Team Abt Sportsline blasts onto the finishing straight of the 2003 DTM season with the motivation of morale boost behind it, following reigning champion Laurent Aiello's victory at the N?rburgring two weeks ago.

The victory broke the previous Mercedes domination of the series, and proved to the rest of the Abt squad that the Three pointed Star could be beaten. For Aiello, however, it meant that he remained in with a shout of defending his crown.

"Obviously, a huge burden fell from our shoulders after the victory, but now we are only looking to the future," he insisted, "Even though I am 17 points behind in the championship, I intend to defend my title until the last lap of the last race."

Meanwhile, two of Aiello's younger team-mates - S-line Junior team racers Martin Tomczyk and Peter Terting - travel to Austria with a mixture of excitement and respect, knowing that the venerable TT-R could struggle against the power of the Mercedes and Opels.

"The A1-Ring, with its long straights and need for good top speed, isn't exactly a sightseeing route for the TT-R," confirmed Tomczyk, "But I am optimistic that we can make up time in the other sections."

The junior driver increased his fitness programme before the Austrian 'away match', and cycled from Kufstein to his home in Rosenheim along with team-mate Karl Wendlinger.

Terting, meanwhile, spent a lot of time with the team during the racing break, determined to find away to come close to repeating last year's win in the ADAC VW Lupo Cup at the A1-Ring.

"I was with the team as my TT-R was completely stripped and rebuilt," the 19-year old revealed, "It's incredible how much perfection and attention to detail the guys work with. For me, it was a help to better understand the technology ahead of the A1-Ring, which I really with its fast flowing sections."



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