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Martin Tomczyk in the Audi Sport Team Abt Audi A4 DTM

Hockenheim, April 17, 2004

Impressive debut for the Audi A4 DTM: Audi driver Martin Tomczyk will start the 2004 DTM (Deutsche Touring Car Masters) season opener at Hockenheim (Sunday, 2 p.m, live on ARD) from the front row of the grid. The 22-year old Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline driver was defeated only by former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi. Tom Kristensen and Mattias Ekström completed the strong debut of the new Audi touring car by qualifying third and sixth. Christian Abt in eleventh position narrowly missed the top ten single-car qualifying. Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest) will start from 13th and 14h positions on the grid.

Emanuele Pirro in the Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest Audi A4 DTM
Frank Biela in the Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest Audi A4 DTM
Christian Abt in the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM
Mattias Ekström in the Audi Sport Team Abt Audi A4 DTM
Tom Kristensen in the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi A4 DTM
Created with StudioLine

Martin Tomczyk (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #6)
2nd in “Super Pole“, 1m 35.044s
“I am just so happy about my place on the front row. The ten minutes following my lap in which I had to watch the other drivers were quite bad. Hockenheim and especially the Motodrom section fit me really well. Now I hope that the second part of the weekend will be as good, and I will be able to make something out of my starting position.“

Tom Kristensen (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #12)
3rd in “Super Pole“, 1m 35.118s
“That was a fabulous start for my DTM career. Of course, I hope it will continue like this. My team prepared a superb car and I had a lap without mistakes. Of course, it would have been even better to qualify on the front row, but now I have already a target for the next qualifying.“

Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt / Audi A4 DTM #5)
6th in “Super Pole“, 1m 35.356s
“Even if I prefer to start further in front, third row is fine. I am lined up next to the current champion, therefore the start will be exciting. Super Pole was once more typical for the DTM: a few tenths too slow and you are already down in sixth place.“

Christian Abt (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline / Audi A4 DTM #11)
11th, 1m 35.731s
“Despite missing Super Pole by about one tenth of a second, I am content with qualifying. I know that I can match the times at the top. Unfortunately a door burst open briefly during my fast lap, which of course cost some time. Now I will try to move to the front from eleventh position.“

Emanuele Pirro (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #44)
13th, 1m 36.050s
“Today we have seen how important experience is in DTM. It’s obvious we still have to learn a lot. Of course I am not content with my position, but this is part of a learning process.“

Frank Biela (Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest / Audi A4 DTM #45)
14th, 1m 36.162m
“In this morning’s free practice session my learning curve showed up clearly. Unfortunately there was a small setback in the afternoon. The track was very slippery, but we must analyze whether this caused the result. After free practice I had hoped to qualify for Super Pole. Now it becomes a little harder to get into the points – however, this should still be my target.“

Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
“I am pleased that we made it with three cars into Super Pole. I think the routine of our team paid off. Driver and car worked together perfectly, and our newcomer Tom has fitted into our team in the best possible way. Tomorrow, the fans can look forward to a good show.“

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest)
“Of course we would have prefered having a car in the top ten in order to learn also the Super Pole at our first weekend in the new DTM. Unfortunately it did not work out. Emanuele had only one lap without error, Frank was not able to repeat his good performance from free practice. Now we will work on it and attempt to getting into the points with a clean race.“

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
“I think we are making a very strong impression at our first entry in the new DTM. By qualifying second and third, the whole Audi squad can be very content – that was really a strong performance from all. It pleases me especially that with Martin Tomczyk our youngest driver was the fastest. It is also remarkable that Tom Kristensen qualified so far in front for his first ever DTM race. I am really looking forward to tomorrow and hope it will be a good race for Audi. In any case it will be exciting.“