A double podium for Audi in the DTM: At the Nürburgring, Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) in front of 80,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) clinched positions two and three.
The seventh DTM race of the year was decided right at the start. While Edoardo Mortara on the more slippery inside dropped from second to third place, Mike Rockenfeller was able to improve from third to second place behind the quickest in qualifying, Marco Wittmann. These positions remained unchanged up to the finish. 1.2 seconds behind Wittmann, ‘Rocky’ in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM crossed the finish line in second place, followed ten seconds later in third place by Edoardo Mortara in the Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM.
“I’m happy about second place,” said Mike Rockenfeller after having clinched his so far best result in his DTM home race. “‘Thank you’ to Team Phoenix and Audi. Marco Wittmann controlled the race. I only came a bit closer towards the end. Maybe I could have grabbed him if the race had lasted five laps longer. But you’ve also got to accept that he was simply stronger than we were this weekend.”
Rockenfeller and Mortara were the only two Audi drivers to convert their good grid positions into points at the Nürburgring. Adrien Tambay in his Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM dropped to 16th place in the starting commotion and in the end, in eleventh place, barely missed scoring a point. Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg advanced to fourth place after the start, but was subsequently relegated to position 15 after his Audi had been damaged in several incidents of body contact.
The other four Audi drivers had to park their Audi RS 5 DTM cars early following collisions. Mattias Ekström was hit by Timo Glock’s BMW right on the starting lap, with the rear suspension of his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM being damaged in the incident. Miguel Molina suffered a puncture in a contact at the start and had to park his Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM after just four laps as well. Timo Scheider’s AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM on lap seven was pushed into the Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM of his brand colleague Nico Müller by Mercedes driver Robert Wickens. Both Audi drivers had to retire shortly afterwards.
“Having two drivers on podium in the DTM is basically a good result,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Congratulations to Mike (Rockenfeller) and Edo (Mortara). Obviously, it’s not satisfactory that only these two managed to make use of their good grid positions. There were a couple of scenes today we need to carefully look at again. Losing four out of eight cars due to collisions is painful.”
Despite his retirement, Mattias Ekström continues to rank in second place of the standings. Edoardo Mortara, with the same score, trails him in third place. In the manufacturers’ standings, the gaps practically remained unchanged at the Nürburgring. With 284 points and an 18-point gap Audi continues to have chances of winning the manufacturers’ title.
Following a three-week break, the next battle for points will take place at the Lausitzring on September 14.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “When you’ve got five cars in the top six on the grid, positions two and three are not enough. We clearly fell short of our potential today. We’re going to use the break between now and the Lausitzring to look better in the last three races of the season. In the drivers’ classification, a preliminary decision was made. But in the manufacturers’ classification, everything is still possible.”
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): “Having two drivers on podium in the DTM is basically a good result. Congratulations to Mike (Rockenfeller) and Edo (Mortara). Obviously, it’s not satisfactory that only these two managed to make use of their good grid positions. We did not achieve our aim of winning the race. What’s more, we lost a lot of cars – especially at the race start. Losing four out of eight cars due to collisions is painful.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM), 2nd place, Tyres: option/standard
“Basically, I’m very pleased. This was a weekend the way it should be. Of course I had hopes of beating Marco Wittmann with ten kilograms less in my car. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. But I’m honest: second place is a nice result. We should have managed that more often this year. I’m traveling to the next races with a positive feeling and am going to give my best as long as everything is still open. Let’s see how that pans out.”
Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM), 3rd place, Tyres: option/standard
“I had a good race weekend here at the Nürburgring. The weekends before were very difficult. The race wasn’t necessarily perfect. My start could have been better – but from the right-hand side it’s always more difficult. But in the end, I was very pleased. I’m hoping that things will continue this way in the next races.”
Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM), 11th place, Tyres: standard/option
“I was unfortunate at the start because I was pushed and lost a lot of places. My car was damaged at the rear. It was a tough race, but I battled and tried to make the best of the situation and made up a lot of positions.”
Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM), 15th place, Tyres: option/standard
“Everything that could go wrong went wrong. I had a bad start and immediately lost a few parts of my car when I wasn’t able to get out of the way in a duel between Miguel (Molina) and Timo (Scheider). On option tyres, I was simply lacking speed compared to the cars in front of me. A lot of drivers overtook me. Then I had a rough duel with Farfus. Afterwards, my car was even more heavily damaged. From that point on, it was difficult to stay motivated. Subsequently, on standard tyres, things were going a bit better. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to finish in the top ten.”
Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM), retirement, Tyres: standard
“It was frustrating because the race had really started well. I was the quickest on standard tyres and had good chances of making up places at the end of the race. The car felt very good and I was able to pass Timo (Scheider). Half a lap later, he was pushed from behind and hit me. Unfortunately, that ended my race.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM), retirement, Tyres: standard
“I knew that starting on standard tyres would be difficult. I gave my best and had a good start. After two laps, everything was sorted and going well. I then defended myself against Robert Wickens, he missed the braking point and hit me with locked wheels. I flew off and hit Nico Müller, which ended the race for both of us. It was a shame because we had chances of scoring points. It was a foolish and unnecessary action on Robert’s part.”
Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM), retirement, Tyres: option
“It wasn’t the best race of my life. I’m upset about what happened in turn one.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), retirement, Tyres: standard
“I had a good start and in the first turns things weren’t going bad for me either. Then there was contact with other vehicles and my car was damaged. A weekend to forget.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “We’re not completely happy with this race because we lost two cars on the first lap through no fault of our own. It’s nice that Edo (Mortara) was on podium and that we’re second and third in the Championship. But that doesn’t really satisfy us. We had different expectations. But we had no chance for victory and need to work on changing that.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “The positive aspect for starters: we’re incredibly happy about ‘Rocky’s’ (Mike Rockenfeller) second place and particularly about him being able to still attack Wittmann towards the end of the race. If the race had lasted a few laps longer, he might have even grabbed him. An impeccable performance. We’re back. In Timo’s (Scheider) case, we took the risk of starting on standard tyres. He did a good job of staying clear of the commotions and was the leading standard driver. Then this action by Mercedes happened, which cost him the race. Points would definitely have been possible.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “This wasn’t our race. Jamie (Green) didn’t move off well at the start and immediately lost a few parts. All the contacts he had with rivals didn’t help matters. The car was definitely damaged quite a bit. He kept battling all the way up to the end but that was all that was possible. In Nico’s (Müller) case it was really a shame. He had the speed but then there was this silly action. Wickens hit Scheider, who then hit Nico. That was very frustrating.”