Unique experience for Ricardo Feller and Kelvin van der Linde: The two ABT DTM drivers spent a day on the ski slopes of Gurgl in the Ötztal valley in Austria together with professional Dave Ryding, who achieved the first victory by a Briton in the Alpine Ski World Cup in 2022 at the slalom in Kitzbühel.
“That was a superb experience,” said Kelvin van der Linde. “It’s always great fun when we can combine PR appointments with outdoor activities in such great places in nature like Gurgl. It was a perfect start to the new DTM season – and Dave is a super likeable guy with a lot of passion. It was a lot of fun to exchange ideas with him and we found a lot of similarities in our two sports.”
As a South African, Kelvin van der Linde only recently took up skiing, but showed maximum commitment from the start in the slipstream of the skiing pro, just as he does on the race track – even though ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk had advised him the night before not to take too many risks and jeopardize the preparation for the new DTM season and the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Although Ricardo Feller comes from Switzerland, he has hardly any experience on skis. Accordingly, the youngster acted cautiously on the high alpine slopes of Gurgl. “It was still an extremely cool experience,” said Feller. “It was interesting to see how Dave does it at speed. I definitely can’t keep up with that. It was my first time in the Ötztal Gurgl ski region. I liked it so much that I’m going to plan a private vacation here.”
The day before, Ricardo Feller and Kelvin van der Linde invited the ski star to enjoy a virtual test drive with their ABT Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II in the ABT simulator, which was set up especially for the event at the TOP Mountain Motorcycle Museum on the Timmelsjoch. “It was a cool experience,” said Dave Ryding. “Interacting with both guys was a lot of fun. I got some good tips from them for the simulator, but still ended up in the wall in the first two corners. After that, things went better. Of course, it was great that I got to show them this sensational ski region with its beautiful mountains the next day.”
Ryding plans visit to DTM at Norisring
Dave Ryding is a big motorsport fan himself and has mainly been interested in motorcycle racing so far. After Ricardo Feller and Kelvin van der Linde told him so much about their racing lives, a visit to the DTM is firmly planned this year – most likely in July at ABT Sportsline’s home race at the Norisring. “I love the sound and atmosphere of motorsport,” says Ryding. “It would be great to see that on site. Maybe I can even bring my family.”
Feller, Ryding and van der Linde also enjoyed an exclusive tour of the motorcycle museum at the TOP Mountain Crosspoint. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ricardo Feller enthused. “I think there’s hardly anything comparable. Even though I’m not much of a motorcycle guy myself, I was seriously impressed and it’s worth a visit for any motorsports fan.”
“The museum is very impressive,” Kelvin van der Linde confirmed. “I’m always happy when I can get glimpses of the past. And this was definitely a great experience. The 4D motorcycle simulator in the museum is also really cool. I’ll probably never be able to ride a motorcycle on roads like that myself, but now have an idea of what it feels like.”
ABT Sportsline and Ötztal Toursimus also partners in the DTM in 2023
During the “ABT DTM Kick-off 2023” in Gurgl, the partnership between ABT Sportsline and Ötztal Tourism was also extended. The logos of the Ötztal and Gurgl will also be prominently displayed on ABT Sportsline’s DTM cars in the 2023 season. “I am very pleased that this partnership will continue,” said Harry Unflath, Head of Sports Marketing at ABT Sportsline. “For many of the visitors at DTM races, a vacation in Gurgl also comes into question. But it’s also a perfect fit in human terms. We already had a great relationship with the Scheiber family before the partnership and our drivers also felt at home here straight away. On behalf of ABT Sportsline, thank you to everyone involved for this great event! We are already looking forward to the return visit to the Norisring.”
In the ABT Sportsline DTM team, preparation for the new season is in full swing in Kempten. Next up is the livery application of the two race cars in their new designs for 2023, which will be on display for the first time at the official test days at the Red Bull Ring on 15/16 April. The season starts at Oschersleben during the Whitsun weekend (27/28 May).