Emotional farewell after 17 years in DTM: Mattias Ekström will race in an additional Audi RS 5 DTM in the DTM season opener at the Hockenheimring, so giving motorsport fans yet another reason to watch the races on May 5 and 6 either live at the venue or on television. Continue reading
On contesting his first event for EKS Audi Sport in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, Andreas Bakkerud instantly achieved a podium result. In the turbulent season opener at Barcelona (Spain), the Norwegian took third place. His teammate, Mattias Ekström, was classified in sixth position following a sporting penalty. Continue reading
Moment of truth for Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström and his team in Spain: the fifth World Rallycross Championship season commences at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on April 14–15. And the new Audi S1 EKS RX quattro makes its competitive race debut. To start the World RX season, the EKS Audi Sport squad must assert itself against the teams from Volkswagen, Peugeot and Co. The event also marks the first race as Audi driver for Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud. Continue reading
It marks the end of an era: After 17 years, 193 races, 23 victories and two championship titles, factory driver Mattias Ekström ends his DTM career, which means that Audi’s most successful DTM campaigner to date is leaving this racing series. In 2018, Ekström will concentrate on the factory-backed commitment of his team, EKS, in the World Rallycross Championship. The new member of Audi’s DTM driver squad is Dutchman Robin Frijns. Continue reading
Summerly temperatures of around 35 degrees turned qualifying for the fifth DTM season round at the Norisring to a hot battle. Points’ leader Gary Paffett remained the coolest with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. The Brit completed his lap of the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit in Nuremberg in 49.139 seconds and will be starting from first place on the grid into Sunday’s race. The qualifying winner said about the 111th pole position for Mercedes-Benz: “That was close. I am totally happy, a perfect day. Tomorrow, I want my third victory of the season. Driving safely is not an option, I will give everything to win.” For Paffett, it is the tenth pole of his career and the second of this year.
Paffett’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Jamie Green completed the clean sweep of the front row for Mercedes-Benz by qualifying second fastest on Saturday afternoon. The Brit was only 0.032 seconds down. Brazilian BMW driver Augusto Farfus celebrated his third place like victory in qualifying: “For me, third place on the grid feel like being on pole. I am overjoyed. The performance of the car was just great. Even for me, as a Brazilian, it was too hot in the car today.”
Two times’ DTM champion Mattias Ekström was the best-placed Audi driver on Saturday. With his Audi A5 Coupé, the Swede ended up fourth in qualifying. “Of course, going into Q4 as the fastest driver, being only fourth on the grid at the end is very disappointing. But I am still on the second row of the grid and from there, anything can happen”, said Ekström.
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz), who is celebrating his 37th birthday today, didn’t get any presents in qualifying. He was just 57 thousandths of a second short of making it into the fourth and final heat of the shoot-out qualifying. The German will be starting fifth.
Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk from Rosenheim will be lining up alongside Schumacher in sixth place with his BMW M3 DTM. His Canadian fellow BMW driver Bruno Spengler was seventh. German Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz), Brit Andy Priaulx (BMW) and Italian Edoardo Mortara (Audi), who celebrated his maiden pole and his first race win in the most popular international touring car series in the fourth DTM round at Spielberg, round out the top ten.
The two Audi drivers Miguel Molina from Spain and two times’ DTM champion had a setback. Classified 20th and 21st respectively, qualifying was over for them after the first heat already. The fifth round of the season, covering 83 laps and 190.9 kilometres, will start on Sunday at 13.30 h (CET). ARD will be broadcasting live from 13.15 h already.