DTM

LUCAS AUER VICTORIOUS IN DTM SEASON OPENER

DTM fans got to see a high-quality and thrilling season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, with Lucas Auer as the buoyant winner. Having started from pole position into the first of this season’s 18 races, the Austrian Mercedes-AMG driver was able to defend his position until the chequered flag was out and thus was first across the finish line. In a race marked by numerous overtaking manoeuvres, duels and different strategies, Timo Glock (BMW) came home second after 36 laps. Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), who only had started from 16th place on the grid, took the third and final podium slot.

For Auer, the way to his second DTM race win was anything but a walk in the park. “The race was incredible, I am overjoyed,” Auer commented after the race. “We had a strategy, but the execution wasn’t quite easy without the radio communication. As a driver, you are out there on your own. I knew that I would stand a chance when I would manage to hold off two attacks by Glock.” The 22-year-old made use of this chance and secured the second race win of his DTM career.

The season-opening DTM race at Hockenheim has shown the positive effect of the rule changes on the racing action: the enhanced engine performance, the revised aerodynamics, the new slick tyres, the ban on tyre warmers and the pit stop rules are suitable for the DTM and ensure entertaining racing action throughout. While Auer and Glock started the first race of the season from the first two rows on the grid, both Rockenfeller and fifth-placed Mattias Ekström (Audi) made up more than ten positions in the race, and they did so with different strategies. Rockenfeller already came in for his tyre change at a very early stage, on lap nine, while his fellow Audi driver Ekström was the penultimate driver to do so, on lap 25. Both strategies were successful.

Edoardo Mortara finished fourth in his first race for Mercedes-AMG while Audi’s René Rast came home in sixth place behind Ekström. Gary Paffett in seventh, Paul Di Resta in eighth, Nico Müller in ninth and reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann in tenth position rounded out the top ten.

After the first race, Lucas Auer is leading the DTM drivers’ standings with the maximum score of 28 points from Timo Glock (18 points) and Mike Rockenfeller (15 points). Action already continues tomorrow, Sunday, with second qualifying from 12.20 hrs and the second race from 15.15 hrs.

 

FORMULA E

DS VIRGIN RACING STRIVING FOR SUCCESS IN MONACO

· DS Virgin Racing head to the Monaco ePrix with high expectations following a podium finish in Mexico City.

A thrilling race in Mexico City saw DS Virgin Racing move to 3rd place in the FIA Formula E Championship following a 3rd and 6th place finish for drivers Sam Bird and Jose Maria Lopez. The team were determined to prove they had the pace and that’s exactly what they did, and are now looking to carry this momentum into the fifth round of the season in Monaco on 13th May.

Qualifying in Monaco will be critical. The 12 turn 1.76km circuit will be difficult for drivers to overtake so the team are looking to start the race from the front of the grid. Drivers will then battle over 51 laps around the narrow and undulating circuit, reaching a top speed of 190 km/h at turn 1 and a minimum of 40 km/h at turn 3.

Formula E returns to Monaco for the second time where Sam Bird finished 4th in the first season. The British driver is no stranger to this iconic circuit where he has won here previously in other Championships.

Speaking ahead of the Monaco ePrix, Sam Bird commented “I’m very excited about the race in Monaco. Going back to the Principality is always amazing for a driver and I’ve had some great results there in the past by winning both in World Series by Renault and GP2. I feel very good ahead of this event, I came 4th there last time for the team and I believe we’ve done some great work since Mexico. I fully believe that both myself and my team mate will be fighting for strong point scores come Saturday afternoon”.

Current Formula E standings put Sam Bird in 5th position with only 13 points separating 5th and 3rd place. Jose Maria Lopez moved to 13th place following a 6th place finish in Mexico City.

The Argentinian driver said “Mexico City was a disappointing race for me, although it was my highest finish so far it could have been better. I’m excited to race in Monaco. I feel positive, my results have been getting better during the season as I have been growing in confidence.”

Team Principal Alex Tai commented “Monaco is an iconic circuit and a privilege for us to race here in the Formula E calendar. Monte Carlo is the epitome of glamour, heritage and racing, and the Monaco ePrix is set to be a race to impress. It was a sell out in the first season and we’re excited to return here and race in front of the crowds. With the team performing well in Mexico City and showing just how competitive we are, there is no reason for us not to see the drivers on the podium in Monaco”.

Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director commented “since Mexico City we have carried out two development testing sessions to improve the performance and the efficiency of the car. This will provide our drivers with the best chances for the back to back Monaco and Paris races.”

To play a part in DS Virgin Racing’s success as the new season gets under way, fans can cast their FanBoost vote in favour of either Sam Bird or José María López. This can be done using the championship’s official app, its website (www.fiaformulae.com/fanboost), Twitter or Instagram by sending the hashtag #Fanboost, followed by #SamBird or #JoseMariaLopez! Last season, DS Virgin Racing was the team that received the highest number of #Fanboost votes!