- Second victory of the season for the new Audi A5 DTM
- Edoardo Mortara wins ahead of Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström
- First points for DTM youngster Adrien Tambay
Audi is the first manufacturer to have achieved a one-two-three victory in the 2012 DTM. At Zandvoort (The Netherlands) Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM) triumphed in front of his two brand colleagues Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM) and Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM). With that, a driver from all three Audi teams was on the podium.
39,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) watched a spectacular DTM race in extremely difficult conditions. Rain showers from the nearby North Sea repeatedly moved across the race track that was never wet enough, though, to switch to rain tires. "In such crazy conditions, you can fly off the track in any corner," said Edoardo Mortara, who celebrated his second victory of the season and reduced the gap to leader of the standings Gary Paffett to 35 points. "It would be raining some of the time and then again it wouldn’t. I’m very happy. I want to thank everyone at Audi Sport and Audi Sport Team Rosberg for the superb work. It was a fantastic race!"
In a fierce duel, Edoardo Mortara prevailed against Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) who had taken the lead at the start and commandingly controlled the race for a long time. However, when rain set in again, Mortara managed to close the gap to his brand colleague and overtook him on lap 32 in the famous "Tarzan Bocht." "I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks," commented Rockenfeller. "When it starts to rain it’s easier when you’re the car that follows - ‘Edo’ took advantage of this."
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) perfected Audi’s one-two-three result. The Swede was fighting a nail-biting duel across several laps with leader of the standings Gary Paffett which he decided in his favor, also thanks to a good strategy and quick pit stops by his team.
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) scored his first points in the DTM. The 21-year-old youngster shone by taking fifth place in difficult conditions and even held up to the pressure from the two-time season winner Bruno Spengler, who had also been the runner-up in the standings up to now.
Filipe Albuquerque was classified in 15th place although he was forced to park his TV Movie Audi A5 DTM in the pits after 34 laps. The Portuguese had to drive through the gravel trap of the "Tarzan Bocht" when Martin Tomczyk and Gary Paffett collided directly in front of him. In the incident, the front splitter of his A5 was damaged.
The quickest in qualifying, Timo Scheider, experienced a pitch-black day. At the start, the two-time DTM Champion dropped from first to 14th place and in a collision with David Coulthard damaged the front of his AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM.
Right on the starting lap, the race was over for Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) and Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM). While heading for the first turn the Spaniard collided with Robert Wickens, who a few turns later proved to be Rahel Frey’s undoing too. The Swiss was unable to evade the Mercedes of the Canadian that was standing sideways on the track after a spin and was forced to retire.
Despite the four retirements it was a great day for Audi at Zandvoort - on a track on which the brand with the four rings has now clinched as much as its sixth victory since its return to the DTM in 2004. "It’s good to see that the performance is there," said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Now we’re back in the position we always want to be in: in contention for victory. Here at Zandvoort, we were strong as a whole team. I’m happy for the guys who have been working hard to make this success possible."
Quotes after the race at Zandvoort
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of AudiMotorsport):
"We started at the very front with five cars and scored a one-two-three victory - that’s a really great result for Audi. It’s good to see that all three teams have a driver on the podium and that we managed to show a strong team performance in the difficult and changeable conditions. I want to thank the whole team that has been working hard to make the cars run so well, in the manner for which Audi is known."
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM), 1st place
"It was incredible. I was so motivated and wanted to squeeze out the maximum at all cost. I had a good start and took a few risks on the first laps and when rain was setting in. The outcome could also have been different, though. But the risk paid off and we stayed on track. A one-two-three victory for Audi and my second success for Audi Sport Team Rosberg - for me, a dream has come true today."
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), 2nd place
"I had a good start. It was a difficult race but in most conditions I was able to control the race. When it started raining again I was a bit too cautious and ‘Edo’ (Mortara) took advantage of that. In second place, he was able to take a little more of a risk. Afterwards, in dry conditions, I was a bit faster but it wasn’t enough to overtake him again."
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), 3rd place
"It was a thrilling race. I was battling with Gary Paffett some of the time and with the rain at other times. A couple of times, I wasn’t in control of everything one hundred percent. I’m pleased with third place. A big ‘well done’ to ‘Edo’ (Mortara) and Mike (Rockenfeller)."
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM), 5th place
"A tremendous ending of my Zandvoort weekend. After fierce battles, we finished in fifth place. A superb result! I really want to thank my team that placed its trust in me. Now I’ve finally finished in the points. I’m looking ahead toward the last races with great expectations now."
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), retirement
"It’s a shame because the race was going well at first. I was third. But due to our pit stop strategy I lost two positions. As the race went on, I lost some time behind Susie (Wolff) and Joey (Hand). In the rain, the situation really became tricky. I had to run a bit wider and hit the gravel. The splitter was damaged in the process and I had to pit."
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM), retirement
"It’s almost as if the situation were jinxed. Even while preloading, I noticed that the clutch closed twice and I wasn’t able to control it. Then the lights went out at the wrong moment and I wasn’t able to recover the engine speed. This caused the engine to stall. Clearly my mistake! Then there was the contact with Coulthard. I lost the hood and the bracket was probably damaged. That’s why it wasn’t possible to properly repair the hood."
Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM), retirement
"In turn 3, the situation became pretty tight. Wickens spun and I noticed him too late. There was no room to get out of the way. I hit him with my right front wheel and the suspension unfortunately broke in the process. An early end. Now I’ve got to give things a boost again next time."
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), retirement
"A difficult weekend for me. We didn’t drive a lot in free practice. In qualifying, I missed Q3 by a tenth of a second. In the race, I had a good start and overtook a lot of cars. While braking into turn one I was hit by Wickens and wasn’t able to control the car any longer. That put an early end to my race. I’m disappointed because I like this track. The positive part about it is that Audi has celebrated a one-two-three victory here. Now I’m looking forward to Oschersleben where I was on pole last year."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"It was an outstanding race - it was touring car sport of the kind you like to see. Congratulations to Audi and three drivers in the top three places. We’re happy that now, after all the hard work, we’re competitive and are hoping to be able to continue exactly like this."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix):
"An outstanding and difficult race. The brief rain showers caused a few accidents. We managed to convert the qualifying results in the race. That’s good for Audi and for the championship. We’re back in contention for the title."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg):
"A fantastic result with Audi drivers on the podium. I’m very happy. I’d like to thank Audi Sport very much for the work that was done in the past few months."