- ABT Sportsline concentrates on two Audi R8 LMS cars
- Tresor Orange1 with two drivers in the DTM for the first time
- Up-and-coming Liqui Moly Team Engstler faces first GT3 season
[source: Audi AG]
Audi Sport customer racing relies on a strong customer base in the DTM in 2023 as well. Three established teams – including an up-and-coming touring car racing team with motor racing experience – will contest the tradition-steeped series with the Audi R8 LMS, which will be held under new auspices this year.
“The DTM offers Audi Sport excellent opportunities together with the experienced customer teams,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Rolf Michl. “We can pursue exciting motorsport in the important performance market Germany with the Audi R8 LMS in competition with first-class rivals.” The DTM enters the 2023 season under new auspices after ADAC acquired the brand rights on December 2, 2022. The calendar includes eight events spread across Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. The racing series, which was founded in 1984, will kick off its new season at Oschersleben from May 26 to 28. Audi drivers have won the DTM twelve times since 1990.
“We expect that the 2023 DTM, now organized by ADAC, will be characterized by a high performance density, exciting races and a future-oriented focus,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “It’s all the more pleasing that we can rely on high-performance partner teams with great knowledge.” Team ABT Sportsline from Kempten in the Allgäu region with ABT Motorsport director Martin Tomczyk was the best Audi customer team in the DTM in each of the past two years with Kelvin van der Linde finishing third (2021) as well as René Rast (2022). It thus made a major contribution to Audi winning the manufacturers title last year. This year, the squad that provided the DTM Champion in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009 again relies on Kelvin van der Linde from South Africa and the Swiss Audi Sport driver Ricardo Feller.
The Attempto Racing squad from Hanover doubles its commitment with a new partner: Team boss Arkin Aka gained his first experience and championship points last year with a privateer driver in a single Audi R8 LMS. Now he has entered into a partnership with Ferdinando Geri. This year, under the name Tresor Orange1, the team is relying on two Audi Sport drivers. Swiss Patric Niederhauser and Italian Mattia Drudi have both already won titles in the R8 LMS. The northern German team has been in existence since 2005, has been a customer of Audi Sport customer racing since 2018 and has repeatedly clinched podium results for the brand in strategic events.
The move up from touring cars to the GT discipline is being ventured by long-time racing driver and current team boss Franz Engstler, who, like ABT Sportsline, is based in the Allgäu region of Germany. The Liqui Moly Team Engstler from Wiggensbach has won numerous national and international racing titles, most recently in the TCR touring car category. Luca Engstler, an Audi Sport driver since last year, will pilot the Audi R8 LMS from his parents’ company for the first time in the DTM in 2023.