Following in the wheeltracks of such motorsport legends as Michael Schumacher, Bernd Schneider and Walter R?hrl, an Audi DTM driver has been voted the ADAC 'Racer of the Year' - only the driver in question is not 2007 series champion Mattias Ekstr?m.

Instead it is the Swede's Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline team-mate Martin Tomczyk who is set to receive the prestigious accolade, after being selected by the German sports committee ahead of numerous other candidates. In addition to the 25-year-old's third place in the 2007 standings - just ten points shy of the crown courtesy of a brace of victories, one more than Ekstr?m - the jury, comprising three motoring journalists and three representatives of the ADAC, recognized Tomczyk's 'fair and exemplary conduct both on and off the track'.

"I was completely surprised when I heard about my selection for the award," the Bavarian remarked. "I've attended the sports galas for eight years and it's always been my wish to be on the stage as the winner of this award one day.

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"I'm incredibly happy about this honour. It means even more to me as the professional jury selected me for the award although I didn't win the DTM title. That's great motivation for next year."

The 'Racer of the Year' award has been in existence since 1980, and will be presented to Tomczyk in the form of a 'Grand ADAC St. Christopher' made of Nymphenburg porcelain during the ADAC sports gala in Salzburg on 24 November.