1 January 1901
Scheider: A dream has come true for me...
Timo Scheider put in an absolutely flawless drive on Sunday at the Hockenheimring to impressively clinch the DTM drivers' title, following what he described as an 'incredible' year.
Scheider, who qualified third in his Audi A4, snatched P1 from the off after a perfect start in which he passed title rival Paul di Resta and fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom. He then managed to keep di Resta at bay and a good strategy enabled him to drive freely throughout the race, eventually winning by 3.062 seconds.
However, it wasn't all plain sailing for the German and his team had to completely dismantle his car and also change the engine after he hit a kerb heavily in qualifying on Saturday. That meant his mechanics had to put in an all-nighter, but Timo rewarded their efforts in the best way imaginable.
"Today, a dream has come true for me. I want to thank Audi, my team, Abt Sportsline, and all my fans for their support and the trust they've placed in me," said the 29-year-old, who has been competing in the DTM since 2000.
"This year was incredible for me. I've been leading the championship since the second race and experienced so many great moments.
"After my mistake in qualifying my boys had to put in a night shift to repair my Audi A4. Despite getting only a few hours of sleep they performed perfect pit stops today, as usual. I can promise them that they won't get any sleep tonight either – that serves them right!"
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport, meanwhile was delighted and said that Scheider was a very 'worthy champion'.
"There were ups and downs," Ullrich reflected. "Yesterday, Timo damaged his car while hopping over the kerbs, which is not the best way to start into the decisive race. In front of this great crowd, the situation was really tense, and of course, we wanted to stage a great performance.
"Timo had it all in his hands to decide it all himself. He succeeded and that makes him a worthy champion who has done an excellent job against the strongest rival one can imagine."
Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, who watched the gripping finale from the garage of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, echoed those thoughts.
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