In Heilbronn, not far from Audi´s Neckarsulm location, Audi inspired the enthusiasm of numerous young fans and visitors for the brand on Saturday.
Fascination motorsport: On Saturday, Mike Rockenfeller, the new Audi A5 DTM and the Audi R8 LMS were the center of public attention. At the experimenta Learning and Adventure World in Heilbronn, Audi was featured on a Motorsport Day that addressed young people. Students had been invited to design model race car according to professional standards and to present them at a competition. The crowd particularly gathered around Mike Rockenfeller at interview and autograph sessions.
New look: Like its sister model, the R18 ultra, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro for the 2012 WEC season was tested at a second level of aerodynamics design. Visually, the models that will be celebrating their debut at Spa (B) on May 5, clearly distinguish themselves from the first design version presented in Munich in February. The most notable changes include the LED headlights with a colored, circumferential strip.
Honor in gold: Hans-Joachim Stuck was awarded the “Goldenen AvD Sport Badge.? The automobile club honored the life work of the versatile racer by presenting him with this accolade. In 1988, Stuck drove for Audi for the first time and thanks to his runs in the TRANS-AM series and the IMSA-GTO is remembered by many American fans. In 1990, Stuck won the first DTM title for Audi in the V8 quattro. Since 2008 he has been a representative of the Volkswagen Group for the motorsport segment.
New format: Qualifying for the Nürburgring 24 Hours will be a special thrill this year. The 40 best vehicles will be starting into a warm-up lap at ten-second intervals and two subsequent single timed laps. The organizer will determine the order in which the drivers go into qualifying by drawing lots. This will make for particularly fair and exciting starting conditions.
Debut victory: Tetsuya Tanaka and Katsuyuki Hiranaka brought about the first victory of the brand new Audi R8 LMS ultra in the Japanese Super GT Series. The two local heroes from the Gainer team had started from grid position three at the opening event at Okayama and showed an advantage of almost four seconds over their immediate rivals after 78 race laps.
A word from … Timo Scheider
The new DTM season is rapidly approaching. You have fundamentally changed a particular aspect of your preparations this year. Which aspect?
I´ve discovered cycling as a sport. The reason is my new coach Martin Kiechle, who has been active in cycling for 19 years. He familiarized me with this fascinating piece of equipment. I can´t remember when I last felt so enthusiastic about a new sport. A special racing bike was tailor-made for me and soon I´ll have a mountain bike from Specialized as well.
What is it that makes the difference to your previous training?
I´ve always had a versatile power and endurance training program. But on a bicycle I can bring myself up to completely different performance limits. It´s incredible how much you can feel the difference on your own body. I feel much better prepared than before.
You just spent a full week of training in Majorca. What progress have you made?
Besides running units and power training we reeled off 250 kilometers right on the first four days. In the second half of the week we added intensive units on the mountain with many meters of vertical difference. At times, I burned 5,000 calories in the process. My weight has already dropped by seven kilograms. I feel like I was never prepared for a DTM season as well as I am this time. Now I´m eager to see how I´ll benefit from my new training in the Audi A5 DTM.
Coming up next week
Apr 02 Hockenheim (DTM), DTM Media Day
Apr 07 Oulton Park (GB), British GT Championship, round 1
Apr 08 Nogaro (F), GT1 World Championship and FIA European GT3 Championship, round 1