First "Match Point" for Audi in the DTM
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Posted 27 August 2007 - 04:15 PM
• Nürburgring DTM race signals start of final sprint
• Mattias Ekström and Martin Tomczyk top the leader board
• Every Audi driver likes the Nürburgring
Before the DTM race at the Nürburgring on 2 September one fact is already certain: Audi arrives in the Eifel as championship leader and will also leave at the top of the table. Current leader Mattias Ekström can only be caught be his team mate Martin Tomczyk. With a twelve point deficit, Mercedes driver Bruno Spengler is too far behind.
As a result, Audi already has, mathematically speaking, its first ʽmatch pointʼ: If Mattias Ekström can increase his advantage to 21 points over the best Mercedes driver, the Swabians would be out of the title race.
So far the theory. The fact is that the pace will be more furious during the closing stages of the 2007 DTM. The race at Zandvoort was merely a foretaste of what the fans in the Eifel can expect: A ʽno holds barredʼ duel between Audi and Mercedes-Benz, in which the championship contenders are supported by their team mates. This was always the norm in the DTM.
Furthermore, the 2007 cars from Audi and Mercedes-Benz compete with a weight-difference of just 10 kilograms. The front-runners should be even closer together than more recently at Mugello and Zandvoort, where Audi occupied the top five positions in qualifying on each occasion.
So, a good thing that every Audi driver is a great fan of the Nürburgring and that each and every one has fond memories. Mattias Ekström won at the Eifel track in 2005. Tom Kristensen rounded off a perfect one-two finish on the same day, and won the German Formula 3 title at the Nürburgring in 1991. Martin Tomczyk ended a long lean-streak with a podium finish last year. Lucas Luhr (Koblenz), Mike Rockenfeller (Neuwied) and Timo Scheider (Lahnstein) were all born close to the ʽRingʼ and view the race as their ʽhomeʼ event. Alexandre Prémat defeated former team mate Lewis Hamilton in the GP2 series there last year. Christian Abt has always been a Nürburgring fan. Vanina Ickx describes the Eifel track as one of her favourite circuits, and Markus Winkelhock stole the international headlines only a couple of weeks ago after his sensational Formula 1 debut there.
Due to the athletics World Championship the race at the Nürburgring starts at 3 p.m., one hour later than usual. ARD of German TV extends its on-air time on race day and broadcasts live for two hours from 2:30 p.m.
Source: Audi Sport
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