Audi wins both DTM races at the Norisring
Two wins within 24 hours following a 14-year barren spell
Youngster from Switzerland celebrates first DTM triumph
Audi has another DTM winner: youngster Nico Müller (24) won a turbulent DTM race at the Norisring on Sunday, causing Audi to triumph twice within the space of 24 hours in its “home round” in Nuremberg.
Following “Forza Italia” with Edoardo Mortara’s victory on Saturday, it was “Hopp, Schwiiz!” on Sunday. In his 36th DTM race, the youngest Audi factory driver celebrated his first ever victory in the DTM. In front of an impressive crowd of 123,500 spectators (throughout the weekend), the Swiss at the wheel of his Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM delivered an impeccable performance on Sunday.
Having started the race from grid position three, he improved to second place right in turn one. Subsequently, Müller put pressure on pole sitter Tom Blomqvist and overtook the BMW also thanks to a quicker pit stop. In the final stage, Müller controlled the pace and kept his cool even when a safety car period shortly before the finish ruined his advantage of 2.5 seconds.
“Winning my first DTM race for Audi here at the Norisring of all places is simply an incredible feeling,” said Müller, for whom two Bunnies of his sponsor, Playboy, kept their fingers crossed on Sunday as well. “Following the disappointing result yesterday, we made the right changes to the car. My RS 5 DTM was fantastic today and my pit stop was super-fast. Thank you to Audi Sport, thank you to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and thank you to everyone who believed in me – first and foremost Dieter Gass! I’m overjoyed!”
Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, was happy for his protégé as well: “Nico (Müller) drove like an old hand today and showed why we took him on board at Audi. Nico has had a strong season so far and has now crowned it with his first victory in the DTM. That we’ve been able to win both races at the Norisring following a 14-year barren spell is fantastic. Obviously, it’s a shame that we lost a few points today. But we’re not going to let this spoil our partying mood in any way.”
With Saturday’s winner Edoardo Mortara in the Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM in position eight only one other Audi driver finished Sunday’s race in the points. The Italian trails the new front runner, Marco Wittmann (BMW), in second place of the standings with a two-point deficit. The teams’ standings are led by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. In the manufacturers’ classification, Audi is in second place with a 34-point deficit.
Mattias Ekström experienced another disappointment. Following his retirement the day before, the Swede impressively came back with a best time in the second qualifying session, but damaged the radiator of his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM in the starting commotion and, as a result, remained without any points at the Norisring.
Jamie Green scored no points on Sunday either. Following his second place on Saturday, he found no clear lap in qualifying with the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg. Having started from position 16 on the grid, he was forced to retire in the race following a collision and a puncture. Neither did his teammate Adrien Tambay in the Speedweek.com Audi RS 5 DTM see the checkered flag. The Frenchman was running in the top six before being forced off track by a rival.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix went home without points as well after Timo Scheider (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM) and Mike Rockenfeller (SCHAEFFLER Audi RS 5 DTM) collided shortly before the end of the race, which caused them to lose possible points. Miguel Molina in the Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM advanced from position 22 on the grid to 14th place.