Audi are seeking victory at this weekend’s round of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters at the famous Norisring street circuit – having not taken a win at their home round since the 2002 season.
Audi last won around the Norisring when Laurent Aïello took the Abt-Audi TT-R to victory at the Nürnberg circuit. The manufacturer is determined to follow on from its first victory in the 2012 season last time out at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and has recently been undertaking further analyses and tests on the Audi A5 DTM to further optimise it for forthcoming races.
Speaking ahead of the important race weekend, Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich expressed his desire to finally see a works-backed Audi take victory at the Norisring.
“After my personal home race at Spielberg, the home round for AUDI AG and particularly for the Ingolstadt plant is now coming up,” said Ullrich. “We’re all hoping to be successful at the Norisring this year. At Spielberg, we developed the cars by another step. At the Norisring, we want to show a good team performance as well. Victory is our big aim.”
The Norisring is also the home race for Audi tuning experts Abt Sportsline and Team Director Hans-Jürgen Abt is hoping to finally add to the win his team took ten years ago.
“We’re particularly looking forward to the Norisring, as this is the home race not only for Audi but also for our company,” added Abt. “It would be nice to finally clinch another victory there.”
Swede Mattias Ekström currently leads the way for Audi drivers in the championship and he is currently second overall, having finished no lower than fifth so far in 2012. Despite the former double champion still seeking his first win at the Norisring he rates the race highly.
“The Norisring is the highlight of the year for me,” said Ekström. “I’ve often tried to win there. In many cases, I came close but didn’t make it yet. This year, I’m going to give everything for it again. I’ll be taking every risk for victory. After a short vacation I’m traveling to Nuremberg with freshly charged batteries.”
Italian Edoardo Mortara took victory in Austria last time out – his first-ever in the DTM – and is understandably confident heading into this weekend’s race.
“I’m already very excited to see how we’ll be doing at the Norisring,” admitted Mortara. “After the brilliant victory at Spielberg, I’m confident that we’ll be looking good there as well. I love city street circuits and won in Nuremberg twice in Formula 3. Now I want to achieve a good result in the DTM there as well.”
Mike Rockenfeller is currently equal sixth in the championship with Mortara, having taken one podium finish so far in 2012. However the German has never finished higher than ninth around the Norisring, and took the flag in 14th in last year’s race.
“I won the Porsche Carrera Cup in Nuremberg, so I know how to win there,” said Rockenfeller. “Unfortunately, in terms of results, the track has not been so positive for me in the DTM so far. Still, I’m tremendously looking forward to it. With the A5 DTM, the Norisring will be really special. I’m hoping to be among those running at the very front of the field.”
First practice for the DTM at the Norisring takes place at 1320 Berline time on Friday 29th June.