The battle of the year goes into the final round They have made their mark on the 2002 season of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) and their battle continues also during the final encounter of the year: during the season final at the ...
The battle of the year goes into the final round
They have made their mark on the 2002 season of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) and their battle continues also during the final encounter of the year: during the season final at the Hockenheimring, Bernd Schneider and Abt driver Laurent Aiello, who already claimed the championship title at the previous round, will be starting next to each other from the front row of the grid.
The second row has been completely locked out by Abt Sportsline: Karl Wendlinger and Mattias Ekström will be starting from third and fourth place, with Martin Tomczyk and Christian Abt lined up in seventh and ninth position before the race. Although the drivers' championship has been decided, the final round will see a lot of tension: Abt Sportsline and Mercedes-Benz are fighting for the title in the team classification, Mattias Ekström and Bernd Schneider are battling for runner-up position.
Quotes after qualifying
Laurent Aiello (1.35.803 min., 2nd place):
"This will be a great final. I am happy that I can fight with Bernd here in Hockenheim as well, like I have been doing all season, this time for the team title. Today, I didn't expect such a good position, because we weren't that good in free practice. For the race, it will be difficult, as Bernd is very strong. We will be working hard today to catch him."
Karl Wendlinger (1.35.953 min., 3rd place):
"This is a great feeling. Throughout the season, I had a good car that was good for front positions. But unfortunately, often something happened. Today, everything just worked and I managed a perfect lap. The fact that I made it to the second row here at the final, in spite of all the pressure, makes me very happy."
Mattias Ekström (1.35.963 min., 4th place):
"During qualifying, we still improved some details, so that I still could improve my time during my final attempt. I think our team is quite strong for the final fight of the year."
Martin Tomczyk (1.36.182 min., 7th place):
"I did the same time like in free practice this morning. Unfortunately, it was only enough for seventh place this afternoon. But for the race here, there are some good opportunities for overtaking at the new track, especially before the hairpin after the long straight."
Christian Abt (1.36.335 min., 9th place):
"We have got ourselves a good position for the fight for victory in the teams' classification: Laurent is alongside Bernd, and I will try to keep his team-mate Jean Alesi under control, so that he will not score any points. Of course, I had hoped for more than ninth place. Maybe, it could still have been a little bit quicker, but probably not to make it all the way to the front."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (team boss):
"Although we came to Hockenheim as champions, this doesn't mean that we are taking it easy this week-end. We also want to win the title in the teams' classification. I am certain that the spectators will get to see an exciting fight tomorrow. Today, I am especially happy for Karl, who finally has shown his real strength again."