The Audi factory driver about his surprising DTM debut at Zandvoort, standing in for the injured Adrien Tambay.
When did you find out about your DTM debut?
On Saturday night, I was still celebrating my girlfriend’s 30th birthday. About nine, nine thirty, I received a call asking me if I felt like driving DTM. Obviously, I immediately accepted. Right after the call, I took off. Fortunately, I still had my helmet in the trunk of my car. Then we arrived at the hotel at about two or three in the morning.
What was your schedule on the day of the race?
My alarm clock was set for 5.45 a.m. I didn’t know the car yet. Previously, I’d only driven the Audi A4 DTM. That’s why I had to receive initial instructions – what button serves what purpose and the starting procedure used in the DTM. In addition, we made some seat adjustments. Then, when I was about to go out for the first time, I couldn’t even find first gear. Everything was happening so fast. But then the free practice session worked out after all.
What’s your assessment of your debut?
Little sleep, plenty of action and a long day with many new impressions. I learned a lot in terms of driving and technology. After only 30 minutes of free practice, it was difficult to immediately go into qualifying. But then, in the second half of the race, the penny dropped and I knew how to move the car. The times kept getting better toward the end and in the second sector, I was the fastest Audi. If I drove a DTM race again now the result might be different.
What’s next on your agenda?
Next weekend I’ll be competing in the WEC at the Nürburgring and a week later in the Spa 24 Hours.
Further information about the official fuel consumption figures and official, specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new cars,” which is available free of charge from all sales outlets and from DAT (Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH), Hellmuth-Hirth-Strasse 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany (www.dat.de).