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Audi Moscow16a– Audi driver makes up eleven positions in Sunday’s race
– Strong race after weak qualifying
– Müller, Tambay and Ekström finish in the points as well

What a race for Edoardo Mortara: The Italian from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline in his Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM advanced from grid position 17 to sixth place in the second race at the Moscow Raceway (Russia) on Sunday. Following a disappointing qualifying session, Audi showed a strong race.

In the battle for the best grid positions in the morning, none of the eight Audi drivers managed the leap into the top ten. Youngster Nico Müller in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM in position twelve was the best Audi driver on the grid. The title hopefuls Edoardo Mortara and Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Rosberg) even had to settle for grid positions 17 and 19. “We didn’t manage to get the tires to work precisely the way they should have in qualifying,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “The right compromise between a fast lap in qualifying and the long race distance is difficult sometimes. We need to carefully analyse this.”

In the race, the Audi RS 5 DTM then were among the fastest cars, which Nico Müller’s fastest lap proved as well. With a total of four drivers in the points Audi still managed to score a respectable result in the light of the difficult starting base.

The man of the race was Edoardo Mortara. The Italian made up five positions right on lap one and subsequently continued to thrill the spectators with spectacular overtaking manoeuvres. On the penultimate lap, he bumped Mercedes-Benz driver Daniel Juncadella from position six. In the last turn, Mortara still attacked Saturday’s winner Robert Wickens as well and saw the checkered flag in a photo finish alongside the Mercedes-Benz. On the finish line, Mortara was short merely 67 thousandths of a second from position five.

“It was a good race for me. I gave my best,” said Mortara following his comeback. “Initially, I was struggling quite a bit with the new set of tires. But then grip came and I was able to close the gap to the guys in front of me. I tried to put pressure on them and that worked out pretty well. Obviously, having had a number of Audi cars around me helped today too. That was good teamwork and a nice feeling.”

Behind Mortara three other Audi drivers, Nico Müller, Adrien Tambay ( Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), who drove a similarly strong race as the Italian, finished in the points. Miguel Molina at the wheel of the Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM in position eleven missed scoring a point in the thrilling finale by only 0.107 seconds. Timo Scheider (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM, both Audi Sport Team Phoenix) advanced from grid positions 23 and 20 to 13th and 15th place.

A comeback that went unrewarded was the one by Jamie Green who had started qualifying with a slight delay after having his power steering system changed. The Briton advanced similarly fast as Edoardo Mortara on the first few laps, but lost all chances of scoring points as a result of two drive-through penalties – the first one due to a collision and the second one for driving too fast in the pit lane.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
“The Moscow weekend didn’t go according to our plans. On Saturday, following a difficult qualifying session, we didn’t really do a good job of coping with the wet race. Nevertheless, we managed to make up ground in the championship with a good team performance. We haven’t really understood yet what the problem was in qualifying on Sunday. Still bringing four cars into the points from grid positions that started with twelfth place was certainly not to be expected and therefore all the more gratifying.”

Dieter Gass (Head of DTM at Audi Sport)
“Obviously, we can’t be happy with our overall results at Moscow. Especially in qualifying, we weren’t fast enough. In the rain on Saturday, it was hard to achieve more from our grid positions, especially since the race started behind the safety car. On Sunday, we didn’t manage to get the tires to work precisely in qualifying. We need to analyse why that was the case. Following the catastrophic qualifying, we at least managed to bring four cars into the points. Now we have to fully concentrate on the Nürburgring. There we have to find our usual form again particularly in qualifying.”

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #5) position 5 / position 9
“It may sound strange, but personally I’m quite happy with my performance in qualifying. On Saturday, a clean lap was good for position five and on Sunday, well, just for position 15 – we still need to look at where we were off the mark there. While I had an unspectacular race on Saturday, there was plenty of action on Sunday. It was brutally great fun, it was pure entertainment. Edo (Mortara) came from the rear, so I didn’t make life unnecessarily difficult for him. But even as a ‘bodyguard’ I had a thrilling day.”

Edoardo Mortara (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #48) position 8 / position 6
“Advancing on Sunday from grid position 17 to sixth place – that was no doubt one of my greatest comebacks in the DTM and huge fun. Very good teamwork contributed to this as well. We can’t be happy with our two top-ten finishes because we could have done better. Looking at gaps and doing math games is of no help in the title race – we now have to look at every single race and try to clinch victories again. Now we’re traveling to the Nürburgring – a track I really like and that suited me well in the past.”

Nico Müller (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 13 / position 7
“We were very fast throughout the entire weekend – except, unfortunately, when it matters most, which is in qualifying. At least, in position seven on Sunday, we still scored a few points, plus the fastest race lap which, obviously, boosts motivation. So, a lot more would have been possible. We’re going to take the positives home, learn from the questions yet to be answered and try to battle for the big trophies again at the Nürburgring.”

Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #53) position 7 / position 21
“This wasn’t a perfect weekend although we were fast in both races. On Saturday, we didn’t optimally manage qualifying in difficult conditions. I was pretty happy to at least have scored a few points. Toward the end of the race, I closed the gap to the group battling for position four but would have had to take a big risk to overtake Martin. On Sunday, things just weren’t going well at all. We had technical issues in qualifying, so I only took position 20. On the first race laps, I managed to advance pretty well, but then I was a little too optimistic in my attempt to overtake da Costa. I think he didn’t see me at all and turned the wheel in a perfectly normal way. I received a drive-through penalty for the collision and then another one because I was too fast in the entrance to the pit lane – that’s never happened to me before in my career. We still have six races and are not going to give up. But now we definitely need a few smooth weekends.”

Adrien Tambay ( Audi RS 5 DTM #27) position 12 / position 8
“In view of the fact that Audi was struggling a bit here, I’m pretty happy with my result and the points. For me, this was my comeback after my wrist injury. I wasn’t completely sure about being fit enough, but the race on Sunday proved it. I was able to make up ten places and, thanks to ‘Eki,’ recover two more positions in the last turn. The first race on Saturday wasn’t so bad either, but I was hardly able to see anything in the rain and simply tried to bring the car home safely in one piece.”

Timo Scheider (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM #10) position 9 / position 13
“Following the summer break, we made a step forward here at Moscow – however, it wasn’t the big one we’d been hoping for. In the rain, we were good. With position seven we showed a clear improvement in qualifying, which felt good. On Sunday, qualifying wasn’t good, but the race with a slightly different strategy was okay after all. We made up ten positions, which is a positive. Obviously, we’re aiming to advance further, but I regard Moscow at least as a small step in the right direction.”

Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM #17) position 17 / position 11
“This wasn’t a good weekend. In the wet conditions on Saturday we were in contention at the front in qualifying for a long time, but then dropped back far in the last two minutes when the track dried off. So, in the race it was only about bringing the car home safely. On Saturday, it was difficult for all Audi drivers in qualifying. In the race, we made up a few positions and supported our title candidates as best we could. Of course there were no points awarded for that – we’d like to definitely make up for that at the Nürburgring.”

Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #99) position 16 / position 15
“Unfortunately, it was another poor weekend. I had no grip at all in qualifying – not in the rain on Saturday or on a dry track on Sunday. That’s absolutely frustrating because, subjectively, I’m driving at the limit, but am not making headway. In the race, things are always going pretty well. My race pace was right again here on both days. But that doesn’t do you any good when you start from the rear. Plus, on Sunday, the clutch wasn’t working. That was of no help especially at the start. We did a pretty good job of fixing that during the pit stop.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
“Our performance in qualifying wasn’t perfect on either day – we still need to do a lot of work to analyse and resolve this. But in the race we showed a strong and cohesive team performance twice. Especially on Sunday, four cars in the top ten were the maximum that was possible. Edo (Mortara) showed a great comeback, but Mattias (Ekström) and Nico (Müller) proved that they’re real fighters as well. The fastest pit stop of the race went to us too – thank you to the whole team for that. Now we’re going to do a good job of working on all our issues and make sure that we’re going to be on the grid with sharp weapons again at the Nürburgring.”

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
“Moscow used to be a superb track for Audi. That’s why we were surprised to see how strong the competition was here. On a wet track, we had to admit defeat to Mercedes and on a dry one to BMW – in an extreme way already in qualifying. In Saturday’s qualifying, we were almost heading for pole with Timo (Scheider) up until the last turn. Unfortunately, he made a slight braking mistake, so we were left with grid position seven. With ‘Rocky,’ timing wasn’t optimal in qualifying. The race speed was right with both of them. On Sunday, qualifying was a disaster. Like the whole year before, we had no grip again with either car. In the race, both had a good pace again. But qualifying is crucial – and we’re just not on the mark there at the moment.”

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
“This wasn’t our weekend. On Saturday, I was still quite happy because we at least scored points with Jamie (Green). On Sunday, he was unfortunately a little too optimistic while overtaking. That’s a shame because in terms of speed he was pretty good. Adrien (Tambay) drove a strong race on Sunday and in the end still scored two points in the final turn.”

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