25 years of ABT Sportsline at the DTM home race at the Norisring





25 years of ABT Sportsline at the DTM home race at the Norisring



A milestone anniversary for ABT Sportsline: The most successful active DTM team will be competing in the DTM race at the Norisring in Nuremberg for the 25th time next weekend. The only street circuit on the calendar is regarded as the season highlight of the most important German racing series and is the DTM home race for ABT Sportsline.


Hans-Jürgen Abt: “Winning at the Norisring is particularly difficult”

“Winning at the Norisring is particularly difficult,” says Hans-Jürgen Abt, CEO of the ABT Group, who will be on site in Nuremberg on both race days. “A victory there is all the more valuable. We particularly realised this in 2002 when Laurent Aiello passed Bernd Schneider in a spectacular duel on the last corner and won the race. After that, it was literally crazy.”


ABT Sportsline is still missing a home win in the GT3 era of the DTM. The 2.162-kilometre street circuit between the Dutzendteich lake and the Max Morlock Stadium suits the Audi R8 and also ABT driver Kelvin van der Linde, who comes to the Norisring as championship leader. ABT Sportsline is also in first place in the DTM team standings.


Martin Tomczyk: “Home race for many of our partners too”

“The Norisring is not only a home race for us, but also for many of our partners – especially Schaeffler,” says ABT Motorsport Director Martin Tomczyk. “Many guests from ABT Sportsline will be there to keep their fingers crossed for us. As always, the Norisring seems to be very crowded, which also speaks in favour of the acceptance of motorsport in Germany. The track is very special and a lot can always happen. That’s why it’s difficult to make a forecast. After travelling practically every weekend until Zandvoort, the team has been able to take a breather and is now coming to the Norisring with fresh energy.” 


Kelvin van der Linde: “It feels good to come to the Norisring as championship leader”

Kelvin van der Linde has also treated himself to a few days off and is full of anticipation for the Norisring weekend. “Of course it feels good to come to the Norisring as championship leader,” says the South African, who lives near Kempten. “It gives us extra motivation and brings calm to the team, because chasing a deficit like in recent years is always more difficult. We’re not really looking at the championship standings yet because it’s still early in the season. But we are in a good rhythm. That’s why I’m coming to the Norisring in a good mood. I’ve always had the pace there to be at the front, but so far I haven’t had the necessary luck. I hope we can celebrate our first podium this time.”


Ricardo Feller: “The Norisring can’t be compared to any other DTM circuit”

Kelvin van der Linde’s team-mate Ricardo Feller is also still in the title race in third place in the standings despite a difficult weekend in Zandvoort. The lightning-fast Swiss driver has not yet been able to shine at the Norisring, but that is set to change this year. “The Norisring is very special and can’t be compared with any other DTM circuit,” says the ABT driver. “I’ve struggled a bit there so far. But of course I’ve tried to learn from that. We have the data from the last two years and also the comparison with my team-mate. I hope that we can convert that into a great result this time.”


ProSieben will broadcast the DTM season highlight live from Nuremberg on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m CEST. There will be highlights on Red Bull TV at 3:45 p.m. CEST on Saturday and 3:20 p.m. CEST on Sunday.


The two ABT drivers about the Norisring


Do you like driving at the Norisring?

Kelvin: “I always find street circuits very special. I also had a lot of fun in Formula E. The atmosphere at the Norisring is unique – especially when you drive for ABT, because it’s a home race for us, with lots of guests on site and plenty of support. I’m really looking forward to it again.”

Ricardo: “I like driving at the Norisring, even if it’s not my favourite track because it lacks high-speed corners. The atmosphere is great with the stone grandstand and all the fans. I hope it won’t be quite as warm this year as it was last year, because without a roof, the fans in the grandstands really suffered in the sun.”


What is particularly important at the Norisring?

Ricardo: “That the car rotates as good as possible, decelerates well on the brakes and has good traction – all in the low-speed range. We don’t have to pay any attention to high speed at the Norisring.”

Kelvin: “It’s extremely difficult on such a short lap to bring all three sectors together, just like I managed to do with my pole position in 2022. That’s the key. You do an unusual number of laps in qualifying, sometimes even ten. It’s really difficult to get every sector right on every lap.”


What are the Audi R8’s strengths at the Norisring?

Kelvin: “The braking performance of the Audi has always been a strength that helps us a lot at the Norisring. The car also copes well with the bumps.”

Ricardo: “On the brakes and in Turns 2 and 3 – especially at the point in Turn 3 where we get very close to the wall.”


Which section do you enjoy the most?

Ricardo: “It’s actually all the same amount of fun.”

Kelvin: “I enjoy the chicane the most, Turns 2 and 3. We’ve always been good there with our car so far. I hope it’s the same this season.”


Which section is the most difficult?

Ricardo: “Overall, I find it very difficult to get into a flow there because the corners are so slow. The biggest challenge is probably Turn 2/3.”

Kelvin: “I think braking and the entry for the last corner. There are a lot of bumps there and it’s difficult to hit the corner properly. You also always have to watch out towards the back because the track there invites overtaking.”


This almost makes the next question about the best place to overtake at the Norisring redundant …

Kelvin: “The two big braking points are suitable for this, especially before the last corner because the track is so wide there.”

Ricardo: “On the brakes before Turn 1, maybe also before the last corner.”


How many wing mirrors have you already destroyed on the concrete wall at the Norisring?

Kelvin: “I’ve been lucky so far. My mechanics are obviously very happy about that. But maybe that also shows that I still had a bit of a cushion so far.”

Ricardo: “I think only one so far, 2022. I never hit the wall last year. But my mechanics probably know better.”


Did you know that …


… ABT Sports Marketing Director Harry Unflath managed to lure two football legends, Felix Magath and Klaus Augenthaler, to the Norisring to coincide with the European Championship?


… both will also experience the Norisring as co-drivers in ABT partner Schaeffler’s DTM Innovation Taxi?


… the DTM Innovation Taxi will be driven by ABT Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi this time?


… the Brazilian made a guest appearance in the DTM at the Norisring in 2021?


… ABT partner Red Bull has invited Leon Löwentraut to the Norisring and the artist is to draw the DTM car during a ride in a drift car?


… Kelvin van der Linde will also have the pleasure of experiencing the Norisring as a passenger of the Red Bull Driftbrothers on Friday evening?


… ABT Sportsline is expecting a total of around 150 guests at the Norisring and almost all of the team’s partners will be there?


… the Feser-Graf group, ABT Sportsline’s largest partner in the region, is bringing the largest group of guests with over 60 people?


… ABT partner KEUK Medientechnik will install a large digital screen behind the ABT Sportsline pits at the Norisring for the first time, on which the team will provide fans with interesting information from now on?


… ABT partner ÖTZTAL-GURGL is advertising the high alpine region and the Ski World Cup season opener in Gurgl at the Norisring with an original gondola, just like last year?


… Kelvin van der Linde will be fighting a duel with Marco Wittmann in the simulator at the Schaeffler stand on Friday afternoon?


… Kelvin van der Linde celebrated birthday between Zandvoort and the Norisring with his brother Sheldon, friends and colleagues in Munich?




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Company profile of ABT Sportsline

As the world’s largest specialist for automotive aftermarket and performance parts for the Audi, VW, Lamborghini, Seat, CUPRA and Skoda brands, the name ABT Sportsline is world-renowned. The product line ranges from more engine power to body kits, over suspensions and interior design, to an extensive collection of alloy wheels. However, the Bavaria-based company, which has its roots in 1896, stands for much more. Today, several attractive subsidiaries with a total of 210 employees join forces under the umbrella of the ABT Group. In doing so, they elegantly combine innovation and tradition. When it comes to drivetrain technology, the German company always has its finger on the pulse of the times: through ABT e-Line GmbH, the areas of electric and alternative mobility are covered as a further strong pillar of the company. And of course ABT Sportsline also stands for top-level motorsport, as it always has. This is demonstrated by the success story in the DTM, which continues right up to the present day, as well as the current involvement in the forward-looking electric racing series Formula E.




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