The Audi DTM squad has arrived in China ahead of the invitational race in Shanghai this weekend.

The seven A4 DTM cars and one Abt-Audi TT-R have arrived in China and are being held in the paddock ahead of Sundays race.

Then they will do battle with rivals from Opel and Mercedes in two 30minute long races around the streets of Shanghai, with live television coverage of the event back showing the fans back home in Germany what they are missing.

Whilst planning for the event had started several months ago, preparations entered into the "hot phase" during the past week and a half.

On 1 July, the chartered carrier took a total of nine freight containers to Kempten and Waldmichelbach, the home bases of the two works teams - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest.

To ensure there were no problems with customs on arrival in China, each single bolt had to listed, making the packing of equipment a long and drawn out process,

After two days of loading, the equipment was taken to Frankfurt to be shipped to Shanghai. At Frankfurt airport, the cars were fixed onto special steel transport plates and loaded into a Boeing 747 ahead of the twelve hour flight.

The DTM also travelled by sea to China. In middle of June, Dunlop shipped more than 800 slicks and wets, the tyres with which all DTM teams are equipped, from the port of Rotterdam to Shanghai while Shell opted for ocean freight to ship 7,800 litres of Shell V-Power, the standard fuel used in the DTM, to the venue of the series' first overseas performance.

The Audi squad itself travelled to China in separate groups: the managers of both works teams and project manager Volker Nossek arrived in Shanghai at the beginning of the week to accompany the material transports to the race track.

Instead of the three hours scheduled for loading the parts and vehicles onto 18 semi-trailers, the loading took twelve. Unloading the cargo therefore took until the early hours of the next morning.

The mechanics and members of Audi Sport boarded their aircraft to fly east on Tuesday morning, while the Audi drivers were due to be arrive in Shanghai on Thursday. Altogether, Audi are deploying 75 people to China.

Construction work on the circuit has been completed, and the 2.85-kilometre track is surrounded by safety fences and concrete barriers. Only one major intersection will
be kept open for public traffic until the action starts on Friday.

For each car, the mechanics have been given a 50-square metre pit to prepare the A4s and the TT-R for the pinnacle of the weekend, the races on Sunday. However on Monday the cars and teams will be setting off for their 6000-kilometre journey back home for the next DTM round at the N?rburgring on 1 August.

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