Audi have added an eighth Audi A5 DTM to their 2012 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters campaign, with 21 year-old Frenchman Adrien Tambay joining the team.
The reigning DTM champions had originally planned to enter a seven car contingent into the new 2012 DTM – however a late decision has been made to add an eighth for the rising young talent.
However Audi Head of Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich admits that the decision has been made relatively late – with only six weeks to go until the start of the season it is still possible that Tambay will not be on the grid for the season opener at the Hockenheimring.
“We were poised for fielding eight vehicles in the DTM as early as last year and are assuming that no later than in 2013 all manufacturers will be competing with at least eight cars,” said Ullrich. “As we had to develop an extremely challenging hybrid car – the Audi R18 e-tron quattro – for the Le Mans 24 Hours and concurrently a completely new DTM vehicle we were initially planning for seven cars in 2012. I’m happy that the opportunity to enter eight cars has now materialized.
“I’m convinced that in view of the DTM’s high level it’ll be advantageous to compete with the maximum number of possible cars. The competition will be very close – an additional vehicle also means an additional chance. Plus, an even number makes more sense than an uneven number in terms of logistics and team effort.
“We’re currently working at full stretch on duplicating a sufficient number of cars of the A5 DTM model that was homologated on March 1 and to ensure appropriate spare parts supply,” added Ullrich. “This is a major logistical feat and puts maximum demands on the entire squad. Our aim is to field the eighth car as early as possible.”
Tambay, the son of former Formula 1 driver Patrick, joins the ranks of Mattias Ekström, Mike Rockenfeller, Filipe Albuquerque and Miguel Molina amongst others in joining Audi at a young age. He finished fourth overall in last year’s Auto GP championship and has previous experience in junior formula single seater racing.
Tambay will line up alongside Swiss racer Rahel Frey in the Audi Sport Team Abt outfit in 2012 and will likely begin testing with his new team next week in Valencia during the official DTM track tests.