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Audi comes as favorite to Zandvoort
More than two million television viewers followed German TVs live broadcast on "Das Erste" of the DTM race at Mugello – a record this season. The next highlight is now on the agenda: the race at Zandvoort on the Dutch North Sea coast, to which Audi driver Mattias Ekström comes as overall leader on the last weekend in July.
The Swede has a 6.5 point lead over defending Champion Bernd Schneider (Mercedes) going into the final four races of the year. The Audi team will do everything possible on the 4.307 kilometer circuit through the dunes to strengthen its lead in the most popular international touring car race series.
The foundations are good for this: Mattias Ekström is the only driver to have won more than one DTM race to date at Zandvoort (2002 and 2004). The Audi A4 DTM also has a particularly good track record at Zandvoort with two wins from three starts (2004 and 2006). The latest generation A4 DTM demonstrated impressively just how fast it is around fast, swooping tracks last time out at Mugello.
The majority of the Audi drivers have good memories of the race on the North Sea coast: Mattias Ekström celebrated his first DTM race win on the North Sea coast. Both Christian Abt and Timo Scheider took their maiden DTM pole positions there. Tom Kristensen won last year. Alexandre Prémat won the 2004 Formula 3 Masters, and Martin Tomczyk mounted the podium twice at Zandvoort.
Almost 80,000 fans are expected to flood through the gates and, like every year, ensure the unique Zandvoort atmosphere. Tickets for the race can be ordered by telephone by dialing +49 (0)841/9047777. Further information can be found in the Internet at www.audi-dtm.de. "Das Erste" broadcasts qualifying and the race live and in full length directly from Zandvoort.
Quotes before the race at Zandvoort
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "The Audi A4 DTM was the fastest car at Mugello. The circuit at Zandvoort has very similar characteristics to Mugello, which means we should be just as quick there. We want to make much more out of the race there than we did in Italy. We will do everything possible to win again at Zandvoort."
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #3): "I have many fond memories of Zandvoort: We clinched the DTM title for Laurent (Aiello) there five years ago, and, at the same time, I won my very first DTM race. My victory in 2004 was particularly important on the way to the title. I’m very comfortable with my car at the moment, which is why I can hardly wait to drive at Zandvoort."
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #4): "I’m looking forward to Zandvoort; the races have always been good there in the past. I want to produce a good performance, finish in the points again and claw back some lost ground in the championship."
Tom Kristensen (Siemens Audi A4 DTM #7): "There is absolutely no doubt that we will be strong at Zandvoort. However, we saw in Mugello that simply having the fastest car sometimes isn’t enough. Everything has to be perfect. The motivation within the team is even greater after Mugello. Every single one of us will do everything to make sure that ‘Eki’ and Martin get the points they need in the title fight." Audi PR
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