Top dogs in the pit lane: Audi Sport Team Phoenix wins the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award for the fourth time
– Audi Sport Team Phoenix, with Mike Rockenfeller at the wheel, laid the foundations for its fourth victory in the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award in the first half of the 2019 DTM season. The mechanics from the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer completed the fastest tyre change of the DTM race weekend at four events in a row – in Zolder, Misano, at the Norisring, and in Assen. Having taken the lead in the overall standings, they never looked back. With 135 points to their name, Audi Sport Team Phoenix ended the season well clear of Marco Wittmann’s BMW Team RMG, who amassed 114 points.
Hankook has presented the Best Pit Stop Award every year since first becoming involved in what is arguably the most popular international touring car series in 2011. The award sees the premium tyre maker acknowledge the important work carried out by mechanics in the pit lane, which, in a series as evenly matched as the DTM, is increasingly important. The well-practiced teams must get everything spot on in the mandatory tyre change, as every tenth of a second can make the difference between victory and defeat. At the end of each DTM weekend, points are awarded for the fastest stop from the two races, using the same points system as the DTM standings. At the end of the season, the points are totalled up and the overall winner is crowned.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “When it comes to speed and precision during tyre changes, Audi Sport Team Phoenix has led the way for years. Four overall victories in the Best Pit Stop Award, including three in a row, speaks volumes for the great job the Audi mechanics do. However, the opposition was also strong. As it is on the track, the standard is also incredibly high in the DTM pit lane. With the Best Pit Stop Award, Hankook is not only honouring the winners, but is also raising awareness of just how important and crucial the work is that all the teams do.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi): “This is the third time in a row that we at Audi Sport Team Phoenix have received this prize from Hankook. I never have to worry when I pull into the pits. On the contrary: When I come in for a tyre change at the same time as a rival, I usually re-join the race ahead of them. Like when driving, you have to be passionate about the tyre change and be able to get everything spot on, even when you are under pressure in a race situation. For our mechanics, the Hankook Pit Stop Award is fantastic confirmation that they are consistently doing a great job.”
Ernst Moser (Team Principal of Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “For the drivers, one of the most important things in the race is to know that they have a strong team that they can rely on in the pit lane. The Hankook Pit Stop Award is a great additional motivation for our DTM crew. Our staff have been together for a long time, which means they have also become very strong mentally. You cannot learn that mental strength. It comes with time. I think that is the key to our success. We have extremely good and cool guys. I am very, very proud of every one of them.”
Overall winners of the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award
2019 Audi Sport Team Phoenix
2018 Audi Sport Team Phoenix
2017 Audi Sport Team Phoenix
2016 BMW Team MTEK
2015 Audi Sport Team Abt
2014 Mercedes-AMG Team HWA
2013 BMW Team Schnitzer
2012 Audi Sport Team Abt
2011 Audi Sport Team Phoenix