A1-Ring: Abt Sportsline race report

Three Abt drivers in the points at DTM A1-Ring In the eighth round of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) at the A1-Ring, Abt Sportsline has shown a good team result: in Austria, three drivers of an Abt-Audi TT-R managed to make it into the...

Three Abt drivers in the points at DTM A1-Ring

In the eighth round of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) at the A1-Ring, Abt Sportsline has shown a good team result: in Austria, three drivers of an Abt-Audi TT-R managed to make it into the points, reigning champion Laurent Aiello in fourth place retained at least a theoretical chance of defending his title. Junior Martin Tomczyk was also happy: the 21-year old from Rosenheim scored his first championship point of the 2003 season.

With a spectacular race, the DTM has said farewell to the A1-Ring, that will be reconstructed in the next years. The 60,000 spectators did not only get to see a spectacular battle for victory that was secured by Marcel Fässler from former DTM-champion Bernd Schneider. They also saw a fight from Laurent Aiello who, for 40 laps, gave everything to retain at least a minimal chance to defend his title. At the finish, the Frenchman just missed out on the podium and in fourth position, he was the best-placed Abt driver once more.

Shooting star Mattias Ekström, who only started seventh into the race, had some exciting duels with his French team-mate and followed Aiello at the finish in fifth place. Martin Tomczyk was also relieved: the youngster, who has already shown sensational performances in practice quite frequently this season, also showed his class on race day and scored his first championship point of the season in eighth place.

Peter Terting (19) once again drove an error-free race during the eighth DTM-weekend of his career and finished 13th. The youngest driver in the history of the DTM once more showed some nice position fights. Karl Wendlinger was disappointed leaving the A1-Ring: in his home race, he started only 19th and in front of the many fans on Sunday, he couldn't do any better than 16th place.

After one lap already, the eighth round of the season was over for Christian Abt. The driver from Kempten had claimed his best starting position of the year with sixth place in the Super Pole. In the race, his TT-R was hit from behind on the second corner already without his own fault. Abt spun to the side, hit the barrier and had to retire.

Quotes after the race

Laurent Aiello (4th place):

"Unfortunately, my car was not quite as good in the race as it had been in warm-up this morning. During the entire race, I have tried everything, but this was all that I could do today."

Mattias Ekström (5th place):

"That was a hard race. I have been fighting until the finish, but I couldn't make up any more. In between, my TT-R was very difficult to drive, so I was quite happy that I haven't been involved in duels that often. I am looking forward: the track at Zandvoort where we are racing in a fortnight, should suit us better. Then I will attack again."

Martin Tomczyk (8th place):

"At the start, I got away very well. When the first mayhem occurred, I stayed out of all the action and I was in seventh place behind Mattias (Ekström). The first stop was great and our tactic worked very well in general. After the second stop, however, the hand brake on the front axle couldn't be released. From that moment onwards, I was two seconds per lap slower. That continued for eight laps or so and I lost another place. I kept cooling the brakes with water all the time. At the end, I could do some fast lap times again. A well-deserved reward: my first point. That is quite something."

Peter Terting (13th place):

"This has been a good race for me from the start right up to the chequered flag. I could overtake some opponents, but I lost two places because of a slow first stop. In the closing stages, I had some nice fights, too, but then I didn't take any major risks anymore until the finish. My Abt-Audi TT-R was very constant throughout the race."

Karl Wendlinger (16th place):

"Too bad that my two stops weren't optimal. At the first one, it was also my mistake, because the engine stalled. During the course of the race, overtaking would only have been possible with a lot of risk, because I simply was a bit too slow on the straights. So I drove safely to the finish. For my home round, it was a disappointing weekend."

Christian Abt (retired):

"I had a very good start and I was already behind Laurent (Aiello) and Christijan Albers. On the second corner, it was very close. Someone ran into the right corner of my TT-R, I slid towards the barrier and I collided with Jean Alesi. Of course, retiring from such a good position that early is quite hard. But things like that also happen in motorsport."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (team principal):

"We knew beforehand that things would be difficult for us here at the A1-Ring -- by the way, in front of an excellent crowd. Therefore, I am all the more happy. We have given everything and we have three drivers in the points. In this strong field, that is a very good result. Now, we will provide a great show for our fans during the last two races."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Karl Wendlinger , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Christijan Albers , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Peter Terting , Hans-Jurgen Abt