Hans-Jürgen Abt himself will be on hand at the DTM weekend at the Sachsenring next Sunday to congratulate TV partner ProSieben on a special milestone: It is the 100th DTM race that ran racing is broadcasting live.
The CEO of ABT SE has a small gift in his luggage for the team of the Munich TV station, which he will present to them before the start of the race. At the same time, Hans-Jürgen Abt may also be congratulated: September 1 marked the 40th anniversary of his first day of work at ABT Sportsline.
“Without Hans-Jürgen Abt, ABT Sportsline would not be where we are today,” says ABT CEO Thomas Biermaier. “He, like no other, has shaped the company over the last four decades. In doing so, he has repeatedly demonstrated a pioneering spirit and foresight and made trend-setting decisions – not only in motorsport.”
Under the management of Hans-Jürgen Abt, ABT Sportsline has developed into the world’s leading tuner of vehicles from the Volkswagen Group. In 1991, the company opened its new prestigious headquarters in what is now Johann-Abt-Strasse, which was expanded to include a modern motorsport centre in 2014, and also houses its own museum. With the foundation of ABT E-Line GmbH and a new joint venture in China, the ABT Group now stands on more pillars.
In 2000, Hans-Jürgen Abt had the entrepreneurial courage to enter the DTM with ABT Sportsline. In doing so, he brought the Audi brand back into the popular racing series. It was the beginning of a unique success story with five drivers’ titles, five teams’ titles and 74 victories to date. The next podium would be the 250th for ABT Sportsline together with Audi in the DTM.
Martin Tomczyk: “The title fight promises to be very exciting”
“It would be nice to already achieve this milestone at the Sachsenring,” says ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk. “The title fight promises to be very exciting. Before the last three race weekends, we have a good chance of winning the teams’ title and are in third place in the drivers’ standings with Ricardo Feller. At the Lausitzring, we were the team that scored the most points – that’s also our goal at the Sachsenring. The track suits our car better than the Red Bull Ring two weeks later. That’s why it’s a very important race for us in the title fight.”
The Audi R8 LMS has scored more wins at the Sachsenring than any other GT3 sportscar. And ABT Sportsline has also had many opportunities to celebrate on the 3.645-kilometre racetrack near Chemnitz. In 1999, ABT Sportsline achieved the first victory of a private team in the German Super Touring Car Championship there with the Audi A4 quattro. In 2002, Laurent Aiello, with the Abt-Audi TT-R, was the last DTM winner at the Sachsenring so far. ABT Sportsline also won two races there in the ADAC GT Masters with the Audi R8 LMS in 2010 and 2011.
Ricardo Feller: “Our car fits the track well”
“Our car fits the track well and I also like the venue” says Ricardo Feller, who is currently third in the drivers’ standings. “It’s also cool that practically only MotoGP and DTM race there. That makes the Sachsenring something very special. With the many blind corners, the track is not easy. It goes up and down. I particularly like the many high-speed corners. Now that the championship is at stake, everything is a bit more tense, of course. But I won’t do anything differently than before. It has worked in every race so far to collect points. What we need now, though, are the big points.”
Kelvin van der Linde: “The Sachsenring is my favourite circuit on the DTM calendar”
Ricardo Feller’s teammate, Kelvin van der Linde, most recently finished on the podium for the first time during this DTM season at the Lausitzring. He is considered as an absolute Sachsenring expert. “The Sachsenring is my favourite circuit on the DTM calendar,” says the South African, who lives near Kempten. “With five victories in the ADAC GT Masters, I hold the most race wins there. I always feel comfortable there. The goal is to score big points again for the teams’ championship and hopefully be on the podium again.”
ProSieben will broadcast both races live from 1 PM CEST on Saturday and Sunday.
ABT driver Ricardo Feller on …
… the special requirements of the Sachsenring: “Apart from two right-handers, all of the corners are left-handers. Of course, that puts a brutal amount of strain on the tyres on the right-hand side of the car. It will be important to keep the tyres alive during the race.”
… the coolest section: “The high-speed section in the second sector is particularly cool. With the fast left turn under the bridge, which goes uphill. Thereafter comes a triple left-hand corner. Then a fast right turn, it’s very steep downhill before the last two turns.”
… the best overtaking opportunities: “Overtaking is not so easy at the Sachsenring. You can actually choose a tighter line everywhere to defend your position without losing much time. That makes it difficult to go alongside another car under braking. With a good exit from the last corner, you can maybe get something done using the slipstream heading into the first corner. Then you will exit the corner side by side in the first sector and then you are on the inside before you go down into the high-speed corners. But with our Audi, that will not be so easy, because we are not that fast on the straights at the moment. Because of that, qualifying will be very important.”
… the best place to watch: “Probably on the outside of the first or second corners. I think there will be a lot of action there. You can see the fights there after the start, and after the pit stops, it will definitely be exciting there at the pit exit.”
Did you know that …
Kelvin van der Linde was a guest at the MotoGP race at the Sachsenring this year when he was invited by ProSieben commentator Edgar Mielke?
Both ABT drivers tested at the Sachsenring for half a day each?
Kelvin van der Linde was a guest of ABT partners expert and Sony PlayStation at the IFA in Berlin?
The ABT Lamborghini, with which Kelvin van der Linde competed in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, was on display at the expert stand?
Ricardo Feller was busy signing autographs at the stand of ABT partner SONAX at the IAA in Munich?
a Formula E racing car and the CUPRA Formentor VZ5 BAT X ABT special model can be seen at ABT partner CUPRA in Munich?
Kelvin van der Linde will make a stopover at the European Darts Tour in Jena on his way to the Sachsenring?
Ricardo Feller competed with an Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II in the GT World Challenge Europe at the Hockenheimring last weekend, winning one of the two races? He was able to gain experience for the DTM finale there on 21/22 October.
Published by: ABT Sportsline
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