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Adria, May 14, 2004

At the second foreign event of the DTM 2004, the Audi drivers are once again setting the pace. At Adria International Raceway near Venice, Mattias Ekström and Tom Kristensen with their Audi A4 DTM touring cars, were the quickest on Friday. In the morning, Ekström was leading the field just ahead of Kristensen, while in the afternoon the Danish driver turned the tables by clocking the best time of the day in 1m 11.873s. Matthias Ekström followed a mere 0.011 seconds behind in second place. Frank Biela, as well, returned to the front of the field: the former DTM champion drove the third-best time in the morning.

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Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12)
2nd / 1st, 1m 11.873s (67 laps)
“This is my first race here at Adria, that’s why I’m a bit surprised to see my name at the very top of the timing monitor. No doubt, my mechanics and my engineer deserve major credit for this: they’ve implemented all the changes perfectly so that we had an optimum setup for this demanding track.”

Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5)
1st / 2nd, 1m 11.884s (73 laps)
“One thing’s clear after this day of testing: on this tight track, our brakes will be in for a rough hour on Sunday. But we’ve found a good setup, which will hopefully make life a little easier for them. I’m hoping for Swedish weather during the race: 15 degrees max…”

Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44)
12th / 6th, 1m 12.117s (68 laps)
“I’ve got to thank Team Joest for having done a super job with the car’s setup. I’m particularly pleased with the racing setup, which gives us a genuine chance of competing for the super pole. I hope that our qualifying performance will be as good as today’s testing.”

Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45)
3rd / 10th, 1m 12.263s (80 laps)
“Things are looking a lot better here than during the first two races. This morning, everything was running like a charm right from the start. In the afternoon, we tried a few things, but they weren’t heading in the right direction. We’re now going to analyse the data for tomorrow to get the best out of the car.”

Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6)
5th / 12th place, 1m 12.338s (68 laps)
“My long run over half of the racing distance today gave me an impressive foretaste of the tough conditions during the race. We’ve done lots of good work for the qualifying session as well as the race and are extremely well prepared.”

Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11)
13th / 19th, 1m 12.785s (65 laps)
“There’s hardly another circuit at which the setup and preparation of the brakes are as important as at Adria. That’s why we spent three hours today experimenting in any possible direction. This has given us a lot of important information, which will certainly be of benefit to us tomorrow and day after tomorrow.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
“With places one and two, we’ve achieved a perfect start to the weekend. Yet, tomorrow’s qualifying will be the real acid test: because overtaking will be extremely difficult here at Adria, a good grid position is worth its weight in gold. And today we’ve laid the foundation for this.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director, Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest)
“Compliments to the team: things here are running a lot better at this point than they were at Hockenheim and Estoril, and our drivers, as well, seem to be handling the circuit that’s new to them well. Aside from the fact that we had to change the battery on Emanule’s car several times, we managed to pull off our full programme today. If we can repeat this result in the qualifying session, I’ll certainly be satisfied.”

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi motorsport)
“Yet again, our Audi A4 DTM cars were running without any problems worth mentioning. They’re consistently quick, as our long runs have shown. The tests confirmed that the track is extremely hard on the brakes, but we’re prepared for this. I’m sure that we’ll have a good setup for the qualifying session as well. Today’s tests have shown how tight the fighting is at this venue: the first ten cars are within four tenths of a second of each other. The fans can look forward to a thrilling qualifying.”

Mattias Ekström, Audi A4 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
Tom Kristensen, Audi A4 DTM #12 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
Emanuele Pirro, Audi A4 DTM #44 (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest)
Martin Tomczyk, Audi A4 DTM #6 (Audi Sport Team Abt)
Christian Abt, Audi A4 DTM #11 (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
Frank Biela, Audi A4 DTM #45 (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest)