Every beginning is hard - even if it doesn't look that way through the eyes of a young talent like 18-year-old Thomas Schöffler. Having just outgrown the bucket seat of a VW Scirocco R, the racing novice from Singen, Germany, now has to assert himself in the International Superstars Series, the world's most famous touring car racing series. He'll take off at the start with an RS 5 for the MTM Audi Sport Italia Team. Primus inter pares on the team is the former Formula One driver Gianni Morbidelli. Swedish driver Johann Kristoffersson adds fuel to the team with a third RS 5.
The brief run-up between the decision for this commitment and the first race in Monza on April 1 was not time enough to guarantee instant competitive capacity for this series. This left the placements in the first races - Monza und Imola - to inevitably trail behind original expectations.
"But next weekend in Donington Thomas should experience some significant progress, which will make itself known in the placement as well," speculates MTM boss Roland Mayer. He is banking on the highly promising combination of dedicated racing efforts from the entire Audi Italia team and the meticulous technical preparation of the Audi RS 5 in MTM-style race trim.
Johann Kristoffersson established the competitive ability of the RS 5 in the very first race. He dominated the second heat and promptly took his place as leader of the pack.
"The Superstars Series is the perfect venue for making an entrance in the international racing scene," reasons Roland Mayer. Nine races will be held between April 1 and November 11, 2012. Five will take place on prestigious circuits in Italy, and one each will be run in Belgium, England, Portugal, Hungary and Indonesia. The series is going into the ninth season and will be marketed throughout Europe with a highly professional campaign. In the previous year, the promoter was able to rally up more TV coverage than was given to the German Touring Car Championship (DTM). Special attention is paid to the "Superstars Series" in the new markets like China, India and Russia.
The race in Donington will be run on May 22. Stay tuned for more about the race, with a special focus on the performance by Thomas Schöffler, which we will report on the following day.