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Oschersleben 2004: Kristensen 'over the moon'
8 August 2004
Audi driver Tom Kristensen stayed cool and was rewarded with a maiden DTM victory at the MotoPark Oschersleben today [Sunday], round seven of the championship.
The Dane was thrilled with the result.
"It's amazing that I was able to win a race so early on in my DTM career," reflected Kristensen. "I'm over the moon with this win because I don't know when I'll be able to repeat it.
"The first win is the nicest, but also the most important. I had a fantastic car and a great team. I took over the lead after my first pit stop, but Martin was in top form today and pressured me until the very end."
His team-mate Martin Tomczyk in an Audi A4 DTM crossed the finish line hot on the heels and 2.7 seconds off the pace. Tomczyk had been in the lead until the 20th lap before relinquishing this to Kristensen after his second pit stop.
"This second place is my biggest success in the DTM," he noted. "Tom and I drove the same lap times. Everything went perfectly for us.
"There were sadly problems with the nuts on the left front wheel during my second pit stop and Tom then passed me. I'm not sad that I didn't win. A dream would have come true, but an Audi nevertheless won."
Audi boss, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich couldn't contain his delight.
"The whole team pulled off an incredibly brilliant performance, both the drivers and the mechanics. It's something quite unique to celebrate a double win in such a competitive line-up," he added. "We saw exquisite motorsports acted out in front of packed grandstands and I think the DTM can be proud that's it's going so well this year."
Opel driver, Manuel Reuter meanwhile ensured it was a heart-stopping finale.
The driver from Mainz fought for every inch over many laps behind the third-placed Gary Paffett in an AMG-Mercedes C-class. Reuter was then able to overtake the Briton after he skidded slightly in the penultimate lap, and the German then crossed the finish line in third.
"I was able to keep up well with the others. When I was then behind Paffett at the end I saw that he was making a few small mistakes," said Reuter. "So I piled on the pressure in order to force him into a bigger mistake. He then made one and I was there. Congratulations to my team. I had an excellent car."
The leader in the overall standings, Audi driver Mattias Ekström, collected four crucial points in his battle for the championship after placing fifth.
The next-placed trio of Laurent Aiello, Timo Scheider and Marcel Fässler wrapped up a successful day for Opel by racing into the points in positions six to eight.
Swede Mattias Ekström in an Audi A4 DTM has now extended his lead in the overall standings to 51 points. Mercedes-Benz driver Christijan Albers missed out on points after being slapped with a time penalty, but he is still in second position on 42 points. Gary Paffett is in third, two points behind [40 points]. Winner Kristensen has now conquered fourth position with his first win and a total of 27 points.
The eighth race of the DTM takes place in four weeks' time [September 3-5] on the Dutch Circuit Park Zandvoort.
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