Audi driver Timo Scheider is 2008 DTM Champion
Ingolstadt/Hockenheim -- The new DTM Champion has been crowned: With a victory in the finale at Hockenheim, Audi driver Timo Scheider clinched the title win in the most popular international touring car racing series and celebrated the biggest triumph in his career. In his private life, the 29-year-old driver from Lahnstein is a family man who prefers spending time with his girlfriend and his son to the stereotypical life of a racer.
Hockenheim, 26 October 2008, 3:03 p.m.: Timo Scheider has made his dream come true. Ever since the new DTM was launched in 2000 the Austrian-by-choice, barring a brief break, has been a member of the DTM family -- today, he permanently entered his name in the annals of DTM history. In eleven races the Audi factory driver was on the podium eight times, the average of his grid positions equals the impressive value of 2.9. From "man of the hour" -- as the media called him after his initial exploits -- Scheider evolved into the "man of the year" and, arguably, there is no one in the paddock who would begrudge this success of the likeable German.
Driving his first kart at the age of ten and, with a special permit, a car at the age of 17 -- the terrific speed at which Timo Scheider progressed in his youth was contrasted by the time he took in the DTM. The pasta fan had to contest 79 races before claiming his first DTM victory in April this year. But Scheider quickly acquired a taste for this position: he has not relinquished the lead of the standings ever since. "Today is the best day in my life as a racer because my biggest dream has come true," said Timo Scheider after the finsih of the finale at Hockenheim. "I can't completely believe it myself yet. I want to thank my family, the whole Audi Sport squad, my team, Abt Sportsline, and all who believed in me and helped me to experience this great moment."
Speaking about family -- it means everything to the passionate Supermoto fan. Lochau instead of Monaco, mowing the home lawn instead of attending champagne parties, relaxing on the sofa taking in the view of Lake Constance instead of walking across the red carpet -- despite the fact that, at least since today, he ranks among the world's best touring car drivers, Timo Scheider has remained a down-to-earth individual. Together with his "perennial" fiancee Jasmin -- the couple have been together for almost ten years -- who shares his enthusiasm for racing, and his son Loris, who just turned five, the DTM Champion forms a strong team.
"My family is not only the focal point of my private life, but at the race track they give me the support and peace I need as well," says Scheider. Often, his mother and father, who, incidentally, was the manager of a driving school for a long time, are in the paddock too. That Timo Scheider in such a setting kids around with son Loris, totally detached from the goings-on, always presents himself patiently and in good humour to fans and media, yet just minutes later puts his rivals in their place on the track, demonstrates his strength in the 2008 season.
That the horizons of the new DTM Champion, who, by the way, is only the second German title bearer in the new DTM besides record champion Bernd Schneider, are not limited to inflation pressures, damper settings and sector times is proved by the driver, who will soon be 30, time and again: together with his partner Jasmin the professional racer continually supports charitable causes, raises money for needy children. Over 20,000 euros were collected in just one carting event in August this year. "No big thing" for Scheider, who says, "One should never forget one's roots. I've been so fortunate in my life and am happy whenever I get the chance to return some of this fortune."
This combination of being "normal" as well as popular is in high demand: while Scheider has always been a popular guest at countless Audi events and presentations of production vehicles, the computer games manufacturer, Nintendo, selected him to deliver their celebrity testimonial this year: together with Jasmin and son Loris he stars in a TV commercial accompanied by a huge media campaign.
Timo Scheider has worked hard for the success which he can now fully enjoy. His time in Formula 3 -- culminating in second place of the 1997 championship -- was followed by his entry into the DTM in 2000. After difficult years, he switched into a year-old car of the Audi squad in 2006. Delivering strong performances, Scheider after one year managed the leap into a new car of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, in which he accompanied Mattias Ekstrom on his way to the 2007 title. Now, Scheider has defended the Cup for Audi in the first year of the new A4 and follows his team-mate on the throne of touring car racing.