Martin Tomczyk celebrates as the new DTM champion
The most popular international touring car series has a new champion: Martin Tomczyk (D) wrapped up the 2011 DTM title by finishing third at Valencia in Spain behind race winner Mattias Ekström (S) and second-placed Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque. With 64 points in the drivers’ standings prior to the season finale at Hockenheim, Audi driver Tomczyk is beyond reach ahead of his opponent Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz, 51 points). “This is just unbelieveable. At the beginning of the season, nobody had me on the radar, and now, I am champion”, the 29-year old from the Bavarian city of Rosenheim said and told his team over the radio: “This title is for you.” With his 2008-spec Audi A4 DTM, Tomczyk became the 12th champion of the ’new’ DTM at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.
Tomczyk started the race from twelfth place on the grid and steadily made his way up through the ranks in the ninth DTM season round. When he crossed the finish line in third place, he pulled up his arms, cheered and shed a few tears for sheer joy: “The last few laps seemed incredibly long to me. I was really longing for the chequered flag for my dream to come true.” His fiancée, presenter Christina Surer, celebrated together with Tomczyk’s brother and manager Tobias in the pit box of his Audi Sport Team Phoenix. His opponent Bruno Spengler wasn’t allowed such a joy, as the Canadian once again failed to win the title after a close finale in 2010. As the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in Valencia in seventh place, his hopes of winning the title were blown: “We didn’t lose the title today, we already lost too many points in the previous races. We have been fighting hard, but we simply couldn’t do more today.”
Fellow Audi driver Ekström, who scored his third race win of the season at Valencia, was honestly happy to see Tomczyk winning the title: “I have known Martin for eleven years and he has had a lot of bad luck in the past. Now, I am very happy for him.” In front of 16,000 spectators during the weekend, Tomczyk managed to continue his run of success: he is the only driver to have scored points in the nine races held so far. This season, he has won three races (Spielberg, Lausitzring, Brands Hatch) and scored four more podium finishes (Zandvoort, Norisring, Oschersleben, Valencia).
Tomczyk will receive the crystal champion’s trophy after the season finale in his native Germany. The tenth and final DTM race weekend of the 2011 season will take place at Hockenheim from October 21st till 23rd.
Due to a pending appeal, the result of the ninth round remains provisional from fifth place onward. The decision in the appeal has no effect on Tomczyk’s DTM title.
Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, head of technology Audi Sport: “In the last few races, there has been a lot of tension. Of course, we had hoped that we get everything sorted today already. This is a great day for Audi, because we can celebrate with Martin and, of course, also with Mattias, Filipe and all the other drivers. Martin has been very focussed throughout the season and eventually has won the title by his own means. I really congratulate him.”
Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “First of all, congratulations to Martin and the Audi team. At the end of the day, I am a sportsman, one should be able to lose as well. Today, I am one hundred percent behind my team. They have all been working very hard. Unfortunately, we have lost 20 points to Martin in the last races. I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all those who have contributed to make the DTM survive in the past years: Audi, Mercedes-Benz, the DMSB and the ITR. Now, I am looking forward to the final round at Hockenheim and BMW’s arrival next year.”