- 54,000 spectators experience DTM show event in Munich
- Edoardo Mortara was Saturday's winner and Sunday's runner-up
- Controversial time penalty imposed on Mattias Ekström
Edoardo Mortara has confirmed that his victory at the DTM's debut in Munich's Olympic Stadium on Saturday did not happen by chance. The Italian Audi racer in the Playboy Audi A4 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg reached the finale on Sunday as well.
54,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) saw a successful DTM show event on the 1.190-kilometre track. On both public days the finale, despite different race formats, pitted Edoardo Mortara in the Audi against Bruno Spengler in the Mercedes-Benz. After the 24-year-old Audi driver had prevailed against the DTM leader of the standings on Saturday with an advantage of 0.366 seconds "Edo" again fought a close duel for the day's victory with the Canadian on Sunday. The decision was made when Mortara touched the track barrier shortly before the finish and was forced to retire.
On the way to the finale on Sunday Mortara had clearly prevailed against the Mercedes drivers Susie Stoddart, David Coulthard and Renger van der Zande in the respective heats. The Audi driver was on a par with Bruno Spengler up to the third of five laps and only lost some ground after the pit stop. "I tried everything to win again today," said Mortara. "My Audi A4 was again super-fast. But a very small mistake on this track is all it takes to end up in the wall. It's really difficult here."
Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) and Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) made it into the quarter-final on Sunday. Ekström clearly won the race against Renger van der Zande. However, a controversial time penalty meant an early end of the competition for the three-time winner of the "Race of Champions" and co-favorite for the day's victory. On the way to the start the Swede had turned around his Red Bull Audi A4 DTM by intermittently hitting the gas pedal to please the crowd. "I just wanted to do something for the fans. After all, this was a show event. It's too bad that I was punished for this," said a disappointed Ekström.
Filipe Albuquerque, Timo Scheider, Mike Rockenfeller, Oliver Jarvis and Miguel Molina, who had won the relegation against Rahel Frey in the morning, were eliminated in the eighth-final.
"We've experienced a great event in every respect and have probably won many new enthusiasts for the DTM," commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "This is exactly what we wanted to achieve through this show event. I'd like to thank everyone who made this event possible. We'll be happy to return."
The next championship race of the DTM is on the calendar for August 7 at the Nürburgring. Martin Tomczyk as the best Audi driver is the runner-up in the standings, just three points behind Bruno Spengler. The hero in Munich, Edoardo Mortara, is the best DTM rookie at the season's midpoint.
Quotes after the DTM show event in Munich
Winner on Saturday, runner-up on Sunday - Audi driver Edoardo Mortara caused a sensation at the DTM show event at Munich's Olympic Stadium. Quotes from the Audi camp after a successful inaugural event.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
"It was thrilling through to the end. It was also exciting to watch that the decision format differed on both days but that the same drivers reached the finale. Until Edo's (Mortara) retirement the battle was equally close. Anything was possible. But one thing was certain: This DTM show event was first-class advertising for motorsport."
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A4 DTM), finale
"A fantastic weekend with first and second places. I'd have liked to win again today. I was at the limit but Bruno (Spengler) couldn't be beaten. I'm hoping to be able to repeat these results at the next races. I'm disappointed about having damaged the car because our task had been not to cause too much damage."
Mike Rockenfeller (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A4 DTM), eighth-final
"We completely changed the set-up after Saturday. I had too much understeer, was too slow and was eliminated."
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), quarter-final
"In Munich we experienced our first stadium event with the DTM. The stadium was cool and the fans were great. A large crowd had turned out. And the races were also good fun. Naturally, I'd have liked to advance a little more. But it turned out differently. The gaps were very small. I'm already looking forward to the next run."
Oliver Jarvis (Audi Sport performance cars A4 DTM), eighth-final
"Unfortunately someone unplugged my tire warmers and I had to start on cold tires, so I had no chance. It was disappointing to be eliminated. But it was a tremendous event; I watched the rest of it from the stands."
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A4 DTM), eighth-final
"I used new tires to squeeze the last bit out of the car. But that wasn't a good decision because I had oversteer and almost hit the wall. It's good that I didn't damage the car and still have all the parts for the rest of the season where I want to further increase the pressure now."
Martin Tomczyk (Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM), quarter-final
"(Christian) Vietoris was simply faster than I. Basically, I'm pleased. I hope that we delivered a nice show to the spectators."
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A4 DTM), eighth-final
"I don't have much to say. Yesterday and today we simply didn't find the right set-up. It was disappointing for me."
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM), eighth-final
"We knew that it would be difficult because Bruno (Spengler) took second place in qualifying yesterday. I gave everything and improved since Saturday. I enjoyed this perfect show with so many fans."
Rahel Frey (Glamour Audi A4 DTM), relegation
"On Sunday morning there was full action again. A great show! I drove the relegation against Miguel (Molina). That was very, very close. Afterward the crowd got to see a lot of nice races. I enjoyed them as a spectator."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): "I think that for the fans the DTM in Munich was a tremendous experience. Driving in a city, at a sports arena, is definitely something special. There's no doubt potential for extension here, but considering that this was the first such event, it was a great show. The fans were thrilled. With a turnout of 54,000 people on Saturday and Sunday, this marked the first step toward a positive future."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): "This was a tremendously successful event. I think we delivered a lot of suspense to the spectators. They all stayed at the stadium through to the end and, in a manner of speaking, were electrified by the finale. From our perspective: It was a shame for Martin (Tomczyk). I'd have liked to reach the semi-final with him. We didn't quite make it."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): "That was an incredible event - and for us in the Rosberg team anyway. This was almost an Edo-Mortara festival. We've seen great races. Of course the small mistake in the first final round on Sunday which eliminated 'Edo' was too bad. He fought up to the very end. A huge 'thank you' to the other two Audi teams. The pit stops were sensational. It was a really nice weekend."