Fun event as part of the DTM finale Audi factory driver quickest Kettcar contender as well Audi Sport Team Rosberg most creative squad Audi factory driver Martin Tomczyk on Friday night proved yet again that he is quick no matter what type of vehicle he is using: During the DTM finale at Hockenheim the driver from Rosenheim (Bavaria) won the "1st Audi Kettcar Challenge" ahead of Markus Winkelhock and Vanina Ickx.
"It was huge fun but pretty tough on the thighs," said the 25-year-old after the fun event at which all ten Audi DTM stars contested a race in Kettcar pedal cars which their mechanics crews had carefully crafted into small DTM racers. In front of the Audi VIP lounge at the Hockenheim paddock the renowned Kettler company, which had also made the Kettcars available, had set up a track of about 75 metres in length on which two preliminary heats and the finale were staged.
The grid positions for the two preliminary heats were determined by a five-member jury headed by Audi Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. Criteria for the jury's decision were the originality and creativity of the designs. The top marks were awarded to Audi Sport Team Rosberg for the Kettcar of Lucas Luhr, who was thus able to start from the pole position.
All the drivers of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, on the other hand, had to start to both preliminary heats from the last rows on the grid. "As usual, we fully concentrated on our performance," commented Albert Deuring, the team's Technical Director, with a twinkle in his eye.
Martin Tomczyk did the best job of living up to this claim by making up ground from the last grid position all the way to the front in his preliminary heat and successfully defending himself against Markus Winkelhock's attacks in the finale. Winkelhock won his preliminary heat as well as the hearts of the spectators by delivering a few spectacular two-wheel interludes. His teammate Vanina Ickx completed the strong showing of the Audi customer team Futurecom TME by clinching third place in front a cheering crowd .
As could be expected, there were numerous close fights and collisions, but no major harm was caused by any of them. The most spectacular incident was the excursion of the seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, who shocked the fans when he massively widened the finish turn in his Kettcar.
"I wouldn't have thought that our boat race from last year could have been topped," said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich during the podium ceremony. But we definitely did. Such events promote team spirit, which is a high priority at Audi."
As a reward for the victory each of Martin Tomczyk's mechanics received a set of tyres for his private car. The victorious Kettcar will be auctioned for the benefit of a charity which the winner was allowed to select. Martin Tomczyk chose the "Wings for Life" initiative of his partner Red Bull.