Laurent Aiello completed a strong Audi team performance by gaining ten places in 37 laps to take fifth place in his last race at DTM champion at Hockenheim.

The Frenchman said that he was determined to bow out with a fight and, despite not being in a position to battle for victory with the likes of Jean Alesi, scrapped his way through the field to finish in the points.

Amid rumours that he may not be returning to either the Abt Audi camp or even the DTM in 2004, Aiello drove an error-free race, in which he spent the final third only centimetres from Peter Dumbreck's rear bumper, before the chequered flag saved the Scot.

"Of course, I would have liked to bow out of my championship year with a podium finish or a victory, but from 15th on the grid, I got the maximum out of it," Aiello said, "Congratulations to Mercedes-Benz and Bernd [Schneider] - there was just no way of beating their package this year."



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