Three months before the 2017 DTM season opener, Audi has announced its team assignments. The brand will be the only manufacturer to put three teams on the grid. The DTM season will kick off at the Hockenheimring on May 5.
In making the DTM team assignments, Audi’s new Head of Motorsport Dieter Gass has opted for a combination of seasoned campaigners and promising teammates.
“In Mattias Ekström at ABT, Jamie Green at Rosberg and Mike Rockenfeller at Phoenix, all three teams have their spearheads. These team-driver combinations were very powerful in the past. Our youngster, Nico Müller, is following in Edoardo Mortara’s footsteps and our two new DTM signings, Loïc Duval and René Rast, are going to benefit from the experience of their teammates,” says Gass.
For the first time, Nico Müller will be racing for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline together with Mattias Ekström. The Swiss celebrated his first DTM victory with the Allgäu-based outfit last season.
Frenchman Loïc Duval will be Mike Rockenfeller’s new teammate in Audi Sport Team Phoenix. Both know each other well from Audi’s LMP program.
René Rast will be racing alongside Jamie Green for Audi Sport Team Rosberg, the squad he contested his first DTM race with last year.
“Mattias (Ekström) has become part of the family at ABT and Nico (Müller) perfectly gelled with us in his first season,” says Hans-Jürgen Abt, Team Director of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. “I’m convinced that in the old Swede and in the Swiss young gun we have one of the strongest driver pairings.”
“Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller) produced his masterpiece in the DTM with Phoenix in 2013 and together with him we’re aiming to return to the top,” says Ernst Moser, Team Director of Audi Sport Team Phoenix. I know Loïc (Duval) from the Audi Sport winter camps. He’s been successful as a race driver in many categories. I’m hoping for the team to receive some fresh impetus from him and for him to be successful in the DTM as well.”
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