The ten-man Audi squad is aiming to hit back at the Nurburgring this weekend, after a poor result last time out in the DTM left it licking its wounds and cost the marque vital ground on Mercedes in the title chase.
The highest Audi finisher at the Norisring was Tom Kristensen in fifth, after the car struggled against its Stuttgart rival in both qualifying and race conditions. The Dane is currently second in the championship, eight points adrift of pace-setter Bernd Schneider, but lost ten points at Brands Hatch in July when after a dominant performance his suspension broke almost within sight of the chequered flag.
The team is hoping for better things at the Nurburgring though, and the omens look good. Last year Audi drivers Mattias Ekstrom and Kristensen claimed a 1-2 finish in the Eifel mountains.
“Races at the Nurburgring are always very interesting,” said the 2005 winner. “I have very fond memories of last year and want to fight for victory again this time.”
Indeed, Audi have triumphed in three of the last six races held at the track, and it is a home circuit for both Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Audi Sport Team Phoenix.
“I'm looking forward to the Nürburgring and in particular to enjoying the incredible atmosphere there,” said Frentzen, who began the season strongly only to fall off the pace in the subsequent rounds. “It's also a new challenge because I'll be driving the Audi A4 at the Nürburgring for the first time.”
Pierre Kaffer finished eighth for Team Phoenix at the Norisring - only the outfit's second points-scoring result of the year - with team-mate Frank Stippler right behind in ninth.
Looking ahead, team director Ernst Moser said: “The past has shown that the Audi A4 is competitive at the Nürburgring. We have never run the A4 there ourselves but we expect to put in a good performance. We will work harder to make sure that we qualify better and are aiming to score points again.”