Sven Lohse is the man responsible for the logistics of Audi Sport Team Phoenix. His colleagues simply call the trained electrician and former Bundeswehr soldier from Dessau “Siggi”. The 44 year old has worked for Phoenix since 2013. In addition to the logistics and transportation of race cars and material, Sven Lohse is also responsible for the entire equipment of the Audi Sport Team Phoenix. In addition, he has a special job at the racetracks: tyre management. The tyres from Hankook, the exclusive tyre supplier of the DTM, are distributed amongst the teams at the racetrack and they have to be returned there.
Using three articulated lorries, Audi Sport Team Phoenix transports vehicles and equipment to the DTM circuits. The tractor units of the 40-tonners come from the brand MAN, the TGX (500 hp/368 kW) model. Two semitrailers each carry a race car and equipment. Freight is distributed over two levels. These are built by Schuler. The so-called office truck with an extendable cabin section comes from Bischoff & Scheck, another specialist in motorsport semitrailers.
Other vehicles used by the Audi Sport Team Phoenix for travelling are three Audi A4 Avant and an Audi Q7, provided by Audi, plus two Volkswagen type T6 vans, one in the Audi RS 5 design and the other featuring the Schaeffler livery. The trucks also transport three Yamaha scooters to the racetracks. These are used to get around the paddock quickly.
The 2018 DTM series is contested at nine locations in six countries. Traditionally, Hockenheim hosts the first and last race weekend. The other German venues on the calendar are the Lausitzring, the Norisring and the Nürburgring. Races are also held at Brands Hatch (England), Hungaroring (Hungary), Misano (Italy), Spielberg (Austria) and Zandvoort (Netherlands).
For the DTM operations teams, the number of employees at the racetrack is limited to 15 technicians and four management staff. Audi Sport Team Phoenix is divided into ten mechanics and five engineers as well as Petra Tille responsible for guest hospitality, team manager Dirk Theimann, team principal Frederic Ruat and team owner Ernst Moser (photo). The two drivers and their companions are not part of this personnel quota.
The transport and logistics work is carried out by the Phoenix mechanics alongside their main technical jobs. Highlighted in the photo is the crew after another streamlined ‘choreography’ from the workshop to the pits: Jerome Vogel, Michael Hübner, Adrian Schneider, Sven Lohse, Patrick Schneider, Markus Kerstgens (front row from left), Jörg Baldes, Sven Jax, Christoph Wagner and Christian Hanzl (back row from left).
At each DTM weekend, Audi Sport Team Phoenix handles 82 cubic metres of material and equipment. Converted into weight, this equals 1.2 tonnes. The cargo list includes 114 individual items – from batteries to the tent. It even includes a washing machine for tyres. New for the 2018 season: a coffee machine. The pit-wall gantry for Phoenix, Abt, and Rosberg is delivered directly from Audi. From here, the team leaders can follow the action on the racetrack and in the garages.
For the journey to the racetracks, Audi Sport Team Phoenix packs countless small items of equipment into 100 cases of different formats, some of them on rollers. This also includes six metal cabinets for spare parts and tools. The heaviest item after the two race cars is the boom. This is a swivel-mounted bracket which, during the race, supports the air lines for the impact wrenches used to change the tyres. It weighs around 450 kilograms.
Rims make up the largest part of Phoenix’s inventory: 130 of them. On the Friday of each race weekend, the exclusive partner Hankook supplies all 18 DTM cars with tyres. Each team has to cart their bare rims to the tyre service area in the middle of the paddock and pick them up once the tyres are mounted. At the end of the race weekend, Phoenix and the other squads return the tyres to Hankook and take their bare rims back home.
In 2018, the transporters of the Audi Sport Team Phoenix cover a distance of around 25,000 kilometres on their travels to the DTM races. The shortest trip is to the Nürburgring, just three kilometres from the workshop to the racetrack. No other DTM team lives as close to a racetrack. The longest trip for Phoenix is to Misano: the distance from the Eifel to the Adriatic measures 1,160 kilometres.