Audi's quartet of DTM debutants are eager to get down to business in the opening race of the 2007 campaign at Hockenheim this coming weekend, on the back of encouraging testing form leading up to the meeting.
The newest signing – announced virtually on the eve of the season – is former GP2 ace Adam Carroll, who is bidding to successfully transfer his single-seater skills across to tin-tops.
“Up to now I've enjoyed every metre in the Audi A4 DTM and working together with the team,” the Northern Irishman said. “I'm well aware I'm at the wheel of a 2005 car, but also that we have worked extremely well over the winter and that the team is giving 100 per cent. I've never been better-prepared for a season than I am for this one, and I intend to make the most of it.”
Fellow ex-GP2 race-winner Alex Prémat – who partnered current Formula 1 sensation Lewis Hamilton at ART Grand Prix last year – will also be making his DTM bow at Hockenheim
“I'm approaching my first DTM race with great expectations,” the Frenchman enthused. “I know the level in the DTM is extremely high. However, we worked hard on both the qualifying and race performance during the tests and I will do everything possible to be on the pace at Hockenheim.”
Sportscar regulars Lucas Luhr and Mike Rockenfeller, meanwhile, will perhaps face less of a transition having both already campaigned with a roof over their heads – with considerable success. They remain conscious, however, that in such a fiercely-competitive championship, they will be in for far from an easy ride.
“It will certainly be difficult,” Luhr admitted. “After all Hockenheim is my first DTM race and the learning curve is very steep – even the events on the periphery. Things in the cockpit will really get serious for the first time. In the meantime I feel a lot more comfortable in the DTM car, but let's not forget that a proper comparison is only possible on a race weekend.”
“I've been waiting impatiently for my first DTM race,” Rockenfeller added, “and now the time has come I hope the preparations were good and that I can show my talent. I'm not expecting too much just yet. Initially at Hockenheim I want to get to know the ins and outs of a DTM weekend and simply settle in.”