DTM's current 'dream team' of Audi, Mike Rockenfeller and sponsor Schaeffler will return to defend the German's crown in 2014, with team and sponsor having extended their agreement by three years.

With Rockenfeller following in the footsteps of 2011 champion Martin Tomczyk and bringing it two titles in three years, the Audi Team Phoenix entry sporting Schaeffler's instantly recognisable green-and-yellow colours has been the most successful car in recent DTM history, and the only change to its appearance for 2014 will be the addition of the number '1' in honour of Rockenfeller's championship win.

"The Schaeffler Audi has become an absolute crowd-pleaser with the DTM fans in recent years and, what's more, was our best-placed car three times in succession," the marque's head of DTM, Dieter Gass, commented, "Therefore, we're delighted in more ways than one that we've been able to conclude a long-term extension of this partnership and that this dream team is retained for the DTM."

With Rockenfeller remaining with Audi to defend his crown, head of motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich sees a relationship stretching into the future.

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"Mike has been a valuable and indispensable member of the Audi family for many years - not only because he's an experienced and fast race driver, but also because he's a very special person," Ullrich noted, "He's a perfect fit for us and, considering that he's only 30 years old, the future belongs to him - both in the DTM and at Le Mans."

Rockenfeller was naturally happy with the extension of the agreement between Audi and Schaeffler and is already looking forward to the defence of his title, even though the DTM season doesn't start for nearly five months.

"Audi and Schaeffler are simply two fantastic partners," he concluded, "In both companies, motorsport evokes a lot of emotions. I can really feel the enthusiasm of the employees whenever I visit any of the locations. To represent these brands on the race track and to be so successful - that makes me proud."

The 2014 DTM season kicks off at Hockenheim on 4 May, before the ten race schedule winds through both China and Hungary.