- Timo Scheider makes strong showing in DTM’s world finale
- Martin Tomczyk clinches fourth place
- Miguel Molina is best DTM rookie of the year 2010
Audi impressed the fans at the DTM’s world finale in Shanghai (China) with a strong showing. For many of the 19,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) and 1,400 Audi guests Timo Scheider was the man of the race.
Just one day after his serious accident in qualifying, the two-time DTM Champion, assisted by a perfect strategy of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, pushed forward from position four on the grid to third place. An early end of the race deprived the German who lives in Austria of an even better result.
“My A4 was perfect today. If I had started from the front row I could have fought for victory,” said Scheider. “I’ve got to thank the guys who prepared the car again overnight.” The mechanics worked until 2 a.m. and continued at 7 a.m. to give their driver an optimal car again – which they clearly managed to do.
After the many incidents on both of the practice days the DTM finale was started behind the safety car and only went green after three laps. Timo Scheider put pressure on his rival in front, Jamie Green, from the outset and managed to bump him from third place thanks to well-timed pit stops. After the second tire change Scheider also caught up with Paul Di Resta in second place and put him under massive pressure. But before the Audi driver was able to start his first overtaking attempt the race was stopped early, eight minutes before the end, due to a mid-field collision and was not re-started.
Impressive performances were shown by Martin Tomczyk and Miguel Molina as well who took fourth and fifth place. After starting from position eight Martin Tomczyk proved that it is certainly possible to overtake on the street circuit in Shanghai. With a bold but fair maneuver he bumped Jamie Green from position four on lap 33. Tomczyk also posted the fastest race lap of all Audi drivers.
Miguel Molina shone with an overtaking maneuver against David Coulthard and came in for both of his pit stops very late which enabled him to pass Jamie Green as well. In the end the 21-year-old Spaniard in fifth place was the best driver of a 2008-specification vehicle. In tenth place of the standings and with a score of 15 points Molina finished the season as the most successful DTM rookie.
Markus Winkelhock (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) in seventh place scored points for the second consecutive time and confirmed the strong performance he had shown at Adria. Mattias Ekström had to let David Coulthard pass him shortly before the end of the race and in ninth place just missed out one point.
Mike Rockenfeller, Katherine Legge and Oliver Jarvis finished the race in positions twelve, 14 and 17. Rockenfeller collided with Susie Stoddart in the final phase. The incident caused the stopping of the race because the track was blocked. Oliver Jarvis had to come in for an additional pit stop after a component from another car became stuck under the left front wheel of his A4 DTM. Darryl O’Young was unable to start because the frame of his car had been damaged in his accident in qualifying.
“This race was a mirror image of our season,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Things just weren’t running smoothly for us this year. Today again showed how quick our Audi A4 DTM is. But due to the accidents in qualifying we actually lost the chance of victory as early as yesterday – because on a street circuit overtaking is particularly difficult. That the race was started behind the safety car, which was without doubt absolutely the right decision, obviously didn’t improve our prospects either. Timo (Scheider), Martin (Tomczyk) and Miguel (Molina) squeezed the optimum out of the situation. Timo’s third place is primarily a nice reward for the mechanics who worked so hard last night. We’ll cross off the season now and will do everything we can to strike back in 2011.”
Quotes after the race in Shanghai
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
“The team did a truly fantastic job and completely repaired Timo Scheider’s car that had been very heavily damaged in the qualifying accident from scratch again overnight. Everyone was helping each other in this effort. It’s a remarkable feat to drive such a strong race and to clinch third place in this car. By taking third, fourth and fifth place we’ve achieved a good result. Obviously a little more would have been nicer but that was unfortunately not possible due to our grid positions. I think that despite all the initial difficulties this has been a worthy and interesting DTM finale. Congratulations to Paul Di Resta on winning the title. He was very strong this year.”
Timo Scheider (GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #1), 3rd place
“Standing on the podium after the turbulent qualifying and the scrap I left behind is almost a bit unexpected. The guys did an incredible job. Everyone from Audi and every Abt mechanic put all their energy into my car last night. It wasn’t just my mechanics but also those of the other drivers. This is what makes it all so special, to feel how much of a team and family spirit we’ve got. It makes me feel proud to be a part of that. I’m very happy that by taking third place today I’m able to pay back a little of it. It’s clear, too, that the guys are tired and will not be celebrating this third place. But to me it was important to clinch this result and to start the winter break this way. It’s nice to know that I’m backed by such an outstanding team.”
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Cola Audi A4 DTM #6), 4th place
“Now we’ve experienced a nice conclusion in Shanghai after all, at which there were fortunately no incidents. My race was okay. I’m pretty happy to have advanced from eighth to fourth place. I had some very tough battles and managed to stand my ground in all of them. It was fun and the pace was good. For me this ends a season that was very much fair to middling on a positive note.”
Miguel Molina (Audi Bank A4 DTM #18), 5th place
“This was a nice as well as a difficult race. I enjoyed it very much. Our pace was fantastic. I was able to make up two places although I was blocked by other drivers who disregarded the blue flags. I’m pleased with my race and with my season as the best rookie. Next year will even be better.”
Markus Winkelhock (Playboy/GW:plus Audi A4 DTM #14), 7th place
“I’m not happy because I could have easily finished in fourth place. The pace was there – the car had it and so did I. I felt comfortable on the track but our strategy was completely off the mark. Twice I went out behind another car and lost a lot of time. In the end I was running behind Jamie Green and lost so much time that I dropped from fourth place to seventh. Considering this, the fact that I scored points for the second consecutive time is not a lot of consolation.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #5), 9th place
“The race was a bit boring. Unfortunately, balance was not as good as it had been in the warm-up session. That was frustrating because I had to fight a lot. In the end I finished in the same place I’d started from. But more would definitely have been possible.”
Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #10), 12th place
“This was absolutely not our weekend. Still, I’m very pleased with my year with Team Phoenix. It was great. We had our highlights. Seventh place in the championship isn’t bad. But, nonetheless, our result in Shanghai isn’t satisfactory. We tried everything. In the end I even tried to pass Susie (Stoddart). But the track was so bumpy and one of the wheels immediately locked. I brushed her and we spun. I’m sorry about that, also because it caused the race having to be stopped.”
Katherine Legge (Glamour Audi A4 DTM #15), 14th place
“The race could have turned into a good one for us today but for various reasons things weren’t going in our favor. That’s disappointing. The good thing is that we clearly increased our pace in the season’s final two races. I’ll try and continue this performance. China was definitively a worthwhile experience. It was totally different than on any of the other tracks. It’s nice that we ran here.”
Oliver Jarvis (Tabac Original Audi A4 DTM #2), 17th place
“We really had a good pace but the race was frustrating. Unfortunately we always missed the mark with respect to our positions in traffic. I had the feeling that Bruno Spengler should have received blue flags because he slowed us for several laps. In the end I ran over a piece of bodywork that was on the track. That’s why I had to come in for an additional pit stop. The pace was good today but unfortunately it didn’t produce a result in the points.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
“We showed that the team sticks together tremendously. After yesterday’s accident we made the best of the situation. ‘Well done,’ everyone did a flawless job, the strategy was superb. We brought all the cars forward, almost every driver improved. That’s a respectable showing. Unfortunately the race being stopped put us out of contention for victory. The last eight minutes would have turned into some real nail-biters. China is a very important market. If everyone works together to make things even better, we’ll be very happy to come back here.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
“When we saw that we were stuck in traffic we called in Mike Rockenfeller early for both of his stops. So we chose a different strategy. We were continuously stuck behind Susie (Stoddart), which meant we simply couldn’t influence the race. We wanted to achieve the best possible result but only finished twelfth, which is a shame. Now the season is over. I’d like to express huge praise to my squad which showed a tremendous commitment through to the final race. They gave everything even in difficult conditions.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
“We saw a good finale. Thank God the race ended without any accidents except for a little encounter at the end. Markus (Winkelhock) was very good throughout the weekend. Today a better result would have been possible. We should have finished at least in fifth place. Unfortunately he hit traffic, we had to change our strategy and Markus again got caught in a pack. A real shame! Katherine (Legge) drove very good lap times. But she, unfortunately, often got stuck in traffic as well. But we’ve seen a positive weekend. Markus scored points for the second consecutive time. He showed that he’s got what it takes!”