Title in a Rush: Audi Early Manufacturers’ Champion in the DTM
source: Audi Sport
1-2-3 success in the last of the four races at the Nürburgring
Dominant win for championship leader Nico Müller
Teams’ title is already secure for Audi as well
Winning the title in a rush: With a 1-2-3 victory at the Nürburgring, Audi has already secured the DTM manufacturers’ championship with six races still to go before the end of the season. The teams’ title in the last DTM season with Class 1 cars will also go to the brand with the four rings.
The twelfth race of the season was dominated by the three title contenders: Nico Müller, Robin Frijns (both from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) and René Rast (Audi Sport Team Rosberg). Frijns managed a perfect lap in qualifying. “Achieving the fastest time in all three sectors is something that only rarely happens in the DTM,” said the Dutchman after his fifth pole position – the 19th consecutive one for Audi. “The lap also felt really good in the car.”
In the race, however, the winner of Saturday’s race was only able to hold on to his teammate Nico Müller for six laps. “Nico was simply a bit faster. It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to fight with him. Sometimes, it’s smarter to bring home a second place. This was the maximum I could achieve today.”
Nico Müller made up one place at the start and used DRS and Push-to-Pass on lap seven to overtake his teammate. Afterwards, he continued to pull away at the front. At the finish, the Swiss had an 11.790-second lead over Robin Frijns and 19.526 seconds over René Rast.
“This victory was very important today,” said Müller after his fifth win of the season. “I had a lot of bad luck on the last two race days. To come back in this way feels good. I’m especially happy for the whole team, who worked until the early hours of the morning to prepare a perfect car for me again. Robin’s team also helped, because the damage after yesterday’s race was quite substantial. To win with this car today, in such a dominant way is great. Thanks to the ABT team and also to Audi for this great car.”
With two wins each for Nico Müller and Robin Frijns, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline remained unbeaten on both Nürburgring weekends. “ABT is simply one step ahead of us at the moment,” said René Rast. “Yesterday, we were quite fast in the race. Today, I had to fight more again, especially with the second set of tires. I am satisfied with my own performance: I didn’t make a mistake and never gave up, but all in all, we can’t be happy, of course. We have to continue to work hard and catch up. The championship is not decided yet.”
Ferdinand Habsburg took sixth place for the customer team WRT Team Audi Sport. The Austrian only had to admit defeat to Robin Frijns in qualifying and started from the front row for the first time in the DTM.
Audi Sport Team Phoenix scored points with both drivers on Sunday. Mike Rockenfeller finished seventh, Loïc Duval ninth.
Jamie Green had to park his Audi RS 5 DTM in the pits shortly before the end of the race due to a problem with a sensor. The Briton was classified 15th.
“Today, we’ve again seen a very strong Audi performance,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “Nico had some bad luck in the last two races. That he has been able to come back like this is fantastic, and I’m happy for him. It’s also great that we secured two of the three championship titles so early on. We started to give our all again in the final year with the Audi RS 5 DTM. The results speak for themselves. That is pure ‘Vorsprung durch Technik.’ I would like to thank the entire team and the employees in Ingolstadt, Neuburg and Neckarsulm for again putting so much effort into this last season with the Class 1 cars. After three tough race weekends in a row, everyone deserves a little break now before the final spurt.”
Before the last six races at Zolder and Hockenheim, Nico Müller leads the drivers’ championship with 242 points ahead of Robin Frijns (224) and René Rast (195). In the teams’ classification, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is clearly in first place. The score between Audi and BMW in the manufacturers’ championship is 827:356 on points and 10:2 on wins.