The waiting is over: After exactly 203 race-free days, the lights starting the most popular international touring car racing series will switch from red to green for the first time again on Sunday, May 17, 2009, at exactly 2:03 pm (local time). It will be the 100th race in the history of the "new” DTM – and the beginning of an ambitious task: In the year of its 100th anniversary Audi wants to become the first automobile manufacturer to win the prestigious DTM title for the third time in a row.
The squad around Head of Audi Motorsportchef Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich is well prepared for the DTM’s start to the season at the Hockenheimring. According to the motto, "Never change a winning team,” the driver line-up has remained the same as last year’s. The championship-winning car, the Audi A4 DTM, was subjected to further development in numerous details, now bears the word "plus” after Audi Sport’s internal model designation "R14,” and is even faster than the successful predecessor model. However, due to the regulations, the 2009-spec A4 DTM has to start from the grid with an additional 20 kilograms of weight compared to the 2008-spec vehicles.

How much of a difference the additional weight will make is not the only open question prior to the season opener. The event at Hockenheim will be the first one featuring a condensed format: On Friday, there will only be a short roll-out, the two test sessions have been eliminated. Instead, the free practice session on Saturday morning will now last two and a half hours. Qualifying has been complemented by a fourth segment in which the four fastest drivers on just one flying lap will fight for the pole position on used tires and without refueling.

In addition, only Hockenheim will show who has done their homework best in winter because experience has shown that the contenders do not put all their cards on the table during the official DTM tests.

In the past few years, Audi Sport always set the benchmark: Twice in a row Mattias Ekstöm won the season opener at Hockenheim. In 2008, at the new Audi A4 DTM’s debut, the brand even clinched a one-two-three victory.

Despite the reduction to nine "factory” fielded Audi A4 A4 DTM cars the brand with the four rings will be the strongest in the 2009 DTM field with the private team of Dr. Colin Kolles is entering three additional A4 vehicles.

The first DTM race of the year 2009 will start at 2:03 pm on Sunday, May 17. ARD will broadcast live from Hockenheim on "das Erste” starting at 1:45 pm (local time). Tickets are available on the internet at

Source: Audi