Audi Junior Peter Terting exceeded his debut season's expectations by scoring his first DTM point in the season finale at Hockenheim on Sunday.

The youngest driver ever to have competed in 'touring car racing's premier division, was plucked from the VW Lupo Cup at the start of the season, but collected his first point in front of an impressive backdrop of 105,000 spectators.

"I'm absolutely over the moon," said the joyous S-line Audi driver, "My goal was to finish at least once in the top ten during my first DTM season - but I've actually finished eighth and have even collected a point."

The 19-year old had already shown what he has learnt during his maiden DTM season in Saturday's practice. On his debut at the same track in April, he started from 20th position, but this time Terting achieved, with eleventh place, his best ever qualifying spot.

At the start, the Audi Junior lost several positions, but fought his way up to eighth place and into the points during 37 laps of close competition. Just before the chequered flag, he even succeeded in overtaking his 'instructor' Christian Abt.

"Eighth place in such a competitive field is a fantastic performance - particularly when you realise that he drove one of last year's cars," said team director Hans-J?rgen Abt, "Peter was harshly criticised after Zandvoort but, today, he has shown what he is made of. Eighth place in this strong field is a great performance."

Terting's colleague in the S line Junior team, Martin Tomczyk, also underlined that he is among the quickest DTM drivers. The 21-year old was running in fifth place during the early stages of the race, before dropping down the field after being nudged into a spin at the hairpin.

"It was a shame that he caught me," said Tomczyk, who finished the race in 13th position, "It was easy for me to keep up with the leading bunch during the early laps. I had the speed, but that's a small consolation."

The more experienced Mattias Ekstr?m again put in a fantastic performance across the weekend. The Swede was quickest in single lap qualifying on Saturday, securing pole position, but, after having pulled out a lead of 2.1secs during the first six laps, his first pit-stop cost him a possible victory.

After his crew had him serviced and ready to roll again after a mere 4.3secs, another car blocked him as he pulled away. Back out on the circuit, Ekstr?m also had to give best to eventual winner Jean Alesi.

"I fought my way back up into contention, but he simply didn't make a single mistake and present me with the opportunity to overtake him," reported Ekstr?m, who attacked Alesi hard in the closing stages and missed the win by a mere 0.213secs.

With his second place, the Swede secured fourth position overall and is the best placed Audi driver in the 2003 championship.

 

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