Ekström: „It’s time to strike back“
Eau Rouge, Blanchimont, La Source: names that make the hearts of both motor racing enthusiasts and drivers beat faster – and that are going to become a part of the DTM history, this weekend. From 13th to 15th May, the world’s most spectacular touring will travel to the Ardennes rollercoaster, located just half an hour away from the German-Belgian border, to make their inaugural racing appearance on one of the most beautiful and challenging tracks on our planet.
“I believe we will be in a good position, at Spa,” says reigning DTM Champion Mattias Ekström. To optimally prepare for the race at the fastest circuit on the 2005 DTM calendar, Audi is going to test at Paul Ricard, France, this Monday and Tuesday. “During the first two race weekends, we have learned quite a lot about our car,” adds Ekström, “And after the Paul Ricard tests, we will know it even better. It’s time to strike back!”
All the eight Audi works drivers got to know the Ardennes rollercoaster during the official DTM tests held prior to the season, with Pierre Kaffer succeeding in setting the fastest lap time. “I just can’t wait to race in Spa,” reveals the DTM rookie from Burgbrohl, who now resides in Switzerland. “The tests went really well. Behind the wheels of our 2004 spec cars, we might experience a slight disadvantage on the long straights, but the twisting downhill sections should be exactly what we need – the spectators may look forward to an extremely competitive field.”
As a former sports car racer, Audi works driver Tom Kristensen is well aware what he will have to cope with, at Spa-Francorchamps. “To take a DTM car through Eau Rouge is truly spectacular – for both the drivers and the crowds,” says the Dane, who contested three races at the Belgian GP circuit, clinched three pole positions and one win. “The circuit has got just everything: banked corners, corners sloping to the outside, compressions, uphill and downhill sections.”