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Audi drivers score with recoveries

425The Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (Austria) guarantees particularly spectacular DTM races. 47,500 spectators (throughout the weekend) saw gripping duels, strange incidents and, in spite of a difficult starting base, four Audi RS 5 DTM cars in the top eight.

Following the first half of a season that was less than perfect for him, Timo Scheider had a reason to cheer for the first time this year. The two-time DTM Champion had started on the softer option tires and within just a few laps worked his way forward from grid position 14 to join the pack at the front. In the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix, after 47 laps, he crossed the finish line as the best Audi in fifth place – trailing the winner by only 6.666 seconds.

“Advancing from 14th place to fifth in the race is a great feeling for me and the squad,” said the two-time DTM Champion. “We had enough trouble and problems in the first five races. I hope that we’ll be able to turn this around now and to have fortune on our side in the second half of the season.”

Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, both Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) treated the Austrian crowd to impressive recoveries as well. Tambay, like Scheider, had started on option tires and from position 20 on the grid advanced to sixth place. Ekström had started the race on harder standard tires and was ultimately the best driver using this strategy. The Swede made up ground from grid position 15 to seventh place and thus maintained his second place in the overall DTM standings.

Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg was the tragic hero of the day. The Briton had been the only driver to make it into the top ten in qualifying and was in contention in the group of front runners from the outset. Up to the race’s midpoint, he was running in front of the subsequent winner Marco Wittmann. However, due to a communications problem with his pit crew Green switched from option to standard tires one lap too late. As a result, the Audi driver, while leading the race, was forced to pit for a drive-through penalty and in the end had to settle for eighth place.

In eleventh place, Miguel Molina in the Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM missed scoring a point by only 0.410 seconds. Title defender Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM dropped to the back of the field in the early stage. After switching to option tires, he was the quickest man in the field, advanced to 13th place and with 1m 25.266s (182.647 km/h) set a new DTM track record.

Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) and Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) received drive-through penalties for failing to sufficiently reduce speed under yellow flags. They finished in positions 16 and 19.

“Following yesterday’s qualifying, we couldn’t necessarily expect to bring four cars into the points,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, summing up the race. “Today, the performance was right. Mike Rockenfeller drove the fastest race lap, Jamie Green battled for the podium, and Timo Scheider, Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström advanced from positions at the far rear of the field to finish in the top seven. It’s a shame that Jamie lost the chance of a possible podium due to a communications error with his pit crew. As a result, it was easy for BMW to bring Marco Wittmann to the front and to provide him with a major advantage in the championship. In two weeks from now, at the Nürburgring, we’ve got to regain our old strength in qualifying.”




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