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.