Audi achieves podium result in Nuremberg

Filed under:
Motorsport, Audi
on 06/25/2007

Source: Audi

In front of 141,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) Mattias Ekström clinched a podium result for Audi in the "home race" at the Norisring despite a spoiled qualifying. The Swede in his Red Bull Audi A4 DTM fought his way forwards from seventh position on the grid to third place. In the DTM’s overall standings, Ekström as the runner-up lies merely 1.5 points behind title defender Bernd Schneider. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is the front runner in the team standings at the season’s midpoint.

Ekström pushed forwards to fifth place as early as on the starting lap and afterwards drove a flawless race. The Swede benefited from two perfect pit stops and in the final phase was able to put pressure on the two leading Mercedes cars driven by Bruno Spengler and Bernd Schneider. With a gap of merely 0.698 seconds to the second-placed contender, Ekström was the third driver to cross the finish line.

A brilliant comeback was managed by Tom Kristensen: 63 days after his serious accident in the Hockenheim season opener the Dane finished the Norisring race in an impressive fifth place.

Alexandre Prémat from Audi Sport Team Phoenix in his A4 from last year fought his way forwards from position 15 on the grid to eighth, thus scoring points for the second time in a row. His team-mate Christian Abt occupied tenth place although his Audi was damaged in collisions that were no fault of his.

Struck by serious misfortune were Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider: Both became entangled in Norisring-typical accidents in the first corner, which were caused by Mercedes drivers. Tomczyk retired and as a result dropped from first to third place in the overall standings. Scheider was able to continue the race, but consistently lost ground with his heavily damaged A4.

Mike Rockenfeller finished his first Norisring race in the DTM in 13th place. The first pit stop of his team-mate with Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Lucas Luhr, was not counted. Shortly before race end, he retired after Mercedes driver Daniel la Rosa had hit him in the rear.

Adam Carroll was classified in 17th place despite brake problems. His team-mate Vanina Ickx was hit in the rear by Mathias Lauda as she was braking to enter the Grundig hairpin and crashed into the guard rail at high speed. The Belgian sustained no injuries.

The accident led to a disputed scene: The subsequent winner Bruno Spengler disregarded the lights that had just switched to red at the pitlane exit. Similar incidents had recently resulted in disqualifications in Formula 1. The race stewards, however, decided that the Canadian had no chance to . notice the changing of the lights from his position. After studying the video footage, Audi opted against a protest in the interest of sport.

The result at the Norisring

1 Bruno Spengler (Mercedes), 74 laps in 1h03m59.350s
2 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes), + 1.803s
3 Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), + 2.501s
4 Gary Paffett (Mercedes), + 9.160s
5 Tom Kristensen (Siemens Audi A4 DTM), + 13.750s
6 Jamie Green (Mercedes), + 14.201s
7 Alexandros Margaritis (Mercedes), + 19.477s
8 Alexandre Prémat (Audi Bank Audi A4 DTM), + 20.928s
9 Mika Häkkinen (Mercedes), + 21.699s
10 Christian Abt (Playboy Audi A4 DTM), + 36.069s
11 Mathias Lauda (Mercedes), + 37.299s
12 Daniel la Rosa (Mercedes), + 45.537s
13 Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM), - 1 lap
14 Timo Scheider (GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM), - 1 lap
15 Paul di Resta (Mercedes), - 1 lap
16 Susie Stoddart (Mercedes), - 2 laps
17. Adam Carroll (Audi A4 DTM), - 9 laps (brakes)
18 Lucas Luhr (Philips Audi A4 DTM), - 15 laps (accident)
Not classified:
Vanina Ickx (Audi A4 DTM), - 54 laps (accident)
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), - 73 laps (accident)

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