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New Audi RS 5 DTM already a winner

9J6A0135After just two races, the new Audi RS 5 DTM is already a winning car: in the turbulent round two of the 2017 DTM at the Hockenheimring, Jamie Green was in a class of his own on Sunday.

Following an early safety car period, the Briton from Audi Sport Team Rosberg took the lead on lap three and went on to extend it to more than ten seconds. When rain set in halfway through the race and kept getting heavier, Green switched from slicks to rain tires at the right moment. His advantage was so great that he was even able to cope with a 5-second pit stop penalty. Subsequently, on a wet track, Green managed his clear lead well, crossing the finish line as the winner with a near-five-second advantage over his compatriot Gary Paffett in a Mercedes-Benz.

9J6A9876« The conditions today were really anything but easy, » Green said after his 14th triumph in the DTM. « Achieving a victory on the first weekend of a new racing season is always good. My thanks go to Team Rosberg and to everyone at Audi Sport: this success is an initial reward for the hard work in winter. » Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass was impressed by the Briton’s performance as well: « Today, it was difficult to judge when to change to rain tires. The driver is now completely on his own in the DTM. Jamie (Green) handled this superbly and truly deserves this victory. It was a fantastic result for us. »

Like the day before, drivers of all three Audi Sport teams scored points on Sunday. Nico Müller from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline was the second-best Audi campaigner even though the Swiss was pushed into his brand colleague Loïc Duval by Mercedes-Benz driver Robert Wickens at the start and suffered a puncture in the incident. From the last position, Müller recovered to fifth place in his damaged car.

Mike Rockenfeller from Audi Sport Team Phoenix secured position seven even though the German, following an early first pit stop, had to pit a second time for a tire change due to the rain.

For Mattias Ekström, Sunday’s race was disappointing. Following his victory in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in the morning, the Swede advanced from position ten on the grid to third place. However, after switching to rain tires, the Swede dropped to eleventh place and, as a result, scored no points.

After delivering a solid qualifying performance, newcomer Loïc Duval had to park his Audi RS 5 DTM after only seven laps due to a starting collision in which he was not at fault. For René Rast, the race was even more unfortunate. The German started from the front row for the first time, but following the restart on lap three was hit so hard by a rival that he was forced to retire in the pits. Because Rast complained about neck pain he was taken to a hospital for a precautionary medical check.

Results of race 2:

1 Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Rosberg) 32 laps in 56m 53.264s 2 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) + 4.936s 3 Marco Wittmann (BMW) + 8.191s 4 Lucas Auer (Mercedes-Benz) + 16.985s 5 Nico Müller (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) + 26.959s 6 Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) + 27.426s 7 Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Phoenix) + 31.315s … 11 Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) + 1m 12.944s Not classified: Loïc Duval (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Phoenix), 7 laps René Rast (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Rosberg), 4 laps

The DTM delivered a tremendous season opener featuring two spectacular races at the Hockenheimring in front of 79,500 spectators (throughout the weekend). Following third place on Saturday, Audi achieved the first victory of the new Audi RS 5 DTM on Sunday. Quotes after the weekend that kicked off the 2017 DTM.

Dieter Gass (Head of Audi Motorsport)

« It’s fantastic that we achieved our first victory with the new Audi RS 5 DTM right on the first race weekend. After the tests we were sure that we’d have a powerful car again this year. Still, we obviously didn’t know where we stood in comparison with our competitors. My thanks go to everyone who worked extremely hard in the past months and on this weekend. They can all leave Hockenheim with satisfaction and be happy about a tremendous showing of the DTM. You could hardly wish for more action and suspense. »

Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #53) position 18 / position 1

« Saturday was very hard for me. I was twelfth in qualifying and in the race became involved in an incident while overtaking on lap four. That was a frustrating day. On Sunday, there were mixed conditions in qualifying and the race, which is always difficult. We did a great job as a team and always had the right tires at the right time. I’m proud of the result. In spite of the penalty, I managed to stay in front. It’s great to win and give something back to the mechanics who invested so many hours of work in preparing the car. That’s the best reward I was able to give them. »

Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #99) position 3 / position 7

« After qualifying on Saturday, all of us were shocked at first. But in the race we were able to show our strength. The car really ran well at Hockenheim. Obviously, driving from 16th to third was great for me. On Sunday, free practice and qualifying really went well too. Even pole position was possible but P5 was great as well. I had a good start, was in third, and thought that I was in contention for victory, but then everything was different after the restart. In view of the threat of rain, my early stop was also less than perfect. At least, I still managed to clinch position seven. We learned a lot, I was fast on a dry and a wet track. That’s why I’m already very much looking forward to the next races. »

Nico Müller (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 9 / position 5

9J6A0151« I don’t mind taking these ten points home from the first two races, but for me it was an emotional roller coaster. On Saturday, I was the fastest Audi in qualifying, but only in grid position eight. During my first stint, I ruined my front tires in traffic, plus there was a pit stop at which a wheel nut got lost, which cost us six or seven seconds. After that, I was only able to recover from 14th to ninth. Qualifying on Sunday started well, but on a dry track I got stuck in traffic in the end. In turn one I was in a sandwich with Wickens. I’m very sorry for Loïc (Duval) because I caught him in the incident. With a puncture and an excursion into the gravel I recovered to position five, also thanks to the rain. »

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #5) position 5 / position 11

« Obviously, my victory in rallycross was fantastic, but unfortunately things weren’t going quite as well in the DTM. I’m pretty happy with my time at the wheel, but in the end we didn’t achieve the positions that would have actually been possible, so I’m definitely a little disappointed. »

René Rast (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM #33) position 6 / retirement

« Mixed emotions: very positive on the one hand because the team performance was right. I was happy with my performance too. Advancing from the pit lane to position six on Saturday was fun. After the first lap, I had a twelve-second deficit to the leader and only five after the last lap. So, more than sixth place would have been possible. Obviously, nobody can be happy with the result on Sunday. When you start from P2 you obviously want to arrive on podium. The start was bad and in turn 2, I was pushed off track by Paffett. That caused me to drop all the way to the rear of the field. The restart wasn’t bad but in turn 2, I was turned around by a BMW. That was it, unfortunately. »

Loïc Duval (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #77) position 14 / retirement

« This was my first DTM weekend so that I was really looking forward to it. As expected, it wasn’t easy to enter a new series with such a high level. These were difficult races from which, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take home any points. That we significantly improved on Sunday after the difficulties on Saturday is a positive. With more fortunate timing in qualifying we might have even been in a better position on the grid. In the race, I initially made a good start, but then my race was unfortunately over after the collision in turn one. »

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)

« For the DTM and the fans this was a great opener with two spectacular races. That whets our appetite for more. Audi built a really strong car again as well. We scored the first points and showed that we’re able to deliver fast pit stops in this new format too. But, obviously, fifth places is not what we’re aiming for. We’re going to work hard to be stronger at the Lausitzring in two weeks’ time. »

Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)

« It’s been a good season opener for Audi, for Phoenix and for our drivers. I believe that the DMSB has developed a good set of new regulations. The races have become more thrilling. The spectators saw spectacular races with many overtaking maneuvers. I’m a little unhappy about the Indianapolis-style restart on Sunday. As a result, the field was mixed up pretty much. We still need to work on this. Everything else was good. We have a nice and fast car, so I’m confident that we’re going to be in contention this season and I’m already looking forward to the next race weekend at the Lausitzring. »

Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)

« We’re happy that René Rast was not injured in his accident on Sunday. It was great that on his first race weekend with us he immediately started from the front row. It’s a shame that this went unrewarded after he already drove a sensational race on Saturday: starting from the pit lane and finishing sixth is a strong performance. We still have to find out why the door opened on the formation lap. Jamie’s (Green) victory was a sensation. He was driving in a different world on Sunday. The team, too, did a superb job. »

Press release Audi Sport, pictures Ludovic Carnal


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