57,000 spectators witnessed the premiere of the new race format and third place for defending champion Laurent Aiello in an Abt-Audi TT-R at the opening race of the DTM season in Hockenheim. Mattias EkstrÃ¶m still collected a point despite ...
57,000 spectators witnessed the premiere of the new race format and third place for defending champion Laurent Aiello in an Abt-Audi TT-R at the opening race of the DTM season in Hockenheim. Mattias Ekström still collected a point despite encountering problems during the opening laps of the wet race. Audi Junior Martin Tomczyk, who started from the front row of the grid, held fourth place for a long time before loosing his chance of a top result during the pit stops. His team colleague Peter Terting, at 19 years of age the youngest driver in DTM history, was forced to retire after a spin on the first lap. Christian Abt retired shortly before the chequered flag.
Laurent Aiello (Team Hasseröder Abt-Audi TT-R #1):
"My goal was to finish in the points, which I managed and, as a consolation, even got on the podium. We learnt a lot this weekend. Our car is quick and was very consistent in the race. Things look good for the future races. The track and weather conditions were very difficult today, particularly in the rain during the opening laps on slicks."
Martin Tomczyk (S line Audi Junior Team Abt-Audi TT-R #14):
"In spite of the bad luck I experienced during the pit stops I'm satisfied. My main target was to get to the finish, which I managed. I drove so that I felt safe, and changed from rain tyres to slicks at exactly the right time. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the left hand wheel at both pit stops and, as a result my chances of a better finish were over. My high speed spin was caused when I went a little off the dry line on slicks."
Peter Terting (S line Audi Junior Team Abt-Audi TT-R #15): "
Obviously I expected my DTM debut to be a little different. I'm really very disappointed, but have learnt a terrific amount this weekend - more than all the tests together. In the warm-up this morning I drove a DTM car in the wet for the first time, I was very cautious. I pushed much harder during the race and touched the damps kerbs, the car snapped out of line and I had no chance to correct and prevent the spin."
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Abt Sportsline Team Director):
"For us, the most important result from the weekend is that our new car is competitive and has potential. The entire team's hard work over the winter has therefore paid off. Before this weekend we had no idea where we were. The target was to finish on the podium, which we managed. The track and weather conditions could hardly have been more difficult at the first race: The team had to familiarise themselves with the new format and, in addition the rain and a total of three pit stops."