Motorsport Newsletter 41/2012: New stage for the Audi A5 DTM
- Japanese Super GT adopts DTM regulations
- Celebrities galore at DTM finale at Hockenheim
- Audi R8 LMS ultra finishes championship in Italy as the runner-up
As of 2014, the Japanese Super GT will adopt the Technical Regulations of the DTM. During the DTM finale at Hockenheim, TV presenter Judith Rakers was treated to a ride in the Audi DTM race taxi. At Monza, Audi Sport Italia only missed winning the title in the Italian GT Championship by one point.
Premiere: Judith Rakers, a newscaster on ARD’s Tagesschau daily news program, was treated to a ride in the Audi DTM race taxi at the DTM finale at Hockenheim. Rakers is co-presenter of the new ARD motorsport program titled “Benzin im Blut” (“Gasoline in their Veins”) that celebrated its premiere on Sunday.
Exclusive performance: Sarah Connor created a cheerful atmosphere at the Audi Lounge during the DTM finale. The popular singer surprised the guests of AUDI AG with a private concert on Saturday night.
Prominent guests: As usual, the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring, in addition to 128,000 spectators, attracted numerous prominent visitors. Actor Moritz Bleibtreu was provided with a peek behind the DTM scenes by Audi factory driver Mike Rockenfeller. Chris de Burgh’s daughter Rosanna Davison, who was recently featured in Playboy magazine, dropped by at the garage of Edoardo Mortara, who advertises the famous men’s magazine on his Audi A5 DTM. Fencer Britta Heidemann and the two pole-vaulters Raphael Marcel Holzdeppe and Björn Otto watched the DTM finale at Audi as well. The Finnish band Sunrise Avenue paid a visit to Audi Sport Team Rosberg and its Finnish Team Manager Kimmo Liimatainen.
Politics meets DTM: The Bavarian State Minister Thomas Kreuzer did the honors at the podium ceremony of the DTM finale at Hockenheim. The native of Kempten watched the race at the invitation of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline along with the mayor and the entire town council of Kempten.
Champions League: Two former DTM Champions drove the Audi DTM race taxi during the DTM finale at Hockenheim. On Saturday, Laurent Aiello (2002 Champion) took the wheel while Frank Biela (1991) did so on Sunday. Together with Mattias Ekström (2004 and 2007), Timo Scheider (2008 and 2009), Martin Tomczyk (2011) and DMSB Sport President Hans-Joachim Stuck (1990) their presence meant that all drivers who to date have won a DTM title for Audi were on location.
Guest run: Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro, who together have celebrated five victories at the Le Mans 24 Hours for Audi, competed as guest entrants in the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup held as part of the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring. On the grid as well was GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock, who won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in May at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS ultra. Emanuele Pirro in position 13 was the best of the three guest entrants.
Illuminated: Wearing a helmet with new graphics, Timo Scheider attracted attention to the new Nintendo home video game console Wii U that will be available as of November 30. As a small gimmick, the “Luigi” character from the Nintendo game “Mariokart 7” was highlighted by light-emitting diodes.
Athletes help athletes: For years, the DTM and its drivers have been supporting the Deutsche Sporthilfe non-profit sports aid foundation. At Hockenheim, the drivers of all three manufacturers involved in the DTM posed for pictures together with triathlete Jan Frodeno to promote the “Dein Name für Deutschland” (“Your name for Germany”) campaign. Audi delegated its two two-time DTM Champions Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider to the photo shoot.
Father and son: Stig Blomqvist, 1984 World Rally Champion at the wheel of an Audi quattro, watched the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring as well. Blomqvist’s son Tom contested his first season in the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2012. Walter Röhrl and his former co-driver Christian Geistdörfer paid a visit to Audi at Hockenheim too.
Close decision: The void results decided the battle for the title in the Italian GT Championship. Andrea Sonvico in the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Audi Sport Italia scored the largest number of points in total. But considering the void results, the Audi driver in the end was lacking one point to win the title. In the first of the two turbulent final races at Monza, Sonvico together with Dindo Capello took third place on Saturday. After collisions and a puncture, Capello/Sonvico had to settle for tenth place on Sunday. Their team-mates Davide Di Benedetto and Alex Frassineti finished the season in third place of the standings.
A word from ... Adrien Tambay
Your first DTM season has just ended. What’s your assessment?
“Extremely positive. I managed the leap into the top ten of the final standings in my debut season – and in a year in which the series was more fiercely competitive than it has been in a long time. Obviously, there were a couple of ups and downs and a few things here and there that could have gone better. But the positive clearly outweighs the negative and I had three real highlights: the podium together with Timo (Scheider) in Munich, fifth place at Zandvoort in extremely difficult conditions and second place at Valencia.”
What impressed you the most?
“I knew that the DTM is a hard-fought series but the things that went on this year were definitely special. The intensity of the competition, particularly in qualifying, was incredible. And that was the case on every race weekend. To be honest, I had to get used to this first. But on the other hand, it makes my successes even more valuable.”
Your final race was over as early as on the first lap. Were you able to enjoy the season finale anyhow?
“Of course I’d have preferred finishing the race but the atmosphere on this weekend at Hockenheim with nearly summer-like weather was still a unique experience. Driving past the full grandstands in the Cabriolets before the start gave me goose bumps. The DTM in Germany is at least as popular as Formula One for good reason. And if the series keeps delivering such brilliant motorsport it’ll soon enjoy similar popularity in other countries too.”
Coming up next week
Oct 27 Nürburgring (D), round 10, Endurance Championship
Oct 28 Paul Ricard (F), round 7, French GT Championship
Oct 28 Motegi (J), round 8, Super GT
Oct 28 Guaporé (BR), round 7, Brazilian GT Championship
Oct 28 Shanghai (CN), round 8, WEC
Oct 28 Shanghai (CN), round 5, Audi R8 LMS Cup
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