Audi reckons Brands Hatch result shows it is closing on DTM rivals Mercedes and BMW

Audi's most competitive showing of the DTM season at Brands Hatch is an indication that the manufacturer is closing the gap on rivals Mercedes and BMW, according to its motorsport chief Wolfgang Ullrich

Audi reckons Brands Hatch result shows it is closing on DTM rivals Mercedes and BMW

Phoenix Racing's Mike Rockenfeller finished third, less than six seconds behind race winner Gary Paffett's Mercedes at the British track.

And Ullrich, whose teams have won all but one of the drivers' titles since 2006, is certain that the A5 will be a more competitive prospect in race conditions from now on.

"It's nice that 'Rocky' brought third place home. He almost could have battled for second place, but here at Brands Hatch closing up to the car in front is one thing and overtaking it an altogether different matter.

"With five cars in the top 10 [at Brands Hatch], we've scored a strong overall team result, which shows that we're on the right track. That's why I'm looking ahead to the next races with confidence."

Rockenfeller himself was less convinced, and said that he will not know for sure whether or not the manufacturer's work behind the scenes has paid off until the next round at Spielberg in June.

"Brands Hatch is not the same as Hockenheim or Lausitz," he said. "I think if we finish third at the Red Bull Ring [Spielberg], then it's a bit more certain we've taken a step forward than this is."

His former team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt was even more pessimistic after his team's lead driver Mattias Ekstrom once again finished more than 20s behind the winner in fifth place.

He believes that more serious work is needed in order to turn the A5 into a consistent contender for race wins.

"From our perspective this wasn't a successful weekend," said the Abt Sportsline team director.

"Granted, Mattias made up a few positions after starting from eighth on the grid and even advanced to third place in the championship. But our claim is to be in contention for victory. To achieve this we need to continue to work hard together."

shares
comments
Gary Paffett cruises to home DTM win for Mercedes at Brands Hatch

Previous article

Gary Paffett cruises to home DTM win for Mercedes at Brands Hatch

Next article

Phoenix boss says Audi A5 DTM fast enough to win at Spielberg

Phoenix boss says Audi A5 DTM fast enough to win at Spielberg
Load comments

About this article

Series DTM
Author Jamie O'Leary
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions Plus

The last-chance saloon of Germany's forgotten tin-top champions

The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit

DTM
May 15, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Plus

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000. Autosport's expert panel ranks its 10 best drivers from the period

DTM
May 5, 2020
How the DTM landed itself in crisis Plus

How the DTM landed itself in crisis

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM was the latest bodyblow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series Plus

The FE cynic who had to accept change in his series

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport

DTM
Dec 13, 2019