Katherine Legge got an early taste of life at Audi as she spent a week with her new team-mates at the marque's annual winter training camp in Ofterschwang last week.

The Briton joined members of Audi's touring and sportscar teams for a comprehensive winter programme, designed to encourage team 'bonding' over a series of sporting activities, fitness and health regimes.

Legge was making her debut at Ofterschwang alongside fellow DTM recruits Oliver Jarvis and Markus Winkelhock, as Audi got its campaign to retain both the touring car and Le Mans 24 Hour underway under the watchful eyes of head of sport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and team directors Hans-J?rgen Abt, Ernst Moser, Arno Zensen and Ralf J?ttner.

"At the winter camp, it's much more than just a question of fitness," Dr Ullrich explained, "It is the best opportunity to start the new season. Victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and winning the championship in the 2007 DTM were the fruits of excellent teamwork. The winter camp creates the basis to be able to start the 2008 racing year especially full of strength and motivation."

The daily routine started with gymnastics and 'aquapower' in the early morning, followed by skating and Nordic walking, before team sports such as basketball and water polo encouraged the group theme. Strengthening exercises, including spinning and stretching, were among the other training exercises included in the programme, while co-ordination abilities were tested through special kinetic exercises.

"In theory, the best form of training for racing drivers is the driving itself, since it trains the neck and pectoral girdle muscles," explained team physician Dr Christian John who, as usual, supervised the programme.

"However, this alone has long since been inadequate. A sports programme to increase stamina is important as a supplement, ideally consisting of jogging, cross country skiing in winter and cycling. To check their abilities in these areas, we measure the drivers' performance and lactate values as an expression of the individual oxygen debt."

All three newcomers were impressed with the camp, with Jarvis claiming that it was 'the first time that I've participated in such professional preparations for a season in motorsport', and Legge was equally excited by what she experienced.

"I had a great time on the training camp with Audi," she said, "It was good, a great kickstart for the season.

"It was also nice to meet all of my team-mates. Everyone made us feel at home and I am so excited about being part of the Audi family, I just can't wait to get back in the car and get going.

"The training was good in so many ways. Firstly, we had evaluations to tell us where we are right now, then all of the activities we did were very beneficial - and most of them were fun too!

"Now I am back in Indianapolis, in the process of getting prepared for the Mugello test and finding a base in Europe."

The drivers all made an excellent impression at the Sonnenalp, with Dr John rating the entire squad's performance as a positive conformation of complete team work.

"The development we've seen over the years is just amazing," he concluded, "When we started, some drivers admitted that they hadn't trained since Christmas. Nowadays, this is taboo. Now, all the drivers are in an excellent physical condition. They train regularly throughout the entire year, so we see the fruits of our labour."


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