DTM 2000

Models Racing Special
Rallye Pikes Peak TransAm IMSA Talladega DTM STW DTM2000 LeMans Others

Season 2000
In the year 2000 a new racing series, the DTM 2000 will start. Opel and Mercedes have developped driving cars for this pretty fast. DTM no longer stands for Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, but for Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. New name but known philosophie. The series shell go back to its roots: A racing series for the fans, where fans can touch and feel and not only pay. That was definitly not the case with the later years of the DTM and especially the ITC.
It is a pitty that the reglement is pretty strict. The hope is that this results in lower costs, more companys starting and interesting competition. For example, the cars have to have rear wheel drive and must use standard gear boxes.
Abt will participate nevertheless with three Audi TT. From the Nuerburgring on (18th to 20th of August) there will be four TT-Rs. At first it was planned to use four TTs from mid-season on, but due to the large difference to Mercedes and Opel, Abt decided to concentrate on three cars. Now they once again decided to use four cars. Abt got a special permission to use the TT in the DTM as it is a bit too small. This permission is limited to two years. After these, Abt will be able to use the then introduced new Audi Coupe.

[TT-R DTM 2000]
Rumours were that Abt would revive the old DTM V8. That was obviously not true and the use of the A8 V8 failed as its cylinders stand too close together. Instead, a pretty strange alliance occured. A tuner named Marder had developped a 4 litre V8 for BMW to use in sport prototype racing. Now this engine is outfitted with Abt parts:
Crankshaft, pistons, piston rods and heads are designed by Abt.

The drivers are the reigning STW champion Christian Abt, the ex-STW champion Laurent Aiello. They are joined by Christian's STW teammate Kris Nissen. James Thompson will drive the fourth TT from the Nuerburgring (August 18th to 20th) on . (from left)

Christian Abt Laurent Aiello Kris Nissen James Thompson
Besides Mercedes, Opel and Audi, Zakspeed wanted to start with a Volvo C70. Permission was denied as the car does not fit in the rules. Main reason was that Volvo did not want to certify a necessary paper. Background: In 2001 Volvo wants to start with a works team and the new S60. Now Zakspeed will probably use the beautiful car in endurance racing.

Indeed the cars are so fascinating that Klaus Ludwig stepped back from his withdrawal and is eagerly awaiting the start.

Bernd Schneider is with it again, too
When the cars drive as they look, it could be fun.
Season 2001
While the basic technical rules remain the same, a lot is done to create even narrower races. Audi now is allowed to use a _huge_ rear wing and a longer wheelbase (+17cm = +6.7"). The race no longer consists of two separate runs. A very short qualification just determines the starting positions for the 100km (62miles) main race. So only one winner per event. It is reported that this was done so that the viewers won't be confused. Honestly, I don't think viewers are that stupid. Why don't they just race the cars 150km or so, one race or 2x100km? Both would be more consequent than the current solution. Furthermore, a tire change now is obligatory: You _must_ change tires, even if the tires can easily last more 100km easily. This is done to create some kind of artificial suspense.
The first race at the "small circuit Hockenheim" on the 22nd of April revealed some exciting drifting and overtaking and a domination of Mercedes, like in 2000. However, not Opel, but Audi is second! Laurent Aiello came in 7th and Christian Abt made it into the top-ten as 10th! The best Opel was only 11th! Let's wait and see what comes next!
The Abt Team consists of two "old" drivers Christian Abt (first from left) and Laurent Aiello (fourth). They are joined by the two rookies Mattias Ekström (second) and Martin Tomczyk (3rd).
New TT, copyright by Abt

Drivers, copyright by Abt

On May 6th, 2001 Audi surprised all. After a double pole position for Audi, Aiello made Audi's first win in the new DTM perfect. The conditions were difficlut as the circuit was wet, but too dry for rain tires. Fourth place went to Tomczyk and Ekström, too, arrived within the top ten with his 9th place. Christian Abt could not start the main race after his TT was hit very hard in the qualifying race.
Please visit the cool and always uptodate homepage of the Team Abt Sportsline.

Here are the rules 2000:
Cars: two door mass production models, four seats, length from 4,3 meters to 4,70m, minimum weight is 1050kg
Engines: 4.0 litre V8, about 450hp at 8000rpm with air restrictor, minimum weight 150kg, rear wheel drive
Tires: Dunlop, maximum diameter 650mm, tire width front 10inches, rear 12inches
Start: 28th May 200 in Hockenheim, 2 runs with 100km each
Homepage: DTM2000
This data I have from AutoBild of 25. February, 2000

Models Racing Special
Rallye Pikes Peak TransAm IMSA Talladega DTM STW DTM2000 LeMans Others

(?) origin unknown
(1) from Tommy's Touringcar page and probably official photos of the respectice companys.
All others are from abt-sportsline.de
Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000 Jens
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