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Brno, June 5, 2005

With a dominating double victory at Brno, Audi has captured the lead in the DTM standings. Like last year, Mattias Ekström won the race on the Czech Grand Prix circuit ahead of his team-mate Tom Kristensen. The two Audi drivers crossed the finish line almost 25 seconds ahead of the third-placed contender. By clinching the new Audi A4 DTM car’s first victory, the reigning DTM Champion, Mattias Ekström, took the lead in the overall standings. Tom Kristensen moved up to third place. In the manufacturers’ standings, Audi has added 15 points to its score, thus reducing its disadvantage to a mere four points.

Martin Tomczyk and Allan McNish, as well, demonstrated the high potential of the new Audi A4 DTM at Brno. Tomczyk set the fastest lap in the race and was in fourth place when – while pitting for the first time - the right rear wheel nut became jammed, forcing him to make another long, unscheduled stop. Former Formula 1 driver Allan McNish, who finished seventh, scored his first DTM points. A drive-through penalty imposed for speeding in the pit lane deprived the Scot of a potential podium position.

Another strong racing performance was shown by last year’s Audi A4 DTM cars. Christian Abt clinched sixth place and, up until his second pit stop, kept the quickest driver in the Qualifying, Gary Paffett, in check. In his first race at Brno, Frank Stippler worked his way up from 16th place on the grid to eighth place, thus claiming another point for Audi. Rinaldo Capello finished tenth despite having dropped back to the back of the field in the starting phase. He crossed the finish line merely 0.366 seconds behind Hockenheim winner Jean Alesi. Pierre Kaffer was forced to stop on the opening lap when a rival in front of him spun. From 18th place, the Audi driver managed to work his way up to twelfth.

Quotes after the race

Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #1)
1st place, 58m 52.558s

"I had a good start – apart from the confusion surrounding Gary Paffett, whose jump start was a bit flustering for all of us. Thereafter, everything went well. Overtaking Frentzen after my first pit stop was a rather tight proposition, but today it was the key to success, because from then on I was up front and able to control the pace. We have worked hard to achieve this first victory for the new Audi A4 DTM. That we managed to do this here at Brno of all places, where we clinched the title last year, is a particularly nice feeling. We are all extremely happy!”

Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt #5)
2nd place, + 0.288s

"The double victory is a fantastic result for Audi. When Gary Paffett jump-started, I almost took off as well. I had to take my foot off the clutch pedal again. That’s why I didn’t manage to drive off all that well. The fight with Heinz-Harald (Frentzen) was good fun but increased the gap between myself and Mattias. In the end, I was merely lacking 0.2 seconds. Now, I’m on the podium for the third time in a row – this shows that the A4 DTM is really good. I’m already looking forward to the ten additional kilograms for Oschersleben – because I’m going to tackle them with my right foot...”

Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #14)
6th place, + 34.555s

"I had a good start and was able to improve a bit right away. Although the car wasn’t as perfect as I’d thought it would be, it was enough to keep Paffett in check for a long time. Of course I’m happy about my sixth place. But most of all, I’m happy about Audi having clinched a double victory today, considering that it just hadn’t worked out for us in the past few races.”

Allan McNish (Audi Sport Team Abt #6)
7th place, + 34.815s

"To be honest, I am a bit disappointed. I had the speed to make it to the podium. I was fourth and catching up with Frentzen when I received the drive-through penalty, which came as a complete surprise to me. The car was getting better and better in the race. I was able to really push and my lap times were very good.”

Frank Stippler (Audi Sport Team Joest #19)
8th place, + 36.102s

"I’m super happy. Finally, we’ve managed to set up the car in such a way that I was satisfied with it in terms of balance. Ever since Friday, we’ve been having problems here like we’ve never had before. The car just wasn’t right. From 16th to eighth and scoring a point – the race couldn’t have gone any better than that. Fantastic!”

Rinaldo Capello (Audi Sport Team Joest #18)
10th place, + 43.652s

"I’m very happy, although I threw away points. Yet I was able to show today how quick my A4 is. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the starting phase, otherwise I could have finished in fifth or sixth place. I was able to move up to the cars in front of me, but overtaking was very difficult.”

Pierre Kaffer (Audi Sport Team Joest Racing #15)
12th place, + 55.934s

"My chances of scoring a good result vanished quickly. On the first lap, I had a bit of bad luck. Bernd (Schneider) braked a little too late and turned Marcel (Fässler) around, who came to a stop in front of me. It’s very difficult to overtake here. Although I was quicker than the guys in front, there’s a big difference between getting on someone else’s heels and overtaking them, particularly on this circuit.”

Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline #2)
14th place, + 1m 36.170s

"In the beginning, there was a slight misunderstanding between myself and Allan McNish, for which I’m sorry. Fortunately, nothing happened in the incident, both of us were able to continue our race. Then I pushed to catch up with the other guys. During my first pit stop, there was a problem with a wheel nut. I had to pit again. The nut become jammed completely, and a long time passed before I was able to go back out. From then on, my race was very lonely – the fact that I had driven the fastest lap in the race wasn’t much consolation, really.”

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline):
"This has been a great day for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and Audi. The team did a perfect job and managed to come up with a super set-up for the cars in the race. This was the well deserved reward for all of the hard work during the past few weeks – I wouldn’t mind if things continued going this way for us!”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest):
"We have scored points, that was our objective. The sixth and eighth places clinched by Christian and Frank are a great result. Particularly for Frank, who wasn’t all that happy with his car this weekend. The change we made during this morning’s warm-up obviously hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, there was a dampner on Dindo’s and Pierre’s performances as a result of the problems on the opening lap, because they could have been all the way at the front as well. My thanks to the crew, we had very good pit stops.”

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
"Congratulations to the entire squad for this outstanding performance. The double victory is great, but our other cars were very strong today as well. Both teams did a very good job and had the right strategy. All of these combined factors have enabled us to claim such a good result for Audi, which – to top it off – has brought us up to the top of the standings.”

7/7/2023, 10:43:27 PM cet
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The start at Brno
Audi A4 DTM #5 (Audi Sport Team Abt), Tom Kristensen
The finish at Brno
Mattias Ekström celebrates his first victory of the season