|After a four-week summer break, the Deutschen Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) returns for Round 5 at the Nürburgring this weekend. Both DTM contending marques Audi and Mercedes-Benz ensue the fight for the 2010 title.|
Audi have a fair advantage at the Eifel to their rivals, each of the three most recent events at the Nürburgring saw an Audi A4 DTM start from the pole position and three victories in the past five years speak a clear language as well. Particularly impressive was last year’s performance when Audi celebrated a commanding one-two-three-four win and significantly outdistanced its rivals from Stuttgart.
Audi drivers Mattias Ekström, defending champion Timo Scheider and Martin Tomczyk are favorites here, with Tomczyk starting pole in 2007 and 09, and winning both editions. In 2009 the driver from Rosenheim was the front runner in each of the practice sessions, and after his victory, he called the race his season’s highlight. “I feel comfortable at the Nürburgring and have a great time there – as demonstrated by my two wins there in 2007 and 2009,” Tomczyk said in pre-race.
“I was also out in front in every qualifying session last year, so I am obviously feeling good about returning to this circuit. It doesn’t feature one specific make-or-break section, so a good lap at the Nürburgring is partly down to driving it with a very fluid rhythm. Overtaking is easiest at the end of the long straight past the start/finish by the Arena or after the back straights just before the chicane,” he added.
Ekstrom who drove the fastest race lap at the Nürburgring last year will again be a potential contender, while Scheider, one of just three drivers to have scored points in each race in 2010, clinched second place at the ‘Nur’ in ’09. For Scheider and team mate Mike Rockenfeller, the race is a highlight because the Nürburgring has traditionally been a home round.
Scheider still looking for his first win this season commented, “It continues to be my home race and hopefully a lot of friends and fans will turn out at the track. With respect to the sport, there’s reason to look forward to the event as well. The Nürburgring should suit our Audi. I’m happy that we’re finally competing on tracks now that tend to accommodate us.”
Most Audi drivers, too, are looking forward to the race in the Eifel with particularly eager anticipation.