The tasks in Audi’s DTM squad are clearly distributed. Audi Sport develops the race cars, and Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg field them – a division of labor that has proved successful.
Experience is a crucial factor in the DTM. That is why Audi Sport has been relying on the same proven race teams in the internationally popular touring car racing series for many years. The Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg all look back on ten years of sporting the red rhomb, Audi Sport’s logo.
Abt Sportsline and Audi have been successful partners ever since their joint days in super touring car racing at the end of the nineteen-nineties. The squad based in the Allgäu also paved Audi’s way back into the DTM on independently fielding an Abt-Audi TT-R at the beginning of the new millennium. In 2004, Abt became Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. 2016 marks the 17th season for the outfit with Audi in the DTM, and its 13th as an Audi factory team.
Audi Sport Teams Phoenix and Rosberg have been completing Audi’s DTM squad since 2006 – initially each fielding previous-generation cars and, since the new DTM regulations were introduced in 2012, competing with identical material and equal rights in every respect.
Audi Sport Team Rosberg, with Jamie Green, last year just barely missed clinching its first DTM drivers’ title, which Audi Sport Team Phoenix has taken twice for Audi (most recently in 2013). Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline even won it four times. Plus, ABT achieved another title, as a privateer team in the 2002 season.
“We have strong teams, all of which are able to win races and the championship,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Teamwork is a crucial factor in this respect. We’re engaged in permanent exchange and each team has access to the data of all eight cars. In view of the extreme competitiveness in the DTM, this is our key to success.”
Audi Sport and the teams appear as a unit. All the engineers of the individual teams, for instance, are integrated in the development tests for the Audi RS 5 DTM. In addition, all teams receive Audi Sport’s full support on the race weekends – in terms of technical, logistical and strategic assistance, as well as manpower to some extent. In Florian Modlinger, Daniel Grunwald and Arnau Niubo, Audi Sport provides the teams with a total of three vehicle engineers in the 2016 DTM season.