overtook Christian Vietoris on lap one, Adrian Tambay on lap two and subsequently profited from a slower pit stop of the Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Sport Team Rosberg), who in his TV Movie Audi A5 DTM was running on position four for a long time but in the end had to settle for tenth place.
With Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) in seventh and Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM) in ninth place a total of five Audi racers finished in the points. This made Audi the strongest brand in the top ten in terms of numbers.
Particularly empressive was the race of Miguel Molina, who had shone with the quickest long run as early as in the warm-up session. The Spaniard returned from the first lap in 14th place but managed to move forward to position seven with consistently fast lap times. He was the quickest driver in the entire field across extensive phases.
Youngster Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) was running in the points with good prospects in the early phase of his third DTM race but after several scraps and incidents of body contact dropped to twelfth place.
Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM) in 18th place won the ladies’ duel against her rival Susie Wolff for the second consecutive time. Timo Scheider on the other hand experienced a weekend to forget. The two-time DTM Champion dropped to 17th place on the starting lap, subsequently was stuck in traffic and had to park his AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM after 55 laps due to a misfiring engine.
"I think we made the best of our possibilities today,” commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich."Mike (Rockenfeller) and Miguel (Molina) in particular were very quick in the race. The podium reflects the current picture in the DTM: all three manufacturers are battling on an equal footing. It’s about tenths, hundredths and thousandths. ‘Rocky’s’ third place gives the entire squad additional motivation. Mattias (Ekström) improved to third place in the standings. We’ll continue from there and keep on working hard.”
Quotes after the race at Brands Hatch
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
"It’s nice that ‘Rocky’ (Mike Rockenfeller) brought third place home. He almost could have battled for second place but here at Brands Hatch closing up to the car in front is one thing and overtaking it an altogether different matter. With five cars in the top ten we’ve scored a strong overall team result which shows that we’re on the right track. That’s why I’m looking ahead to the next races with confidence.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), 3rd place
"I’m very pleased with the race because we squeezed out the maximum. I had a good start and then gave everything on each lap – my eyes always pinned on the gaps. My crew did a tremendous job and made perfect pit stops, I really want to thank them for that. We won’t let up now but work hard on making up the gap we’ve still got. I think today was a good step for this.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), 5th place
"Recovering from position eight on the grid to fifth is at least a small success experience and results in a few more points in the championship. I had a decent start and was able to make up a couple of places later.
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), 7th place
"It was a good race for me. We were quick and had a good strategy – that allowed me to move forward from twelfth to seventh place. At the next race we need to concentrate on qualifying even more intensively in order to clinch a better grid position.”
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM), 9th place
"That was a long race today with 98 laps. We started from position eleven and finished in ninth place, scoring two points this way. There’s nothing else to be said about it.”
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), 10th place
"I had a good start and advanced to fourth place. It wasn’t easy to keep Martin (Tomczyk) behind me. Then, after the second pit stop, we lost time and a lot of positions. Everyone around me had fresher tires, so the last third of the race wasn’t much fun. Tenth place is a disappointment for me.”
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM), 12th place
"My race was very good in the beginning. I was running in fifth place when Martin Tomczyk attacked. I wanted to avoid a collision, so I lost not just one but two positions. Afterwards we lost the largest chunk of time due to the blue flags. It’s difficult to let only the cars pass that should definitely overtake. I’d been hoping for points but now I’m going to try again next time.”
Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM), 18th place
"I’m quite pleased with the race. On Sunday we again managed to find the performance that I’d already been wishing for on Saturday. I had some thrilling duels on track and in the end Ralf Schumacher was behind me – that’s at least something.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM), retirement (engine misses)
"Actually, my start hadn’t been so bad but at the end of turn one I was in the most unfortunate place as I was pushed all the way to the outside and lost positions again. After that we were able to keep the pace until I had some engine misses in the second third of the race. We decided to end the race at that point in order to not risk any damage.
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"First of all, congratulations to Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller) on taking third place. From our perspective this wasn’t a successful weekend. Granted, Mattias Ekström made up a few positions after starting from eighth on the grid and even advanced to third place in the championship. But our claim is to be in contention for victory. To achieve this we need to continue to work hard together.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):
"A superb result. A superb race by ‘Rocky.’ Our strategy was good and so were our stops. We always kept the pace. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attack Bruno (Spengler) any more in the end because on this track downforce is lacking in the slipstream. Otherwise second place might have been possible. Miguel Molina’s feat of advancing from 14 to seventh place was brilliant as well.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):
"I’m very disappointed. Today we ruined the race for both of our drivers because none of the pit stops worked out. I want to apologize for that. We’re going to do everything to make this up as quickly as possible.”