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Drivers happy about new Adria Raceway: "This will be an exciting race" Positive impressions remained from the first joint test session (March 18 till 21) by Abt-Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Opel at the new Adria International Raceway in Italy,...

Drivers happy about new Adria Raceway: "This will be an exciting race"

Positive impressions remained from the first joint test session (March 18 till 21) by Abt-Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Opel at the new Adria International Raceway in Italy, located some 70 km south of Venice.

"It will surely be a very exciting race", says Jean Alesi. During the test, the three makes all had different programs. While Mercedes-Benz focussed on the Adria test and had nearly all its drivers and also new CLK-DTMs in Italy, Abt-Sportsline and Opel are concentrating on the planned tests at the A1-Ring and Hockenheim. The Adria International Raceway will be hosting the DTM's second season round from May 9 till 11.

For the drivers, the test was the first opportunity to get to know the 2.702 km long track. Driving the Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM, Alesi had set the fastest time on the final day with 1.11.5 minutes, exactly the same time as his team-mate Bernd Schneider, who had topped the time sheets on the day before. With his CLK-DTM, 20-year old Stefan Mücke from Berlin had been fastest on the first and the second day.

Abt Sportsline had only been involved with DTM-novice Peter Terting and Karl Wendlinger on the first and second day with two Abt-Audi TT-Rs.

"My feeling for the car is getting better and better", 19-year old Terting said, and predicted: "The race at this track will be though, you are accelerating and braking all the time." At Opel, the six works drivers Jeroen Bleekemolen, Peter Dumbreck, Alain Menu, Manuel Reuter, Timo Scheider and Joachim Winkelhock were sharing the driving duties behind the steering wheel of the Opel Astra V8 Coupé during the four days.

Audi supports Junior Team

Audi backs young guns: In the new DTM season, a Junior Team will represent AUDI AG. Peter Terting (19) and Martin Tomczyk (21) compete in Europe's most popular touring car series in the "S line Audi Junior Team". The Abt Audi TT-R entered by Abt Sportsline also displays the involvement optically: Both cars are painted in the traditional Audi Motorsport colour scheme of silver-red and carry, in addition to the four rings, the "S Line" brand for the sports equipment of the quattro GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of AUDI AG.

Other partners involved in the new project are Audi Customer Service and Audi Original Parts as well as the Audi Bank. "Not so long ago, the DTM was just a dream for me. I am therefore even happier that Audi has given me the opportunity to gather experience at the highest level," mentioned pleased DTM debutant Peter Terting.

German debut of the new DTM cars at Hockenheim, April 7 and 8

On April 7 and 8, the new DTM race cars can be seen together in Germany for the first time this year during the test at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, that will be hosting the season opener from April 25 till 27. At this test, fans and media representatives (please notify the DTM press office in advance) are equally welcome. From Hockenheim, the DTM-fraternity will head for Rust, some 100 km further south, where the DTM-presentation 2003 will be taking place at the Europa-Park on April 9. Under the motto "Meet the Speed", the first fan meeting of the new season will be taking place from 12.30 h onwards with driving demonstrations, interviews and autograph sessions.

-dtm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Karl Wendlinger , Peter Dumbreck , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Timo Scheider , Peter Terting , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Stefan Mücke