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Audi expects tougher time at Lausitz

Audi is heading into the second round of the DTM season at Lausitz next weekend not expecting to enjoy the same level of dominance it had at Hockenheim

Tom Kristensen led an Audi lockout of the top four places in the season opener last weekend, and it would have been the top five were it not for dominant leader Mattias Ekstrom suffering a puncture on the penultimate lap.

Mercedes was not able to challenge the front-running A4s all weekend, and even the 2008-spec cars of Oliver Jarvis and Markus Winkelhock were ahead of Paul di Resta in the leading C-class.

However, Audi has only two wins to its name in nine attempts at Lausitz - one of which only came after Gary Paffett was excluded in 2004 - and the whole squad is expecting a much tougher weekend than it had at the opener.

Two-time champion Ekstrom believes that the combination of a track that tends to suit Mercedes, plus the Audis carrying success ballast, will prevent the team from having such an easy time.

"We won't see any dominance," he said. "With the few kilos of additional weight, the situation will be tighter, so we'll have our work cut out."

Audi's head of motorsport Wolfgang Ullrich added: "We're expecting a tough weekend on which we'll have to fight. We created a very good base at Hockenheim, but we know that in the past few years we didn't do quite so well at the EuroSpeedway.

"In addition, our new cars will be ten kilograms heavier than the Mercedes, and I know that our rivals will work very hard."

Despite the reduced expectations in the team, former race winner Martin Tomczyk is one of the more optimistic people in the Audi camp.

"We know Mercedes was always very good there in the past," he said. "Still, our advantage at Hockenheim was pretty big. That gives me hope that we'll be strong here too."

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