Martin Tomczyk and Timo Scheider both brought home solid results in the second round of the 2007 DTM campaign at Oschersleben last weekend, the former jumping into the joint lead of the championship and the latter opening his account for the year.
The duo qualified respectively sixth (Scheider) and seventh (Tomczyk) on the grid in their new Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline A4s, which they converted into fourth and fifth positions at the chequered flag, line astern as they crossed the finish line.
For Scheider, who has stepped up to 2007-spec machinery for the new season, the result vindicated the faith Audi's top brass placed in him at the beginning of the year.
“My start was so-so because I was a little confused by Mattias' (Ekström) jump-start,” the young German confessed. “I was just about to drive off but that was the wrong moment. I had to push the clutch pedal again and, as a result, wasn't able to get away quickly and Gary Paffett passed me.
“Later I was following Mike (Rockenfeller) and Mika (Häkkinen) for a long time. At that point my tyres were ruined so I had to slow down a bit. Two small delays during the pit-stops may have cost us a position, but these things happen.”
Team-mate Tomczyk, for his part, was disappointed not to have been able to repeat the podium success that he achieved in the season-opener at Hockenheim two weeks earlier, but was nevertheless pleased to have joined Ekström and Mercedes' rookie ace Paul di Resta atop the points' standings.
“Unfortunately the race didn't go all that well,” the 25-year-old acknowledged. “As in Hockenheim I had a very good start and was between Jamie Green and Timo Scheider, but I had to make some room when Timo pulled over. When I lifted I lost a few positions, and our strategy was not designed for that.
“We made the best of the situation anyhow. In the end I was running behind Timo for a long time. Of course the tyres don't hold up in such a situation for very long, but they lasted for 20 laps. Even though I would have liked to have scored more, I now have the same number of points as Mattias.”