Audi's youngest works driver, Martin Tomczyk, celebrated last weekend after clinching his first-ever DTM victory – at his 77th attempt.
The 24-year-old Abt Sportsline star led from lights to flag on the series' first visit to Barcelona, after securing the fourth pole position of his six-year career in the category during the wet qualifying session on Saturday.
“I still can't believe it,” he enthused afterwards. “It's fantastic! I was in control throughout the race, made a good start and drove away at the front. Even after the safety car period my car handled perfectly.
“I drove my own race and hardly noticed what happened behind me. Maybe it was better like this, since it appeared to be very turbulent back there.
“The brakes lost a little efficiency towards the end, so I took things a little easier but still managed to lock them twice which enabled Bernd (Schneider) to close up. It was anything but easy but fortunately Bernd made a mistake too and it all worked out.”
Praising his charge, Audi Motorsport director Dr Wolfgang Ullrich said Tomczyk's debut victory – after several seasons spent playing the team game to aid his championship-chasing team-mates – could be the first of many.
“I am very happy that Tomczyk has won here,” he said. “In the last few races, he has always shown a good performance and here he finally broke his duck. I am certain he will continue to score results like this in the future.”
Indeed, it was almost a perfect result for the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, with Tomczyk's team-mate Mattias Ekstrom shadowing the eventual winner for much of the race before receiving a drive-through penalty for contact with Schneider, dropping him back to fourth place at the flag just ten seconds away from victory.
“My car was very quick,” the Swede said. “At the beginning of the race I followed Tom (Kristensen), then after overtaking him I drove alone. The car was running perfectly. After my first pit stop I passed Bernd Schneider and was already making up ground to Martin.
“Then the team decided on an early second stop. After that, I had to overtake Bernd once more. He slammed on the brakes in turn one as I was beginning to accelerate. For this I received a drive-through penalty, which is incredible. I finished fourth in a race in which the car was very quick, but in which I had no luck at all.”