Christian Abt to end his DTM career Last DTM race at Hockenheim on 14 October Christian Abt will end his DTM career on 14 October at the close of the 2007 season. The Audi factory driver announced this decision on Friday during a...
Christian Abt to end his DTM career
Last DTM race at Hockenheim on 14 October
Christian Abt will end his DTM career on 14 October at the close of the 2007 season. The Audi factory driver announced this decision on Friday during a press conference at the Norisring race. "For me, the DTM is the greatest racing series in the world," stated the 40-year-old driver. "That's why I've always planned to step down while I'm still going strong rather than waiting until people start writing me off behind my back. Although this departure is difficult, I'm leaving with my head held high, strong and happy because I've achieved my goals in any situation. And most of all I'll be taking lots of good memories with me."
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich expressed great respect for the decision of his protege of many years: "Such a step is never easy for a racer, which makes it all the more remarkable. Christian has been contesting races with Audi vehicles since 1994. Since then, we've spent many race weekends together, and he became a friend over the years. On account of his training in AUDI AG's Technical Development and due to his company back home he has always had particularly close ties to Audi -- and this will, no doubt, continue to be the case in future. The entire Audi squad will do everything within their means to ensure that Christian Abt, the racer, will be able to leave the DTM with great results and the best of memories."
The decision to end his DTM career at the end of the season matured with Christian Abt as early as last winter -- as well as the idea to announce his decision at the time of his favourite race. "Norisring has always been a special circuit for me, that's why I chose to make my announcement here," commented the Bavarian. "Finishing the Norisring race in second place in 2005 was a special highlight in my career."
At that time, Christian Abt, in an A4 DTM from the previous year, was the best Audi driver. Another highlight was the race at Zandvoort in 2001 where, after a nail-biting duel with Uwe Alzen, he barely missed claiming victory.
"I've been with the DTM since its launch in 2000 and have spent the greatest time of my racing career during the past eight years," said Christian Abt, who has consistently put himself at the service of his team. "The first victories and Laurent Aiello's title win were unique moments for me and a lot more important than wins of my own. I know what part I've had in these exploits. I'm equally proud of having been able to celebrate another title with Mattias (Ekstrom) in 2004. Motorsport -- particularly in the DTM -- is always teamwork and that's exactly how Audi 'lives' the spirit of teamwork."
The German Supertouring Car Champion of the year 1999 will not quit racing entirely, however: "I've got a few ideas in mind but it's too early to talk about them. All I can say to the community is that they will continue to see me in motorsport."
For his remaining time in the DTM, Christian Abt is pursuing one major goal: "I'm going to give everything to see an Audi driver finish the season as the DTM Champion again. It would be great to combine my DTM farewell with the Championship party..."