[source: ABT Sportsline]
At the same time as the Tuning World show at Lake Constance, Germany, and the legendary Wörthersee Meeting at Lake Wörth, Austria, ABT Sportsline participated in another exciting event. For this, racing driver Daniel Abt, son of CEO Hans-Jürgen Abt, led a powerful trio to the airfield at the small municipality of Tannheim in the German state of Baden-Württemberg: the ABT Audi SQ5 (425 HP/313 kW), the ABT Audi RS3 (500 HP/368 kW) and the ABT Audi RS5-R (530 HP/390 kW) as the strongest of the lot. The “nemesis”, on the other hand, only came up with 305 HP (224 kW). But the “dare” that followed was not about winning a drag race: Daniel Abt rather had to leave his usual terrain behind and climb into Matthias Dolderer’s aerobatics plane. The 47-year old was the first German to win the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in 2016 and will be competing again in 2018.
The second candidate for a “taxi ride” in the agile Extra 300L double-seater was the Brazilian actor Caio Castro. He certainly had something to show his 16 million Instagram followers afterwards. Social media whiz Daniel Abt also went home with plenty of impressions. While he is used to high forces from Formula E, the maximum 8 g in the cockpit are something else altogether. As a comparison: Even Formula 1 race drivers don’t experience that much. So while his passengers broke out in a cold sweat, for Dolderer the trip through the skies was barely more than a little Sunday jaunt. A maximum of 10 g is permitted during competition flights – and values exceeding this can occur sporadically for brief periods. Dolderer, who once was Germany’s youngest flight instructor, has been used to these forces for decades.
But if you think that this makes cars boring for the aerobatics pilot, you need to think again. In fact, Dolderer was so fascinated that he entered a one-make series as a guest driver in 2010 and 2011. Accordingly, he was highly interested in the vehicles that ABT Sportsline had brought along for shooting spectacular videos and pictures together. Almost a pity, then, that there are no two-seaters in Formula E. Because Daniel Abt would love to return the favor – and after all, it’s not just about g-forces. Overall, the day was a fascinating experience for the racing driver, and while the unusual forces did not knock him out, he was certainly bowled over.