You attended the “Ball of Sport” together with your fellow driver Timo Scheider. Your impression?
That was a premiere for me. I was there for the first time. It was a big event with many well-known, important people from the worlds of sport, politics and show biz. Obviously, it’s great that the DTM is part of this and I had the opportunity of attending for the first time. Particularly interesting to me was the chance to go through various activity stations after the official part and to try out different sports. And performing a tire change on a DTM car together with fencing Olympic gold medalist Britta Heidemann, who I’d met before on several other occasions, surely was fun.
The weekend before, you ran in a Daytona prototype at the 24-hour race at Daytona/USA. Are you happy with the result?
Absolutely not – fourth place is always a bit unfortunate. We had a realistic chance of taking second place and almost did. Unfortunately, a penalty in the final stage made us lose ground. I was satisfied with my own performance though. The car was good and the team, too, did a great job.
How did you perceive the one-two victory of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM in the GT class?
Positively of course! That was a very successful showing for Audi. The cars had been superbly prepared and the cockpits occupied by outstanding drivers. And especially in the infield with its many turns the R8 was extremely strong. I’m sure that now the car has caught the attention of several people in the United States as well. On the tracks that have fewer straights than Daytona the R8 will be hard to beat.
The Ball of Sport was mainly about the DTM – are you already looking forward to the new season although there’s still some time to go before the opening round at Hockenheim on May 5?
Absolutely. I’m really dying for the tests to start and for the first race, and I’m very eager to see how the new drivers will fare – and naturally to see where we stand this year compared with the competition. I think that within the realm of possibilities we’ve done a good job with respect to our further development. But the others were no doubt busy too.
The program of the DTM events has been condensed to two days. What does that mean to you as a driver?
Now you’ve got to be sorted in even less time. Basically speaking, having a lot of experience won’t hurt. If the car fits right from the beginning, there won’t be that much that’ll change. But when you’re out in the cold things may be a bit more difficult. We’ve got to wait and see. Generally, the situation is the same for everybody. Personally speaking, I just think it’s a shame
Source Audi Motorsport
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