By scoring an impressive 1-2-3-4 win at the Nrburgring, Audi re-captured the lead in the DTM German Touring Car series at the beginning of the second half of the season. With title defender Timo Scheider (35 points) and Mattias Ekstrm (34 points), the two Audi drivers are at the top of the standings after six of ten rounds.
The dominant driver at the Nrburgring was Martin Tomczyk: The 27 year-old German was in a class of his own throughout the weekend. After posting the fastest times in free practice, qualifying and warm-up, Tomczyk set the pace from the outset in the race. With a commanding and flawless drive, he repeated his Nrburgring victory from 2007. This advanced him to fifth place in the overall standings.
"Everything worked out perfectly from the start," he said. "The pace was right throughout the weekend. It was a nice, calm race for me - almost like my victory in 2007 - simply perfect. I want to thank Audi and the Abt team for this fantastic car."
Audi's 1-2-3-4 win was completed by Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekstrm and Markus Winkelhock. Title defender Timo Scheider, who finished the race as the runner-up, re-captured the lead in the series. After his fifth consecutive podium finish, Mattias Ekstrm is just one point behind his teammate and five points ahead of Gary Paffett (Mercedes).
Ekstrm collided with Mercedes driver Bruno Spengler on the starting lap and damaged the front of his Audi A4 DTM in the process. Despite the damage he was able to drive almost the same lap times as his two team-mates in front of him. "After the collision with Bruno (Spengler), my car was a little slower on the straights, but othrwise it was okay," said the Swede. "It was not intentional. I was caught by surprise by Bruno braking so early. I'm happy I was able to continue the race and still finish in third."
At the beginning of the race and after the first pitstop, Ekstrm fought captivating duels with Timo Scheider, which the reigning champion managed to decide in his favor each time. "Of course I'm happy to re-take the series lead," said Scheider. "The duel with Mattias (Ekstrm) was fair. We're both fighting for the championship. That means you use your elbows - of course, in the case of a team-mate, not quite as heavily as with other rivals."
The three Audi A4 DTM cars from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline drove a lonely race in front of 86,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) at the front of the field and thus underscored Audi's commanding performance at the Nrburgring, which was completed by Markus Winkelhock's fourth place in the year-old A4 fielded by Audi Sport Team Rosberg.
For the other five Audi "factory" drivers, the Nrburgring race was less kind. Katherine Legge had to park her Audi A4 DTM after a collision with Gary Paffett in the commotion in the first turn. Tom Kristensen was "turned around" by a rival on the first lap and retired after 13 laps because his car was too heavily damaged on the left-hand side. Mike Rockenfeller was hit on the starting lap and in the process lost all chance of scoring further points. Oliver Jarvis and Alexandre Prmat (both Audi Sport Team Phoenix) were forced to retire after a team collision on lap seven.
After a three-week break, the DTM will visit the circuit at Brands Hatch in Great Britain on September 6.