The battle for the prestigious title of the best manufacturer is intensifying. Before the penultimate round of the DTM at Zandvoort next weekend (September 27 to 28) Audi and BMW are separated by only 18 points. The advantage for the four rings: There is no other track of which the Audi drivers have as many fond memories as of the circuit located on the North Sea Coast about an hour?s drive from Amsterdam.
Two championship titles, seven race victories, 15 podium places, seven pole positions and five fastest race laps: Even the statistics show how comfortable the eight Audi drivers feel on the circuit at Zandvoort. They are determined to take advantage of all these positive memories in order to clinch the manufacturers? title for their brand. Two races before the end of the season Audi is trailing BMW by a very narrow margin in the manufacturers? standings.
Zandvoort is inseparably linked to the career of Mattias Ekström. Almost exactly twelve years ago the Swede, on September 29, 2002, in his second DTM year, clinched his first victory there, which meant the title win for his team-mate Laurent Aiello ? marking the first of seven driver championship wins for Audi in the new DTM. The most recent title was won at Zandvoort as well. In 2013, Mike Rockenfeller sealed the deal early by finishing the race as the runner-up. Two years before, the German had celebrated his first ever DTM victory in the Netherlands.
Four times on pole but no victory scored to date: Timo Scheider has a very special relationship with Zandvoort. Particularly the 2003 race day is remembered by many motorsport fans as one of the most tragic moments in the new DTM. After starting from the pole position, Scheider commandingly led the race. Victory for the German, who at the time was still racing for another brand, seemed to be certain but then his team bungled the pit stop and the car was released on three wheels. Even today, Scheider has goose bumps when he talks about the encouraging applause by the crowd, and even by the mechanics in the pits of other manufacturers, while he was walking back to his team.
The 4.307-kilometer circuit has been on the race calendar every year since 2001 and in this season replaces the round in China that was cancelled. Zandvoort is regarded as one of the most challenging circuits in terms of driving skills due to its characteristics featuring crests, fast corners and several overtaking opportunities. Fine sand from the dunes often makes the tarmac alongside the racing line extremely slippery.
TV viewers can watch the DTM live: ?Das Erste? will be airing live coverage from Zandvoort on Saturday starting at 14.30 and on Sunday starting at 13.15 (CEST). Tickets for the entire 2014 DTM season can be purchased online at www.audi-motorsport.com/dtm or telephonically on +49 841 89-47777.

Quotes by the officials

Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): ?Zandvoort is a track that suited us really well in the past. We?re aiming to clinch the good team result we?d been wishing for at the Lausitzring and that certainly would have been possible following our good performance in qualifying. The title in the manufacturers? classification remains our aim ? that?s why bringing as many of our cars as possible into the points will be crucial.?
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): ?Our team and our drivers have many fond memories of Zandvoort. Mattias (Ekström) won at Zandvoort three times and clinched his first ever victory there as well. As a team we celebrated Laurent Aiello?s title in the championship at Zandvoort in 2002. The track suits us well and we?re going to do everything we can to attack in the manufacturers? classification for Audi.?

DTM drivers? standings after eight of ten rounds
1 Marco Wittmann (BMW) 128 points
2 Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) 59 points
3 Mattias Ekström (Audi) 56 points
4 Edoardo Mortara (Audi) 56 points
5 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) 54 points

6 Bruno Spengler (BMW) 42 points
7 Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz) 40 points
8 Maxime Martin (BMW) 39 points
9 Augusto Farfus (BMW) 39 points
10 Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) 37 points
11 Adrien Tambay (Audi) 36 points
12 Timo Scheider (Audi) 34 points

13 Timo Glock (BMW) 33 points
14 Miguel Molina (Audi) 28 points
15 Jamie Green (Audi) 28 points

16 Martin Tomczyk (BMW) 28 points
17 Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz) 24 points
18 Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-Benz) 22 points
19 Nico Müller (Audi) 10 points
20 Joey Hand (BMW) 7 points
21 António Félix da Costa (BMW) 4 points
22 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) 4 points
DTM manufacturers? standings
1 BMW 320 points
2 Audi 302 points
3 Mercedes-Benz 186 points

DTM teams? standings

1 BMW Team RMG 167 points
2 Audi Sport Team Abt 92 points
3 Audi Sport Team Phoenix 88 points
4 Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline 84 points

5 Original-Teile Mercedes AMG 83 points
6 BMW Team Schnitzer 70 points
7 BMW Team RBM 46 points
8 EURONICS/FREE MAN?S WORLD Mercedes AMG 41 points
9 gooix Mercedes AMG 40 points
10 Audi Sport Team Rosberg 38 points
11 BMW Team MTEK 37 points
12 Petronas AMG Mercedes 22 points
Audi statistics in the DTM (since 1990)
Champion?s titles: 9 (in 16 years)
Victories: 65 (in 216 races)
Pole positions: 72 (in 180 qualifying sessions)
Fastest laps: 62 (in 216 races)?Podium positions: 219 (in 216 races)
All Zandvoort winners since 2001
2001 Uwe Alzen (Mercedes-Benz)
2002 Mattias Ekström (Abt-Audi)
2003 Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz)
2004 Mattias Ekström (Audi)
2005 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2006 Tom Kristensen (Audi)
2007 Martin Tomczyk (Audi)
2008 Mattias Ekström (Audi)

2009 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2010 Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)
2011 Mike Rockenfeller (Audi)
2012 Edoardo Mortara (Audi)

2013 Augusto Farfus (BMW)

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