Mortara on top in Austria – maiden DTM race win
Spielberg. Picture-postcard weather, a thrilling race with numerous overtaking manoeuvres and two premieres on the winners’ podium: in front of 48,500 spectators, the DTM enjoyed a successful race weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. With the first DTM race win of the year for Audi, Italian Edoardo Mortara became the overjoyed winner of the fourth season round. After a faultless race with great duels, the 25-year old made his dream come true and, after 203.322 kilometres, crossed the finish line as the winner for the first time in the DTM. “This is a great day for myself and for Audi. Pole position yesterday and victory today. It is almost unbelievable. I have already had some nice moments in motorsport, but this one is very special”, said the best DTM rookie of the year 2011 after his success in the longest DTM race in history to date.
Only one second later, Martin Tomczyk crossed the finish line. With his BMW M3 DTM, the reigning DTM champion started from fourth place on the grid, made his way up to finish second and scored 18 points in the battle for the title. After the race, the 30-year old said: “The timing of the second stop was perfect. I re-joined the field right behind the race leader. Today is a great day for the DTM. All three brands in the top three and a highly exciting race.”
British Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett completed the podium. The points’ leader started from second place, battled for the lead and still had to let Tomczyk past after the latter’s pit stop. Paffett said: “We came to Spielberg to score as many points as possible for the championship. Finishing on the podium is great, even though, of course, I would rather have won. Fortunately, I was still able to extend my points’ lead.”
In the drivers’ standings, Paffett is now leading with 83 points from Mattias Ekström from Sweden (Audi), who finished fourth in Styria and now has 47 points to his tally. Brit Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) with 44 points and BMW driver Bruno Spengler from Canada with 43 points are also within striking distance. Green finished the race in fifth place, Spengler had to park his car and retire on lap 33.
With his Audi A5 DTM, Timo Scheider had a topsy-turvy race. Having started 16th, the 33-year old was able to make up positions, but lost ground again after tangling with BMW driver Augusto Farfus. Scheider battled and finished sixth after 47 laps. His fellow Audi drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Filipe Albuquerque as well as Joey Hand and Augusto Farfus (both BMW) rounded out the top ten. The next round takes place at the Norisring in Nuremberg, July 1st.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Winning such a thrilling race is a particular joy. This was first-class promotion for the DTM, for the Red Bull Ring and for Audi. Here, our A5 DTM was the benchmark. We were on top in every practice session and Edo did a perfect job turning his maiden pole position into his first-ever race win. He had to work hard for this success, which was very important for all of us. The entire crew has been working in the last couple of weeks to be back on top again in the DTM.”
Jens Marquardt, BMW motorsport director: “A big compliment to Audi for their performance of today, but also to the great fans on the stands. Martin Tomczyk has shown a great performance, his crew an ideal strategy. Today, we had overtaking manoevres on the track and in the pit lane: everything that a great race needs. I reckon that this was one of the best DTM races of the last couple of years.”
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “What we have seen today was a DTM gala. The stands were packed, the race was incredibly exciting. The battle for the lead was just fantastic. When two people quarrel, a third is often rejoicing. A duel costs time, so that Martin Tomczyk could benefit. Victory was within reach, but Gary was able to extend his points’ lead. Competition in the DTM is immensely close. Five of the first six-placed drivers did lap times of 1:27.00 minutes.”