DTM

Norisring: Abt Sportsline race report

In front of an impressive crowd of 128,000 spectators, Abt drivers Laurent Aiello and Christian Abt claimed sixth and seventh place in the DTM-round at the Norisring, scoring valuable points. Junior Peter Terting, only 19 years old, achieved the...

In front of an impressive crowd of 128,000 spectators, Abt drivers Laurent Aiello and Christian Abt claimed sixth and seventh place in the DTM-round at the Norisring, scoring valuable points. Junior Peter Terting, only 19 years old, achieved the best result of his young DTM-career with twelfth place. Mattias Ekström, initially third, had bad luck: the Swede had to retire because of a defective oil line on the power steering.

The last DTM-race before the five weeks' summer break turned out into a hot affair: with an outside temperature of about 30 degrees, the temperature in the cockpits of the Abt-Audi TT-Rs still was well over 60 degrees even half an our after the finish of the race. The difficult conditions didn't prevent Laurent Aiello and Christian Abt from showing a great fight for the many thousands of Audi fans along the track, for which the two drivers of the Hasseröder-yellow TT-Rs were rewarded with championship points for sixth and seventh place after 72 hard laps.

Next to the "A-Team" Aiello and Abt, Karl Wendlinger and Peter Terting also showed a strong performance at the home round of the team from Kempten. After a good start, the Austrian drove an error-free race and was the second-best driver of a one-year old car in the field in eleventh place. Completely worn out, yet very happy, junior Terting climbed out of his cockpit. The youngest-ever DTM-driver scored his best result so far with twelfth place, leaving a range of seasoned touring car aces behind him.

Martin Tomczyk and Mattias Ekström encountered bad luck: the Swede had to park his TT-R on lap 18 with a defective oil line on the power steering after a strong opening stage, in which he had made up to third place. The driver from Rosenheim had damaged his bonnet in a collision, had to retire ten laps before the finish, yet was still classified 18th.

The perfect team work of the mechanics also was a guarantee for the strong fight against the Mercedes-cars, that were unbeatable at the Norisring: the team completed each one of the two mandatory pit stops per car without losing any time and got the drivers back on the track again within a few seconds.

Quotes after the race

Laurent Aiello (6th place):

"With the first set of tyres, my car was really quick. With the second and the third set, I had to brake before the corners significantly earlier. I don't know whether the tyres or the brakes were the reason. During my second pit stop, there was a problem with the clutch that prevented me from getting away. But I could hardly have scored a much better result anyway, because at the moment, we are just not quick enough."

Christian Abt (7th place):

"During the first ten laps, the heat in the car was enormous, but then I got used to it. When I am fighting for position in the middle of the field, I am thinking about nothing else. Maybe, sixth or even fifth place would have been possible in the end, but to do so, I would have had to get past Laurent (Aiello), and I didn't want to take any risks."

Karl Wendlinger (11th place):

"I had a perfect start, during which I made up some places, and after a few laps, I already was eighth. My two pit stops were really quick, the team has been working perfectly. Too bad that I was turned around by an opponent and I lost time. Now, I am looking forward to the second half of the season, during which we have some tracks that suit me and my car better."

Peter Terting (12th place):

"I am very happy. My best result of the season, and that at the Norisring, that really isn't easy for a rookie. The car was really good. I saved my brakes and I could catch up to the front runners all the way. I overtook some cars and eventually, I could keep up with Karl Wendlinger. That was a great feeling."

Martin Tomczyk (18th place):

"I will probably never like the Norisring, even if I should win here one day. At the start, I was a bit irritated when some drivers got away too early. Thus, I stalled the engine. On the first corner, I hit another car as the driver of that car braked very early. In the process, the bonnet came loose. Just before the end of the race, the car broke out on a bump coming out of the S-corner. That was my fault."

Mattias Ekström (retired):

"After last year's victory, our positions are a little bit disappointing indeed. But I am still satisfied with my performance. Although it becomes more and more difficult when you have to drive one hundred percent, I didn't make any mistakes. On the 18th lap, there suddenly was a lot of smoke in the car while accelerating out of a corner."

Hans-Jürgen Abt (team director):

"I am satisfied with the result. Especially on faster tracks, we are right at the limit with the possibilities that we have been given. Therefore, I am happy that we had two cars in the points. The team has done an excellent job, the pit stops were very quick. Our drivers have shown nice and fair duels to the spectators. Now, the DTM has a break. We will get our act together and work on the performance of our cars."

-abtsportsline-

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