One of the most successful partnerships in DTM history is being revived: ABT Sportsline will field two Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II cars in the iconic Red Bull colours in the 2024 season. Ricardo Feller (Switzerland/23) and Kelvin van der Linde (South Africa/27) have been confirmed as the drivers.
“We are proud to be the first team to present our complete package for the next DTM season,” says ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk. “This gives us a definite head start for our preparations ahead of 2024. As far as the car and drivers are concerned, we are relying on the tried and tested. ABT and Audi have been working together in the DTM for 24 years. You don’t just end such a successful and good partnership, even if the general conditions change. We have always emphasised that we want to continue with Ricardo and Kelvin. I can’t imagine a better driver pairing in the DTM at the moment. The return of Red Bull as a partner on our cars is the icing on the cake and will give wings to everyone in the team.”
“I am simply delighted that what belongs together is coming together again,” says Franz Watzlawick, CEO Beverage Business at Red Bull. With more than eleven billion cans sold each year, the Austrian company is the world market leader in energy drinks.
“Red Bull and ABT Sportsline simply belong together,” says ABT Sports Marketing Director Harry Unflath. “Red Bull has been an ABT partner from the very beginning. We have been managing the Red Bull Germany fleet for almost three decades. We first had Red Bull on a race car in Super Touring during 1997. From 2002 to 2018, Red Bull was our partner in the DTM. We celebrated 27 victories together, scored 93 podiums and won the championship title twice with Mattias Ekström. Martin Tomczyk was a Red Bull athlete for many years and drove an Audi in Red Bull colours for ABT Sportsline. Dietrich Mateschitz was not only a business partner for us, but also a friend. It’s great that Robert Hohensinn, one of his long-time companions, has come to Hockenheim together with Marc Thiemann, General Manager of Red Bull Germany, to unveil the new partnership. It has been a strange feeling in recent years to compete against cars with Red Bull branding in the DTM. So, I’m all the more pleased that the red bulls are finally back on our DTM cars as well. Red Bull was constantly present in the fridges at our headquarters in Kempten and at the DTM anyway. But I am also extremely proud that all the other long-standing partners – Fujitsu, H&R, Hylo, Ötztal-Gurgl, Ravenol, Remus, Schaeffler, Scherer, Sonax and SÜDPACK – continue to be on board. This puts us in a perfect position for 2024 in the DTM.”
Kelvin van der Linde will be tackling his fourth DTM season for ABT Sportsline in 2024. “I’m very happy about that,” says the South African-born driver. “I feel extremely comfortable at ABT and my plan is for us to continue working together for a very long time. Red Bull has great status in motorsport. If you can drive a Red Bull car as a driver, then that is a special privilege. And the cooperation with Ricardo has always been good over the past two years. We have always got on well and supported each other. I think we are one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid.”
“Basically, not so much changes and that’s a good thing,” says Ricardo Feller. “It was always my dream to come to the DTM. I’m living that dream. And then to be in a team like ABT makes me extremely happy. Kelvin and I are a good duo. Of course, every teammate wants to be the faster one, but the cooperation works well. I hope that with Red Bull behind us, we will be even stronger next year.”
The 2024 DTM season kicks off at Oschersleben on 27/28 April. As was the case this year, a total of eight events with two races each are on the schedule. All of the DTM races will continue to be broadcast live by ProSieben in Germany. Worldwide, the racing series can be watched live or re-live in more than 150 countries.