The next DTM-round in Laurent Aiello's living room After two rounds, the title race in the DTM is completely open: before the first appearance of this year at the NÃ¼rburgring, the defending champion, Abt driver Laurent Aiello is only two points...
The next DTM-round in Laurent Aiello's living room
After two rounds, the title race in the DTM is completely open: before the first appearance of this year at the Nürburgring, the defending champion, Abt driver Laurent Aiello is only two points behind the two leading Mercedes, while team mate Mattias Ekström is also within striking distance after his much-applauded second place in Italy.
The Team Abt Sportsline has the best of memories of the Eifel track that can rightfully be described as the "living room" of the team from the Allgäu: out of the last three races held there, Aiello has won two and finished as runner-up once.
"The first two races already were incredible. As far as the excitement is concerned, we are continuing right where we ended last year", team director Hans-Jürgen Abt says. Last weekend, his drivers Mattias Ekström and Laurent Aiello first overtook the defeated champion Bernd Schneider and then his Mercedes team mate Marcel Fässler with two spectacular moves and thus made it onto the podium at the Adria International Raceway, a feat that was believed to be almost impossible."
"Even though it wasn't a victory, such a success has given our entire team that extra bit of motivation and morale", says Abt. And his six drivers want to turn this into the first victory of the season in the Eifel. There are several candidates. "Competition is very, very close. Not only in the DTM as a whole, also within our own team. Once we have Laurent in front, once Martin, Christian, Mattias or Karl. And even our new signing Peter Terting already was close to the top ten in Italy", says a delighted Abt. "It is good to know that we have six aces in this hard-fought championship."
For Abt Sportsline, the race at the Nürburgring also means the start of a real motorsport marathon: only one week later, the team is entering two Abt-Audi TT-Rs for the famous 24-hour race at the Nordschleife, based on the DTM's championship-winning car. Without a break, the action then continues with the fourth season round at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. "Of course, it is a major logistic challenge for us", Hans-Jürgen Abt says. "But it also means three great weeks of racing, to which fans can look forward now already."
With two wins and a second place in the last three rounds, the Nürburgring is Laurent Aiello's parade circuit. With twelve points, the German touring car champion is fourth in the drivers' standings before coming to the Eifel, team mate Mattias Ekström is fifth with nine points.
Quotes before the race
Laurent Aiello (#1):
"This year, I am only racing for the title. Things aren't looking that bad at all, because at the top, we are all very close together. Maybe I will succeed in cracking the double lead for Mercedes at the Nürburgring. After all, I never left this place without a trophy in the past two years."
Christian Abt (#2):
"During the last round at the Adria, I had the best car I have had for a long time, but I couldn't convert it. Therefore, at the Nürburgring, I only have one goal: I want to see the chequered flag and finally turn the TT-R's potential into a decent result. The Nürburgring round is also a nice dress rehearsal for the 24-hour race."
Mattias Ekström (#5):
"After second place at the Adria, I have been preparing even better, because my goal is clear: I want to win races. And to do so in the DTM, you are not allowed to make even the slightest mistake. Meanwhile, our car has been sorted out, all the minor problems have been solved. Hopefully, I can challenge for the lead together with Laurent again, but at the Nürburgring, Bernd Schneider and Marcel Fässler surely are among the favourites as well."
Karl Wendlinger (#6):
"Surely, the Nürburgring suits me more than the Adria Raceway. It is a coherent race track with some fast sections. Last year, our car was very good there, so I think that we will be contenders this year, too. To prepare for the race, I am taking part in a kart race for the Red Bull-team at the Wörthersee this weekend, where I will also be doing some laps with the race taxi. I am looking forward to meeting many friends and acquaintances there."
Martin Tomczyk (#14):
"The Nürburgring is just my circuit, the races in the Eifel are the ones I am looking forward to most. It is just because no matter in which series I raced there, I did well and I scored good results. This season, I have been quick in the Super Pole twice already, now, I want to make it in the race, too."
Peter Terting (#15):
"Last year, I was only half a second short of victory at the Nürburgring, although it was in the ADAC VW Lupo Cup. With a DTM-car, the new tight section after the main straight will be especially difficult. On the other hand, the fast corners suit me quite well, so I am optimistic that I can further improve from my 13th place in Italy."