With half of the season over, Tom Kristensen goes into the sixth round of the DTM at the Nurburgring with an eye on closing the gap to current series leader Bernd Schneider following two disappointing races.
Having seen his hopes of victory at Brands Hatch disappear with a dramatic suspension failure as the end neared only a handful of laps away and then coming home a lacklustre fifth at the previous race around the Norisring, erstwhile leader Kristensen has slipped eight points behind the four-time champion.
Indeed, the Norisring was a struggle for Audi overall, with Kristensen coming home as the leading A4 against the might of Mercedes, something he hopes will not repeat itself as the championship moves into a crucial stage.
He will take some comfort from the fact that Audi are expected to go well around the shorter Nurburgring configuration, particularly as they claimed a 1-2 finish last season, with Mattias Ekstrom leading home Kristensen.
"The Nürburgring is a fantastic circuit, which our A4 also likes,” the Dane said. “Our car is particularly good in the Mercedes-Arena… Now we just have to take the good balance and speed with us to the Nürburgring that our A4 had at Oschersleben and Brands Hatch.
“We know that the Norisring was an atypical track. We've prepared ourselves well, so that we can win again at the Nürburgring.”
Indeed, Audi have reason to be confident, citing the Oschersleben as being most similar to the Nurburgring, a race in which Kristensen dominated.
"The Nürburgring is one of the circuits on which we have always been very competitive and it should also be the case this time around,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich. “We'll try to get a result that will make it easier to forget the Norisring and, which more importantly puts us in a stronger position in the championship. Our goal is to be as competitive as we were at Oschersleben and Brands Hatch.”