1 January 1901
In-form Tomczyk has eye on maiden title.
As one of only three drivers still in with a shout of lifting the crown in the DTM finale at Hockenheim this weekend, Martin Tomczyk may on paper be the underdog, but on recent form he is irrefutably the man to beat.
The German qualified on pole position last time out in Barcelona, only to be removed from the lead seven laps in by Mercedes' Mika Hakkinen. Audi's subsequent decision to withdraw all its cars from the race dropped Tomczyk behind Bruno Spengler in the drivers' title chase, though still only four points adrift of the leader, Audi stable mate Mattias Ekström.
History, however, is on Audi's side, with Ekström and Tomczyk having finished one-two at Hockenheim in the 2007 curtain-raiser back in April, Audi being unbeaten in qualifying over the second half of the campaign and the Ingolstadt marque beginning the final round from the top spot three times in the last four years. What's more, following Mercedes' Spanish success, the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline machines will compete with ten kilograms less ballast than their three-pointed star rivals this weekend.
“Nothing is decided yet,” Tomczyk insisted. “The championship leaders are even closer together going into the last race, and we can look forward to an exciting finale. We have the lead and, if we have things our way, we want to finish first and second in the championship for Audi.”
Indeed, the 25-year-old revved up ahead of the meeting by visiting Munich's celebrated Oktoberfest, in company with team-mate Christian Abt, Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and Audi sportscar ace Marco Werner.
“It was a fantastic evening,” enthused a Lederhosen-clad Tomczyk. “I used to go to the Rosenheim Autumn Fete, and only got to know the Oktoberfest through Audi. That was only my second visit to the Oktoberfest – but it certainly won't be my last.
“I only drank one beer and afterwards just water the entire evening though. After all, I still have something in mind on 14 October…”
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