Sunday, September 18, 2011

DTM: Audi pulls off back-to-back 1-2-3 victories with win at Oschersleben

. Sunday, September 18, 2011

Today's race at Oschersleben marked Audi's second, back-to-back, 1-2-3 DTM victory. Once again, a rain-soaked track proved to be optimal conditions for the Audi Sport teams as Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline), Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) would find themselves at the first, second and third place steps of the podium (respectively). Oschersleben would also mark Audi's 60th DTM win and the second straight podium finish for (the exact same) drivers from each Audi Sport team. Full report after the jump.

Ingolstadt/Oschersleben, September 18, 2011 – Audi, Audi, Audi – only 14 days after the one-two-three triumph in the rain battle at Brands Hatch the brand with the four rings again took the whole podium at a DTM race in similarly difficult conditions. At Oschersleben, Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) triumphed in front of leader of the standings Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and rookie Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg).

For Audi this marked the 60th victory in total in the most popular international touring car series, the sixth in the current season and an important step toward another DTM title. With a sensational recovery Martin Tomczyk managed to advance to second place after having started from position 14, extending his overall lead by nine points before the last two races. Consequently, the Bavarian driver living in Switzerland will already have the first match ball and chance of securing an early title win for Audi at Valencia (Spain) on October 2.

On the wet track at the Motorsport Arena Tomczyk pushed forward to sixth place right on the starting lap and was subsequently one of the quickest drivers in the field. Nevertheless, he was kept on edge all the way up to the finish. After having been touched by Jamie Green right at the beginning of the race the hood of Tomczyk’s car came off on lap 18. "That caused me to completely lose the front aerodynamics,” said the leader of the standings. "But we had so much mechanical grip today that it didn’t even make such a big difference. Oschersleben was extremely slippery in the rain today. When I saw that one car after the other in front of me was spinning off the track I took it a little easier. That paid off.”

No less impressive than Martin Tomczyk’s recovery was the victorious drive of Mattias Ekström, who by clinching his second success of the season narrowed his gap to the runner-up in the standings, Bruno Spengler, to ten points. The Swede pushed forward from fourth to second place at the start and only needed eight laps to overtake the Canadian who had been leading up to that point. The two-time DTM Champion then drove one fastest lap after the other and had an advantage of no less than 42 seconds on crossing the finish line. "The car was simply fantastic,” said a jubilant Ekström. "I can only say ‘thank you’ to my engineer and to the team.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Edoardo Mortara, who mounted the podium for the second time in a row and with a score of 21 points is now ranking in seventh place of the standings in his first DTM season. "I’ve never driven a car in the rain that has been as good as my A4 today; my engineer did an incredible job,” commented the Italian, who shielded Martin Tomczyk against the cars behind him almost throughout the race.

With Mike Rockenfeller on position six and the quickest in qualifying, Miguel Molina, in eighth place two other Audi drivers scored points at Oschersleben. Molina managed a good start. The Spaniard braked into the first turn on the wet track a little too late though. Despite body contact with Timo Scheider he was able to continue his drive and finally scored his overdue first point of the year.

After spinning twice on the starting lap Timo Scheider had started a similar recovery as Martin Tomczyk that caused him to advance to fourth place. After 25 laps though Scheider had to park his A4 DTM because a stone had destroyed the radiator.

After a turbulent race with several incidents Oliver Jarvis in ninth place barely missed scoring a point. In difficult conditions Rahel Frey achieved her so far best DTM result in twelfth place. Filipe Albuquerque was forced to retire after a collision with Ralf Schumacher in which he was not at fault.

"We’ve seen very spectacular motorsport today,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Similar to the round at Brands Hatch our A4 DTM was extremely strong in the rain. Mattias (Ekström), Martin (Tomczyk) and Edoardo (Mortara) again drove tremendous races. We’re happy about our 60th victory and another fantastic result for Audi.”

Source: Audi Motorsport
Photos: Audi Motorsport and DTM Media