June 03, 2012

Toward pole with wings: Audi shines at Red Bull Ring

Red Bull gives wings: Audi driver Edoardo Mortara experienced the Red Bull Ring from a totally different perspective in a helicopter alongside aerobatics pilot Siegfried Schwarz. 48 hours later, he took his first pole position in the DTM at the wheel of the Playboy
Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg.

"That was simply incredible," beamed the 25-year-old Italian with dual citizenship and residence in Switzerland. "First, this fantastic helicopter flight and now my first pole position in the DTM! What can I say? Thank you to my guys from Team Rosberg, thank you to Audi Sport! The car was really great to drive today; it was truly enjoyable, although yesterday we still had a few difficulties. I made a small mistake and slipped off the track. But that was yesterday. Today, we’re celebrating pole!"

Mortara, who finished in the top four for the first time in a DTM qualifying session at Spielberg, prevailed against leader of the standings Gary Paffett in a Mercedes-Benz in the crucial shoot-out for the top grid positions by 121 thousandths of a second. At the fourth round, this makes Audi the first manufacturer to have clinched two pole positions in the DTM this year.

"This underscores the potential of our A5 DTM," commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "We worked hard and have still got to do more. But on the whole we’ve seen a good performance here, in the two free practice sessions just like in qualifying. The DTM field is closer than ever. You’ve got no chance to make it into Q3 and Q4 unless truly everything fits. In the case of ‘Eki’ and particularly Edo (Mortara) everything fit today."

With Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) Audi was the only manufacturer to reach the final qualifying segment (Q4) with two vehicles at the Red Bull Ring. The Swede from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline set the fastest time in Q3 and missed a spot on the front row by merely 27 thousandths of a second - another indication of how incredibly thin the air is in the 2012 DTM.

Mortara’s team-mate Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM) secured position eight on the grid after the Portuguese, in the second free practice session on Saturday morning at 1 m 25.654 s, had posted the fastest time of the weekend that was not equaled in qualifying.

Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) and Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), both from Audi Sport Team Phoenix, are tackling the 47-lap race on Sunday at 01.30 PM from grid positions twelve and 13. Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) and Timo Scheider (Auto Test Audi A5 DTM) took positions 15 and 16 in qualifying. Rahel Frey (E-Postbrief Audi A5 DTM) was eliminated in Q1. On position 21, though, the Swiss outperformed the former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard.


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