Audi starts the 2009 DTM season at the Hockenheimring on 17 May with something new: For the first time there is not a single change to the driving squad compared to the previous year.
"2008 was the most successful year in the motorsport history of AUDI AG," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "The drivers were also a major factor in this, which is why we saw no reason to change anything on our proven driver squad."
As in 2007 and 2008, Mattias Ekström (Sweden), Tom Kristensen (Denmark), Timo Scheider (Germany) and Martin Tomczyk (Germany) will drive the four latest generation Audi A4 DTM cars, which are once again fielded by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline.
The two Germans Mike Rockenfeller and Markus Winkelhock compete with year old cars again for Audi Sport Team Rosberg, plus Oliver Jarvis (Great Britain) and Alexandre Prémat (France) for Audi Sport Team Phoenix.
The only change to the team line-up concerns Katherine Legge: The Briton, who contested her first DTM season in 2008 with a two-year old A4, moves from customer team Futurecom TME to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline where she will drive a year-old car for the first time.
"We decided to concentrate on our three factory teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg," explains Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "It’s a great opportunity for Katherine to start for the defending DTM championship winning team."
Audi’s goal for the 2009 DTM season is ambitious: The brand with the four rings aims to become the first automobile manufacturer in the history of the "new" DTM to win the championship title three times in succession. "With our proven driving squad I believe that we are well placed to achieve this," says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "However, it’s perfectly clear to us that the challenge is even greater than last year and that the field could well be even closer. Our competitor Mercedes-Benz will do everything to win the title in 2009."
For the 2009 season Audi has further developed last year’s championship winning car and made detail improvements. The Audi A4 DTM, known as the "R14 plus" internally, meets the competition for the first time at the official DTM test at Dijon (France) between 14 and 16 April. The presentation of the 2009 DTM is held in Düsseldorf on April 19, before the new season opens at Hockenheim four weeks later.
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