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Audi aiming for first 2014 win in Russia

Photo by Audi AGAudi are aiming to take their first Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters win of the season at this weekend’s race at the Moscow Raceway, with the Ingolstadt manufacturer not having stood on the top step of the podium despite having six drivers in the top ten in the championship.

Audi drivers have scored seven podiums so far this season – with only 12 having been available. However none of the marques drivers have yet taken a win, with Mattias Ekström, Mike Rockenfeller, Miguel Molina and Jamie Green having come closest with second-placed finishes in each of the season’s four races so far.

“The first victory of the season has long been overdue for our squad,” admits Audi’s Head of DTM Dieter Gass. “We’ve been showing a consistently strong performance with nearly all of our drivers whereas our competitors keep experiencing highs and lows.”

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In 2013 Audi tasted victory in Russia when Phoenix Racing’s Rockenfeller won on the short circuit. This year the DTM will race on the full 3.931 km circuit, just as the World Touring Car Championship did earlier on in the year.

“Our aim for the race at Moscow is to repeat last year’s victory – even though we’ll be racing on a different configuration of the track,” added Gass. “We’ve got a balanced team performance this year and still have a number of drivers in contention for the championship. This also means that we’ve got several hot candidates for victory at Moscow in our ranks.”

Abt Sportsline’s Ekström is, along with championship leader Marco Wittmann, the only driver so far this year to have scored two podium finishes. The Swede finished second at the Moscow Raceway in 2013 on the series’ début in Russia and called the race one of the best of his 14-year DTM career. The 35-year-old is also on a high, having scored his first FIA World Rallycross Championship win last weekend in Finland.

“The race last year was one of the best ones in my DTM career,” said Ekström. “That’s why I’m excited and really looking forward to the weekend. I like the people and the enthusiasm in Russia and am going to give everything to up the ante because the biggest trophy is still missing in my collection this year.”

First practice takes place at 11:00 MST (08:00 BST; 09:00 CEST) on Saturday 12th July.

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