Blom & Strom
Endurance racing fans will once again be seeing plenty of the Audi
marque this year. Alongside the venerable R8 prototype, the DTM-derived
TT-R silhouette racer will be the company's weapon of choice. One
of them is already in action at Interlagos, at this very moment
(the Mil Milhas Brasileiras), this one a private entry for the Negrão
family. Now retired from DTM competition, the TT-R will have its
main outing in the Nürburgring 24 Hours. An official announcement
was recently made regarding the driver lineup, and it is one that
will be the source of much confusion among media folk.
they never team up": we have seen the "Brundell Twins"
(Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle) and the "Flying Müllers"
(Jörg and Dirk), now fellow Swedes Fredrik Ekblom and Mattias
Ekström will share a car in the ‘Ring 24 Hours, prepared
by the Abt Sportsline team.
of the two drove the #7 TT-R last year, with Biela / Abt / Wendlinger,
which finished in a lowly 22nd place (the sister car was second
- right) after an eventful 24 hours, while the other used to earn
his pay in North America, driving the BMW M3 GTR in the ALMS. Can
you recall who did what?
On the subject of the
‘Ring 24 Hours, one of them - it must have been Ekblom - remarked
that "this is certainly an exceptional chance for me; a good
car and a good team, with full works support, but the competition
will be strong and it will be a closely fought race from start to
finish" - you may remember that last year it was indeed very
closely fought right into the 23rd hour.
"This is the one
race every driver wants to do", said Ekblom, the reigning Swedish
Touringcar Champion, "and so when you are offered a drive by
Audi Sport, of course you gratefully accept. I have driven here
(on the Nordschleife) before, and I can't wait for the 24 Hours;
being in such good company will certainly help." - "Blom
& Ström" will be joined by the Abt Sportsline team
manager, Christian Abt, and probably by a fourth driver.
Not to be outdone by
Opel's recent test in Portugal, the Audi team will travel to Spain
in late February for its own three day endurance test session. "Nothing
but testing and training for three days - tedious but useful,"