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Following the end of the classic DTM and the exit of the major manufacturer, a new era begins for DTM in 2021. New cars, new drivers, new rules.
8 race weekends are planned between June and October. One of the highlights will be the season start at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Test drives and speed races were already planned for the high-speed course last season. However, due to the effects of the Corona pandemic, they could not take place.
Immediately after the opener in Belgium, the action moves to the renowned Norisring and Lausitzring race tracks. In August, too, things will continue hotting up. First of all, the entire race team will go to Zolder in Belgium and then on to a race weekend at the Nürburgring, where our drivers brought home four victories in four races for our team in the 2020 season. Autumn brings the DTM to the Red Bull Ring and to Assen in the Netherlands. Early October will see the season finale take place at the Hockenheimring. This is planned for October 2-3, 2021.
Also new this season are the cars – the Audi RS5 DTM will be replaced by the Audi R8 LMS. This means that we are using a top-of-the-line GT3-category product. With the naturally aspirated V10 petrol engine, which can deliver up to 585 HP and a top speed of over 300 km/h, fans and motor sport enthusiasts will be able to expect a lot from the DTM during this season too.
Other rule changes rules promise even greater excitement. For example, only 6 mechanics are allowed in the pit stop instead of 9. For the first time in the history of the DTM, a junior champion will be selected at the end of the racing season, alongside the driver, team and manufacturer champion. The best junior of the respective classes of the 1999 or younger age group will receive this title at the end of the season.
With the expierence of a whopping 191 DTM races, Mike Rockenfeller returns to ABT Sportsline. He already competed for the team in the 2011 season and also celebrated his first-ever DTM victory during the time together. The 37-year-old DTM-champion from 2013 starts the new season as the team’s veteran.
Kelvin van der Linde is a proven expert in the Audi R8 LMS. He has twice won the ADAC GT Masters with this car, as well as various endurance races, including the 24-hour classic at the Nürburgring. With ABT he is competing in the DTM for the first time.
Sophia Flörsch completes the ABT Sportsline team. At 20, she is the youngest in the group. She is already the third woman with whom the team has competed in the DTM. In recent years, Flörsch gained experience, points and trophies in various single-seater series.
ABT Sportsline entered the challenge of the DTM as a private team. The Abt-Audi TT-R, which was developed in Kempten in record time, did not stand a chance against the factory competitors from Opel and Mercedes-Benz in the first year, but quickly became a fan favorite.
A sensational performance: after the first wins in the 2001 season, Laurent Aiello and Team ABT Sportsline took home the DTM title in the third year. The French driver even clinched the deal one race before the season finale, ensuring a roaring party night in the Dutch holiday town of Zaandvort.
After four "privateer" years, Audi officially entered the DTM in 2004 and ABT Sportsline became a factory team. The team managed a brilliant comeback: Mattias Ekström became champion, while his Audi Sport Team ABT Sportsline took home the team title and Audi won the constructors' championship.
He did it again: Mattias Ekström won his second title. The fans were treated to a thrilling season: At the season finale in Hockenheim, three drivers still had an opportunity to win the title, including team member Martin Tomczyk. Ekström only needed a third place in the race to become champion.
The 2008 season was dominated by ABT driver Timo Scheider: The German driver, who now lives in Austria, won his first ever DTM race in Oschersleben and took home the title at the end of the season. Scheider was on the podium in eight of the eleven races and won the title in grand style at the season finale – with another win.
With the third consecutive title, Audi and ABT Sportsline made motorsports history: No other manufacturer before had managed this hat-trick. Once again it was Timo Scheider who defeated Mercedes star Gary Paffett during a thrilling showdown in Hockenheim.
While longstanding ABT driver Martin Tomczyk won the drivers' title, ABT Sportsline celebrated winning the team championship: With four wins and three more trophies, Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller added another chapter to the success story.
Two years without a DTM victory drove ABT Sportsline to new heights: After the first four races, Mattias Ekström had firmly established himself in the top three, and with wins at Zandvoort and in the season finale at Hockenheim he cemented second place in the drivers' and in the team championship.
The Audi Sport Team ABT Sportsline became team champion of the DTM. After 2004, 2007 and 2011, the Audi Sport Team ABT Sportsline won the team championship for the fourth time with Edoardo Mortara, Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller, who stood in for the new rallycross world champion Ekström at the season final. Despite five wins in this season, Mortara narrowly missed the driver's championship title by only four points.
With second place in the final standings, the Audi Sports Team ABT Sportsline only narrowly failed to defend the title in the DTM team championship. Mattias Ekström came in second overall, having had to concede the title by only three points in his last DTM season.
After a real season thriller, in which Nico Müller was leading for a long time, he kept his opportunity of winning the title until the finale. Where he finally became runner-up. On the other side, Robin Frijns' equally tremendous performance offered him the 3rd place. At last, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline has been able to win the team championship with a 158-point advance.
18.- 20.06 Monza (IT)
02.- 04.07 Norisring (D)
23.- 25.07 Lausitzring (D)
06.- 08.08 Zolder (BEL)
20.- 22.08 Nürburgring (D)
03.- 05.09 Red Bull Ring (AT)
17.- 19.09 Assen (NL)
18.- 20.10 Hockenheimring (D)