DTM

Aiello preparing to defend title

Aiello preparing to defend title

Current DTM champion Laurent Aiello is getting ready to defend his title this season, hoping to succeed in the task to take the championship for a second year. The Frenchman, who was previously British Touring Car champion, thinks Abt-Audi will be...

Current DTM champion Laurent Aiello is getting ready to defend his title this season, hoping to succeed in the task to take the championship for a second year. The Frenchman, who was previously British Touring Car champion, thinks Abt-Audi will be under a lot more pressure in 2003 than in previous years.

Laurent Aiello.
Photo by Markus Arias-Roehner.
"Admittedly I have won some titles, but I never succeeded in defending a title," Aiello told DMSB publication 'Vorstart'. "Now, all the others just have one goal, which is defeating the number one. We, however, are under much more pressure than in previous years, during which we were still outsiders. But I will do everything to ensure that next year we will have the number one again."

Should Aiello be in the position to require help from his team mates, he knows that they will be ready to support him. But any of the Abt drivers would get the same support if they are in the lead.

"Winning a title is always easier than defending it," said Aiello. "The support from my team colleagues is the thing I am least worried about, because I can't get any more support that I got last year. With this closely-knit formation, we will be racing again this season: anyone who is the fastest will get the support from the other five team-mates."

Aiello, who will be 34 next week, can expect fierce competition from Mercedes' deposed champion Bernd Schneider -- the pair produced some spectacular on-track battles last season. Challenges are also likely from Abt's Mattias Ekstr?m, who was third in the championship, and fourth placed Marcel F?ssler for Mercedes, both of whom put in some good performances last year.

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Series DTM
Drivers Laurent Aiello , Bernd Schneider