Timo Scheider is the 2008 DTM Champion
Timo Scheider and the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline made it: With a great victory at the season final the 29-year-old German clinched the title.
"Sincere congratulations to Timo Scheider and the entire Audi squad. With his strong performance, his consistency and his strong nerves, Timo is a worthy champion, who thrilled the fans this season," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, who watched the gripping finale at Hockenheim from the garage of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. "The Audi A4 was unbeatable during this DTM season and led the standings from the first to the last race. We're already looking forward to the opportunity of defending the title in the next season."
In front of a record crowd of 165,000 spectators Timo Scheider held up to the pressure of his rival Paul di Resta. With an absolutely flawless drive he impressively clinched the first DTM title in his career. With a perfect start Timo Scheider already decided the duel against Paul di Resta in his favour. The Audi driver overtook his rival for the title and afterwards managed to keep him at bay, although Scheider had to do with one set of fresh tyres less in the race than di Resta.
Pit stops – performed as quickly as usual – and a perfect strategy enabled Scheider to drive freely throughout the race and, in the end, cross the finish line as the cheerfully celebrated victor and new DTM Champion with a 3.062-second lead.
But the squad of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline performed a major feat across the board. After Scheider had very heavily hit a kerb with the base plate of the engine in Saturday's qualifying, causing his GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM to jump five metres, the mechanics completely dismantled the car and also changed the engine for safety reasons – which is permitted in the DTM once per year without any penalty – and completely re-assembled the car by working into the early morning hours. At 3:45 a.m. the A4 was back on its wheels. Less than twelve hours later, Scheider clinched the champion's title in it.
The second-best Audi driver at Hockenheim was Tom Kristensen, who made an impressive recovery from seventh to fifth place and, in the final phase, even caught the three Mercedes cars of Paul di Resta, Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler who were running in front of him.
With seventh place in the race, last year's champion Mattias Ekström secured third place in the overall classification. The Swede, who had started from pole position, gave way to his team-mate Timo Scheider straight after the start and on the first lap dropped to fourth place due to a tussle with Paul di Resta and Jamie Green. Later, a stop-and-go penalty was imposed against the Swede because his Red Bull Audi A4 DTM was not standing precisely on its grid position. With Martin Tomczyk finishing eighth, all four drivers of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline scored points at the finale.