Lausitz: Abt Sportsline preview

Abt Sportsline enters the next round of the motorsport marathon Abt Sportsline's motorsport marathon is entering its next round: only one week after the second place of the Abt-Audi TT-R in the famous 24-hour race at the Nordschleife of the ...

Abt Sportsline enters the next round of the motorsport marathon

Abt Sportsline's motorsport marathon is entering its next round: only one week after the second place of the Abt-Audi TT-R in the famous 24-hour race at the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, the fourth season round of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) at the EuroSpeedway is on this weekend. A premiere is awaiting the drivers led by reigning champion Laurent Aiello: for the first time, the DTM will be using "turn one", one of the superspeedway's banked corners.

The new track lay-out is a difficult task for drivers, engineers and cars alike. "In setting up our TT-R, we have to find a compromise between the narrow infield and the fast straights, including turn one," team principal Hans-Jürgen Abt explains. "But it is the same for every competitor and it surely will be a guarantee for an exciting weekend, starting already with the test sessions on Friday, that will therefore become particularly important."

Abt Sportsline's record at the track in the Lausitz-region is remarkable: there has been an Abt driver on the podium after all the DTM-races held at the EuroSpeedway so far -- the only thing missing in the collection of the team from Kempten is a race win. A promising candidate for this is Mattias Ekström: following a third place in 2001 and second position last season, a race win is what he wants. Laurent Aiello, too, wants to close up to the points leaders, he is currently six points down.

After last weekend, the motivation of the six Abt drivers is bigger than ever: for 24 hours, Abt Sportsline and Opel had been battling on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring before the rival from the DTM had the upper hand. "Of course, we would be very happy with a slight revenge at the EuroSpeedway already," says Hans-Jürgen Abt, whose drivers Christian Abt, Kris Nissen, Karl Wendlinger and Marco Werner finished second overall. "In spite of the huge effort, the whole race at the Nordschleife was a highlight for the team", says Abt. "Now, our concentration is solely on the DTM again."

The youngest member of Abt Sportsline's driver line-up, 19-year old Peter Terting, has already been preparing for the only DTM-round in the new federal states of Germany last week: during a promotion event, he drove his silver-red coloured Abt-Audi TT-R around the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Over 10,000 fans were excited by the action of the DTM-cars, competitions and interview sessions.

Quotes before the race

Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R #1):

"Surely, things won't be easy for us at the EuroSpeedway, because the fast sections don't suit us. Therefore, a good position to start from is all the more important, which I finally want to achieve after two eleventh places. So, for me, the race in fact already starts on Saturday."

Christian Abt (Abt-Audi TT-R #2):

"Driving through turn one is quite a thing indeed. Probably, finding the right set-up has never been more important in a DTM-race. One will also be needing courage at the banked corner, but courage has always been my piece of cake."

Mattias Ekström (Abt-Audi TT-R #5):

"I already know the figures of three and two: this season, I have already been third and second, and also in previous years in the races at the EuroSpeedway. So, finally, it is time for a different figure. Maybe, the track doesn't suit us best, because we are lacking top speed. But probably, we have luck on our side after a lot of bad luck during the past few weeks."

Karl Wendlinger (Abt-Audi TT-R #6):

"I only felt the real fatigue after the 24-hour race on Monday. But I really enjoyed the success -- being on the podium is just a great feeling. Now, I want to continue this in the DTM. And as I haven't been particularly lucky so far, I will be trying even more."

Martin Tomczyk (Abt-Audi TT-R #14):

"Last year, I finished my first DTM-race of the season at the EuroSpeedway, so maybe, I can break my duck there after a period of bad luck this time, too. I like the fact that, with turn one, we have a new element in the DTM-calendar. We just have to make sure that our TT-R is feeling well at this banked corner as quickly as possible."

Peter Terting (Abt-Audi TT-R #15):

"Driving my TT-R on crossroads in Berlin last weekend was quite a strange feeling. In between, I kept watching TV to find out how my team was doing at the Nordschleife. I am already looking forward to the EuroSpeedway, where we will be competing in the DTM again. With turn one, the situation is new for all the drivers. Maybe that is the chance for me to make it up to the front even further."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Karl Wendlinger , Laurent Aiello , Martin Tomczyk , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Marco Werner , Peter Terting , Hans-Jurgen Abt , Kris Nissen