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- Second half of the DTM season starts at the Nürburgring
– Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider are the best-placed Audi drivers
– “Home round” for Audi Sport Team Phoenix

Only three points separate Audi driver Martin Tomczyk from the leader of the standings Bruno Spengler after the first half of the 2011 DTM season. And the tracks which the 29-year-old German is particularly looking forward to are just now coming up: Nürburgring, Brands Hatch, Oschersleben, Valencia and Hockenheim.

The 3629-kilometre circuit in the Eifel region suits Tomczyk particularly well. The native of Rosenheim, Bavaria, has won two of the last four DTM races on the “short” Nürburgring (2007 and 2009). And both triumphs turned out to be such commanding ones that Tomczyk has been nicknamed “King of the Short Circuit” ever since.

This year another factor comes into play: For Audi Sport Team Phoenix, for which Tomczyk has been competing since the beginning of the 2011 season, the race is a real “home Grand Prix” as Ernst Moser’s team is based not even three kilometres away from the track, in the industrial area of Meuspath.

It is not only the Phoenix squad that regards the beginning of the second half of the season on the first weekend in August as a “home round” though. Timo Scheider and Mike Rockenfeller from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline grew up near the tradition-steeped circuit as well. The same applies to Arno Zensen, the team director of Audi Sport Team Rosberg, which most recently, at the DTM show event in Munich, hit the headlines by winning day one and finishing day two in second place, both times with Edoardo Mortara.

At the show event between the concrete walls some of the Audi drivers deliberately took it easy on their race cars in order to be perfectly set for the second half of the season – first and foremost Martin Tomczyk, who has been contesting the best DTM season of his DTM career so far: Two victories, four podium places and a fifth place as the worst result of the first five races speak a clear language. The transfer to a two-year-old Audi A4 has long become a wild card for Tomczyk.

Timo Scheider as the second-best Audi driver in the standings, whose chances in the race for the title are certainly still intact, is also a German. The 2008 and 2009 champion has scored points in all five races so far. If he manages to improve his form in qualifying, then the driver who spearheads Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline will definitely be in contention. For Scheider, the race in the Eifel is primarily about not losing touch with the front runners in the standings.

The other Audi drivers are looking toward the second half of the season with confidence and impatience too. The last five races of the year are not only about achieving good positions in the current season but also about securing cockpits for the 2012 season when a third manufacturer – BMW – will enter the DTM and Audi will field the new A5 DTM that will be unveiled in early September at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt – which promises to make the remaining five races even more competitive and thrilling.

The first of the last five acts of the 2011 season will start on Sunday, August 7, at 2 p.m. ARD’s live broadcast from the Nürburgring on “Das Erste” starts at 1:45 p.m. (local time).

Other topics of the weekend

- Will Mike Rockenfeller be able to report back to the top group?
– Will Mattias Ekström shake off the streak of bad luck from the first half of the season?
– Will Rahel Frey clinch a respectable result on the track of her Formula 3 victory?
– Will Audi Sport Team Rosberg be able to continue the good performance shown in Munich?
– Will Miguel Molina finally clinch his overdue first point of the season?

Quotes by the officials

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “If you ask Martin (Tomczyk) what his favorite track is he’ll probably say it’s the Nürburgring. The circuit really suits him well. He has been driving a great championship so far. I’m hoping that he’ll arrive in the Eifel with this momentum and that when we leave he’ll still like the Nürburgring as much as he did on our arrival.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “The second half of the season starts at the Nürburgring. We’ll try and make up the gap to Mercedes. We’re within a striking distance and want to deliver a top performance. The Nürburgring is a good track for Audi. Let’s see if we’ll have that bit of luck we need in order to be at the very front again.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “The whole squad is looking forward to our ‘home Grand Prix’ as we like to call it. After five races with this kind of performance we’re highly motivated to make such a showing again in front of our fans. With a three-point gap anything’s possible. Martin (Tomczyk) is incredibly fond of this circuit. With the package we’ve had so far, the motivation and this being one of his favorite tracks we’ll give all we’ve got and be very far at the front. Rahel Frey has already won at the Nürburgring in Formula 3. Her curve should – and has to – point further upward. She’s highly motivated and we’ll give her all the support she needs to make the next step.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “The Nürburgring is my home race because I’m from the Eifel region. And Edo (Mortara) is on a roll: He scored his first points in the second race, drove a sensational race at the Norisring and then took overall victory on day one at the Olympiapark in Munich. If we can take this momentum with us, then I euphorically look forward to the second half of the season. Now we’ve just got to help Filipe (Albuquerque). I’m in good spirits.”

Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers

Filipe Albuquerque (26/P), TV Movie Audi A4 DTM #18 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
– Is driving at the Spa 24 Hours one week before the DTM Nürburgring
“For me the Nürburgring is the first regular track since the Lausitzring because it was followed by two unusual circuits, the Norisring city street race and the stadium race in Munich. My aim in my debut season is not to make the same mistake twice. Dr. Ullrich keeps advising us rookies to stay patient. Since we’re not driving any tests we’re only making progress on the race weekends. I noticed that I can still improve my braking in front of each turn. Fully using the potential of the carbon brakes of the Audi A4 DTM is one of the keys to success. I’m eager to see how well I’ll manage to do that at the Nürburgring. I really like this track.”

Mattias Ekström (33/S), Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #8 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
– Has already won a DTM race at the Nürburgring and started from the pole position last year
– Was leading the race at the Norisring some of the time but had to settle for seventh place
“I always have a good feeling about the Nürburgring and have also achieved many good results there. This year, our second half of the season starts at this track. I’ll try my best to start a good series of five races there so that my year will end on a positive note.”

Rahel Frey (25/CH), Glamour Audi A4 DTM #15 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
– Wants to confirm her consistent performances in the second half of the season
– Has seen the checkered flag at each of her first five DTM rounds
“At the Nürburgring the second half of the season starts. So I want to experience what will hopefully be an equally good, or perhaps even better, half. It’s important for me to finish the remaining races. I want to set an upward trend in order to continue my development. Let’s see where we’ll end up then.”

Oliver Jarvis (27/GB), Audi Sport performance cars A4 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
– Was sent into a spin most recently in the race at the Norisring
– Has already been on the podium once this year
“The Nürburgring is a nice race track even though my results there have never been outstanding. In the first half of the season we saw that a podium finish is possible. I want to make a good start into the second half of the year in order to clearly move up some more in the standings.”

Miguel Molina (22/E), Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #22 (Audi Sport Team Abt Junior)
– Wants to start scoring points in the Eifel
“I’m hoping for a good weekend. In my career the Nürburgring has always been a good race track. It’s about being relaxed, driving a good race and finally starting to score points.”

Edoardo Mortara (24/I/F), Playboy Audi A4 DTM #19 (Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
– With a fifth-place finish at the Norisring in extremely difficult conditions has clinched his best result of the season so far
– Most recently celebrated victory on Saturday at the show race in Munich
“After a nice weekend in Munich I’m now facing my next classification race. I want to take the good feelings from Munich with me and hope that everything will be going nicely. Normally, the circuit should suit Audi. I really know the track well. Last year I won in Formula 3 there, so we should be competitive.”

Mike Rockenfeller (27/D), E-POSTBRIEF Audi A4 DTM #9 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
– Has his home round at the Nürburgring
– Wants to be on the podium again now after a victory in the first half of the season
“I like the track. The circuit in the Eifel is my home race. I’m from Neuwied, just about 50 kilometres away from the Nürburgring. Since our last classification race at the Norisring I’ve had a longer break on my calendar. At our show event that took place in Munich in the meantime no points were awarded as everyone knows. At the “ring” I want to be as far at the front of the field as possible. The first turn is always a challenge on this track. It’s very narrow and you’ve got to brake into it very late. On the rear part of the circuit the chicane is the biggest challenge. How much should you run the kerbs in order to be quick? I’m looking forward to the whole event because a lot of friends and acquaintances will probably come to visit.”

Timo Scheider (32/D), AUTO TEST Audi A4 DTM #4 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
– Is still lacking a victory at his home round
– Was just one of four drivers this year to finish in the points each time
“I’m looking forward to my home track, the Nürburgring. Friends and acquaintances will be there. And maybe some more fans than usual. This makes for some extra motivation. I’ve got fond memories of my Nürburgring weekends. I clinched my first Formula 3 victory there and have achieved good DTM results. I’ve already won the 24-hour race there as well. So those are many positive memories of the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit and that puts me in a positive mood about coming home again.”

Martin Tomczyk (29/D), Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM #14 (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
– As the runner-up in the standings with just a three-point gap is the best Audi driver
– Has celebrated two victories in the past four years at the Nürburgring
“The Nürburgring will be a really great event. Not only because my new team is at home here. I like the Nürburgring very much too. In the past few years I always really enjoyed driving there. So I’m really looking forward to the race and hope to be able to recapture the lead of the standings there.”

The Audi drivers in the 2011 DTM

Filipe Albuquerque (P): * Jun 13, 1985 in Coimbra (P); residence: Coimbra (P) single; height: 1.74 m; weight: 64 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 5; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 8th place); fastest laps: 0; points: 1; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: -

Mattias Ekström (S): * Jul 14, 1978 in Falun (S); residence: Salenstein (CH); single; height: 1.83 m; weight: 77 kg; Audi driver since 1999; DTM races: 109 pole positions: 16; victories: 14; fastest laps: 11; points: 493; DTM titles: 2 (2004, 2007); best result, DTM Nürburgring: 1

Rahel Frey (CH): * Feb 23, 1986 in Niederbipp (CH); residence: Aedermannsdorf (CH); single; height: 1.63 m; weight: 50 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 5; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 15th place) fastest laps: 0; points: 0; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: -

Oliver Jarvis (GB): * Jan 09, 1984 in Burwell (GB); residence: Ermatingen (CH); single; height: 1.80 m; weight: 70 kg; Audi driver since 2008; DTM races: 37; pole positions: 1; victories: 0 (best result: 2nd place); fastest laps: 0; points: 51; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: 11

Miguel Molina (E): * Feb 17, 1989 in Girona (E); residence: Lloret de Mar (E); single; height: 1.75 m; weight: 62 kg; Audi driver since 2010; DTM races: 16; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 4th place); fastest laps: 1; points: 15; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgbring: 14

Edoardo Mortara (I/F): * Jan 12, 1987 in Geneva (CH); residence: Geneva (CH); single; height: 1.82 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2011; DTM races: 5; pole positions: 0; victories: 0 (best result: 5th place); fastest laps: 0; points: 7; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: -

Mike Rockenfeller (D): * Oct 31, 1983 in Neuwied (D); residence: Altnau (CH); single; height: 1.75 m; weight: 67 kg; Audi driver since 2007; DTM races: 46; pole positions: 0; victories: 1; fastest laps: 2; points: 57; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring: 9

Timo Scheider (D): * Nov 11, 1978 in Lahnstein (D); residence: Lochau (A); single, (partner Jessica), one son (Loris); height: 1.78 m; weight: 74 kg; Audi driver since 2006; DTM races: 114; pole positions: 9; victories: 6; fastest laps: 7; points: 343; DTM titles: 2 (2008, 2009); best result, DTM Nürburgring: 3

Martin Tomczyk (D): * Dec 07, 1981 in Rosenheim (D); residence: Aesch/Basel (CH); single (partner Christina); height: 1.88 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2001; DTM races: 108; pole positions: 8; victories: 6; fastest laps: 5; points: 285; DTM titles: 0; best result, DTM Nürburgring:54

2011 DTM point standings

1 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz) 39 points
2 Martin Tomczyk (Audi A4 DTM) 36 points
3 Timo Scheider (Audi A4 DTM) 24 points
4 Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) 21 points
5 Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) 14 points
6 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi A4 DTM) 14 points
7 Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM) 11 points
8 Oliver Jarvis (Audi A4 DTM) 10 points
9 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) 9 points
10 Edoardo Mortara (Audi A4 DTM) 7 points
11 Maro Engel (Mercedes-Benz) 3 points
12 Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM) 2 points
13 David Coulthard (Mercedes-Benz) 1 point
14 Filipe Albuquerque (Audi A4 DTM) 1 point

2011 DTM season interim statistics

Victories: Mercedes-Benz 2; Audi 3
Pole positions: Mercedes-Benz 4; Audi 1
Fastest laps: Mercedes-Benz 3; Audi 2
Leading laps: Mercedes-Benz 135; Audi 98

Audi DTM statistics

Pole positions: 59
Victories: 57
Fastest laps: 49
Champion’s titles: 7 (1990, 1991, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009)

All Nürburgring winners since 2000

2000 2 x Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz), 2 x Manuel Reuter (Opel)
2001 Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi)
2002 Uwe Alzen (Mercedes-Benz)
2003 Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz), Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi)
2004 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2005 Mattias Ekström (Audi)
2006 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz)
2007 Martin Tomczyk (Audi)
2008 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz)
2009 Martin Tomczyk (Audi)
2010 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz)

Track info

Track length: 3.629 km
Race distance: 49 laps = 177.821 km
DTM qualifying record on this track: Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), 1m 23.161s = 157.098 km/h (August 06, 2005)
DTM race record on this track: Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz), 1m 24.372s = 154.843 km/h (August 08, 2010)
Pole position 2010: Mattias Ekström (Audi), 1m 23.817s = 155.868 km/h (August 07, 2010)
Fastest lap 2010: Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz), 1m 24.372s = 154.843 km/h (August 08, 2010)
Turnout 2010: 86,000
TV live rating 2010: 1.6 million/11.5 % market share (source: ARD)

Rahel Frey about the Nürburgring: “The first corner is special. Braking is important; the compression in this corner I’m only aware of at the Nürburgring. It’s important to take as much momentum as possible at this point. Then the double-left follows. You have to be patient here as it’s easy to overdrive the car if you want too much. The circuit short-cut, which is off camber, follows afterwards. After a left and a right corner the track then heads toward a fast curve that is followed by the chicane that slows us down. I’ll have to attack the kerbs in the chicane with the DTM car. In Formula 3 a lot is asked of the tyres on this track. I’m intrigued to see whether this phenomenon is also apparent in a DTM car. My smooth driving style should help me at the Nürburgring. I really like the track.”

2010 flashback

For the first time in the 2010 season Timo Scheider was the best Audi driver at a DTM race. At the Nürburgring the title defender took fourth place in his Audi A4 DTM and thus just barely missed the podium. Mattias Ekström commandingly secured the pole position but dropped to seventh place after the start and was unable to make up ground afterwards. Scheider and Ekström were the only two Audi drivers to finish in the points at the Nürburgring. The best driver of a 2008-spec A4 was Mike Rockenfeller in ninth place.

2010 results

1 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes) 49 laps in 1h 10m 27.488s
2 Paul Di Resta (Mercedes) + 2.843s
3 Gary Paffett (Mercedes) + 8.586s
4 Timo Scheider (Audi A4 DTM) + 15.308s
5 Jamie Green (Mercedes) + 21.590s

7 Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM) + 27.268s
9 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi A4 DTM) + 33.942s
11 Oliver Jarvis (Audi A4 DTM) + 46.630s
13 Martin Tomczyk (Audi A4 DTM) + 1m 13.187s
14 Miguel Molina (Audi A4 DTM) + 1m 14.196s
15 Katherine Legge (Audi A4 DTM) – 1 lap

Timetable

Friday, August 5
09:00-09:30 Roll-out
09:30-09:35 Starting practice
13:00-14:30 Free practice 1
14:30-14:35 Starting practice

Saturday, August 6
09:25-10:55 Free practice 2
13:40-14:50 Qualifying

Sunday, August 7
09:30-10:00 Warm-up
14:00 Race

TV schedule (ARD live)

Saturday, August 6
13:30-15:00 Qualifying

Sunday, August 7
13:45-14:50 Race

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