Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 DTM : Tom Kristensen wins DTM season opener

Tom Kristensen - Audi Sport Team Abt - 2009 Audi A4 DTM

HOCKENHEIM : May 17, 2009 - For Audi, the start into the 2009 DTM season could hardly have been better. Tom Kristensen (DK), Timo Scheider (D), Oliver Jarvis (GB) and Markus Winkelhock (D) crossed the finish line of the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg with their Audi A4 DTMs in that order and thus completed the four-fold victory for the manufacturer from Ingolstadt in the 100th DTM race after the series’ revival in 2000.

Tom Kristensen - Audi Sport Team Abt - 2009 Audi A4 DTM

With only two laps to go, everything looked set for a dominant lights-to-flag victory for two times’ DTM champion Mattias Ekström (S). However, on the penultimate lap, the Audi driver had a puncture and had to let Kristensen and the other drivers past. “Today, Mattias absolutely deserved victory. But I know that situation, I have had the same myself“, happy winner Kristensen said after his fourth victory in the DTM. Fellow Audi driver Ekström still made it home in seventh place. Second place was taken by reigning DTM champion Timo Scheider. A big surprise was caused by the drivers in third and fourth place, because Briton Oliver Jarvis and German Markus Winkelhock are both racing a 2008-spec Audi A4 DTM.

Best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in the DTM season opener was Scot Paul Di Resta in fifth place from Maro Engel, also with an AMG Mercedes C-Class. “Of course, we are disappointed. This weekend, we haven’t achieved what we should have. But I keep my faith in the team and we will work even harder. It just wasn’t our weekend“, Di Resta said.

In summery warm temperatures, 91,000 fans (weekend crowd) got to see exactly what they like so much about the most popular international touring car series: fascinating door-to-door battles, thrilling overtaking manoeuvres and perfectly executed pit stops. While Ekström had a perfect getaway from pole position, there already was a collision on the first lap a little bit further down in the field. Gary Paffett (GB/Mercedes-Benz) and Frenchman Alexandre Prémat (Audi) collided, after which the bonnet of the Mercedes-Benz driver came loose. This hit Ralf Schumacher’s AMG Mercedes C-Class, which caused a safety car intervention. Schumacher’s pit crew reacted well and was able to repair the damage to the roof of the car. Schumacher rejoined the race without even losing one lap and finished the first race of his second DTM season in ninth place.

Canadian Mercedes-Benz driver Bruno Spengler had a great recovery. Having started 19th, the 25-year old made it up into fifth place. However, a broken right rear suspension on lap 24 forced him to retire. The youngest driver in DTM history, 18-year old Johannes Seidlitz finished 13th upon his DTM debut for Audi.

In the overall standings, Kristensen is leading with ten points from Scheider (8) and Jarvis (6). The second DTM race weekend will take place at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz from May 29th till 31st.

Audi motorsport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “Of course, I am very happy. That was a perfect race after a perfect qualifying on Saturday. I feel sorry for Mattias, he really has shown a strong performance. However, I have no worries whatsoever that he will be more successful in the next race. Still, this is a very good start into the season. This weekend, Mercedes-Benz didn’t have much luck. To put it another way: the real fight will follow in the next races of this season.”

Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug: We knew that this wouldn’t be easy going. Audi has always been a strong opponent and has shown today that it will be again in 2009. With a year-old car, Jamie Green has started very well, which is an important step into the right direction. I am proud of Bruno Spengler. He made it from the last row on the grid into fifth place. Unfortunately, we lost two very well placed cars in the race. From the 100 races since 2000, we have won 62, but this weekend, we weren’t good enough. For the race at the EuroSpeedway, our teams know what they have to do.”

Race Result - Round 1 Hockenheim, Germany
1. Tom Kristensen Team Abt Audi A4 DTM 09 1hr 05min 35.819secs
2. Timo Scheider Team Abt Audi A4 DTM 09 +0.353secs
3. Oliver Jarvis Team Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 08 +4.450secs
4. Markus Winkelhock Team Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 08 +10.840secs
5. Paul di Resta AMG Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 09 +21.832secs
6. Maro Engel GQ AMG Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 08 +24.977secs
7. Mattias Ekstrom Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 09 +36.730secs
8. Jamie Green Junge Stern AMG Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 08 +46.347secs
9. Ralf Schumacher Trilux AMG Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 09 +55.699secs
10. Mattias Lauda Stern AMG Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 08 +1min 00.978secs
11. Tomas Kostka Kolles Futurecom-BRT Audi A4 DTM 07 +1min 15.339secs
12. Katherine Legge Team Abt Lady Power Audi A4 DTM 08 +1min 20.882secs
13. Johannes Seidlitz Kolles Futurecom-TME Audi A4 DTM 07 +1min 23.774secs
14. Christian Bakkerud Kolles Futurecom-TME Audi A4 DTM 07 +1min 35.921secs

Not classified:

15. Martin Tomczyk Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM 09 24 laps completed
16. Bruno Spengler Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class 09 24 laps completed
17. Susie Stoddart TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 08 24 laps completed
18. Mike Rockenfeller Team Rosberg Audi A4 DTM 08 1 lap completed
19. Alex Premat Team Phoenix Audi A4 DTM 08 1 lap completed
20. Gary Paffett Salzgitter AMG Mercedes Mercedes C-Class 09 0 laps completed

Hi-light images : 2009 DTM Round 1 Hockenheim, Germany

[Source : DTM Official]


1 Responses to "2009 DTM : Tom Kristensen wins DTM season opener"
Anonymous said...

May 18, 2009 at 9:11 AM

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