Mattias Ekström quickest in first test on Friday New Audi A4 DTM fast straight away Entire field within eight tenths of a second
Title defender Audi managed a good start to its "home race" at the Norisring: In the first test on Friday morning, defending DTM Champion Mattias Ekström in his Red Bull Audi A4 DTM set the best time. In the afternoon, the Swede, in fourth place, was merely 197 thousandths of a second slower than last year’s winner Bruno Spengler (Mercedes). "I think this year we can truly fight for victory here at the Norisring," said Ekström after the two 90-minute test sessions. "I’ve got a very good feeling and am optimistic. We’re on the right track."Just like his team-mates, the Swede completed a race simulation on Friday. "The main objective was to use different constellations to analyse how brake temperatures develop over the long race distance," explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Generally, it’s been a good day. The cars were running without any problems and, except for an outside mirror, everything remained intact." The new Audi A4 DTM, which clinched a one-two-three win in its maiden race at Hockenheim in April and has been heading the DTM standings ever since, was fast on the city circuit in Nuremberg straight away as well. In the first test, Mattias Ekström, Timo Scheider and Tom Kristensen occupied places one to three. In the afternoon, four Audi drivers made it into the top ten. The fans in Nuremberg can look forward to a particularly thrilling qualifying: On Friday, the complete field was covered by just 801 thousandths of a second, the twelve quickest cars were lying within 0.511 seconds. ARD will broadcast the qualifying live on "Das Erste", on Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m. Highlights and background reports are available on the internet at waudi.tv.