Audi is the hit
‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ – in the case of Audi this also applies to the 2017 DTM season so far. With 10 of the 18 races of the season contested, the Ingolstadt based brand holds the lead in the three most important rankings of the famous touring-car series. “We now are in a promising position in all the three championship rankings,” Audi Motorsport Director Dieter Gass beamed after the Russian race weekend.
In the battle for the drivers’ championship, the brand with the four rings still is represented by four contenders with promising chances. With the old hand and the rookie being in the best positions. Mattias Ekström (113 points) holds the lead in the drivers’ championship, just one point ahead of René Rast. Meanwhile, Jamie Green (87) and Mike Rockenfeller (73) hold fourths and sixths positions. A great team effort. And Gass is particularly impressed by the stellar ascent of DTM rookie René Rast: “An incredible debut season.”
Four of the 10 races contested to date were won by Audi drivers, with René Rast and Jamie Green having won two rounds each. In his only ninth DTM race overall, in the Sunday round Hungaroring, Rast celebrated his maiden DTM race win and in his debut appearance at the Moscow Raceway, he secured an impressive lights-top-flag win. Jamie Green outclassed the entire field in the season opener at the wet Hockenheimring and in the Motorsport Festival the Lausitzring, the Briton and Mattias Ekström gave Audi the first one-two of their new RS 5 DTM – with even five Audi’s making it to the top seven. On the 31st of the 43 laps, at the end of the home straight, Green who had been third on the grid made the crucial move and passed pole-sitter Robert Wickens (Mercedes-AMG) for the lead. Meanwhile, the championship leader has got the biggest number of podiums on his tally. Mattias Ekström secured three second and two third places. It’s true, the Audi driver hasn’t secured a DTM race win, this year, but with his impressive consistency without negative outliers the Swede is the deserved championship leader. Only once, in race two, he failed to score.
Audi have got the biggest number of podiums (11) but hold third positions when it comes to the pole positions (two) – both secured by René Rast. Altogether, the Audi driver scored a total of 13 qualifying points, to date, inter alia by the second and third grid positions he secured in Moscow. Only Loïc Duval and Nico Müller haven’t made it to the podium, so far. And while the Swiss succeeded in making for a stir every now and then by finishing fifth at Hockenheim, fourth at Budapest and qualifying third at the Norisring, the French rookie has secured no successes at all, to date.
In the manufacturers’ ranking, Audi also represents the benchmark. In the two races at Moscow they increased their lead over the competitors. With 421 points, their gap on Mercedes-AMG (341) and BMW (308) is impressive. And in the team ranking, two squads representing the Audi camp hold the first two positions with 18 races contested: Audi Sport Team Rosberg (199 points / Green and Rast) as well as Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (149 / Ekström and Müller). Furthermore, the two Audi teams are the only ones that secured one or two top-10 positions in every single race. Furthermore, Team Rosberg also scored in seven of the 10 qualifying sessions. But while Audi have got the leading double spearhead in this area, they also have to cope with the last position, ‘courtesy’ of Phoenix (Mike Rockenfeller / Loïc Duval) who have scored just 72 points, to date.