Audi 1-2 victory at first-ever DTM race in Russia

At the first-ever DTM (German Touring Car Championship) race held in Russia, Audi scored a 1-2 victory as Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) sped past the finish line at the Moscow Raceway.

The event, held at a new track 80 kms west of Russia’s capital city, saw Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM and Mattias Ekstrom in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM commandingly set the pace right from the start. After 74 laps, the two Audi drivers had a lead of more than 10 seconds over the BMW of Augusto Farfus, who finished third ahead of Adrien Tambay in another Audi RS 5 DTM.

“Obviously, this was a really big step in the championship today,” said a jubilant Rockenfeller after the race. “It’s great having won here at the DTM’s premiere in Russia. It was a similarly perfect race as at Brands Hatch: starting from the pole position and finishing in first place. My Audi RS 5 DTM was fantastic and Team Phoenix did a superb job. At the Norisring, I was too slow but here everything fit together.”

Rockenfeller started on softer option tyres and, running at the front of the field, set consistently fast times for 45 laps before switching to the standard rubber. At the beginning of the race, Ekstrom, who was running on the harder tyres, managed to keep the BMW of Farfus (who had started on option tyres as well), at bay.

Five Audi RS 5 DTM cars in total finished the DTM’s Russian premiere with championship points, including all four cars of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline.

For Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, the race in Russia could “hardly have gone any better”: “A one-two victory, five of our cars in the points and now a clear lead of the standings for Mike Rockenfeller, who just like Mattias Ekstrom, drove an absolutely perfect race despite the fact that both drivers repeatedly encountered traffic. The race took place in front of a great crowd and the Audi RS 5 DTM was clearly the strongest car here at Moscow Raceway, and superb teamwork played a role as well in our having achieved a brilliant result for Audi.”

Cars participating in the DTM use V8 engines and have space-frame structures covered by lightweight carbonfibre shells that look similar to showroom models. Power output is limited to 600 bhp but a Drag Reduction System (DRS) can be fitted to allows for a higher top speed for short periods. All cars must use brakes, ECUs, transmissions and tyres from the same manufacturer. The minimum weight (including the driver, suit and helmet) must be not less than 1,110 kgs.

[Chips Yap]