Who saw this one coming? After his most successful year in the DTM, 2011 Champion Martin Tomczyk will no longer compete for Audi. Tomczyk has been racing for Audi in the DTM for 11 years. In 2001, he signed with the ABT Sportline Jr. team at 19 years old. He finished 13th overall that year. Over the years he would move up and down the chart until 2007 where he placed 3rd overall.
His first pole came in 2002 at Hockenheim but he DNF. We saw his first podium in 2004 at Estoril. His first win came after he took pole position in Catalunya, 2006.
“I won the Championship for Audi after eleven years together. The entire Audi Sport team and in particular Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich have always been behind me throughout the many years we spent together,”
In 2008, we thought we’d see his championship run come to fruition. However, 7th overall was all that could be had. In 2009, he moved up one place to 6th overall and in 2010 saw 8th.
In 2011, Martin would see a big change. He had always had the fortune of running the newest version of Audi DTM cars but a move to Audi Team Phoenix and a 2008-spec Audi A4 would set up a huge challenge. This change also moved him in to the lead driver role with Rahel Frey in tow.
In September, the DTM landed at Brands Hatch. After 88 rain-soaked laps, Tomczyk would go on to win and take over the points lead. Two races later in Valencia he would secure his first DTM Championship.
Martin Tomczyk participated in 111 races, won seven, and scored eight pole positions before he won this year’s DTM title.
DTM Champion Martin Tomczyk seeks a new sporting challenge. The 29-year-old man from Rosenheim will no longer compete for Audi in the 2012 season.
“I won the Championship for Audi after eleven years together. The entire Audi Sport team and in particular Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich have always been behind me throughout the many years we spent together,” explains Martin Tomczyk. “I’m delighted that I could repay the trust by winning the 2011 championship title together with team Phoenix. Despite this joint success, and after careful consideration, I have now decided to accept a new challenge. To conclude, I would once again like to thank everybody with whom I have worked together during my eleven years at Audi Sport and assure every single individual that these years were, in hindsight, something very special.”
Tomczyk started his DTM career in the 2001 season as 19-year-old in Team ABT Sportsline with the Abt-Audi TT-R and was, at that time, the youngest DTM driver in history. In 2003 he became Audi factory driver in the ‘S line Audi Junior Team.’ Since 2004 he has competed with the Audi A4 in the DTM, initially for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and for the first time in 2011 for Audi Sport Team Phoenix. In his sixth DTM season in 2006 he finally recorded the first of his seven DTM race wins to date. By winning the championship title in 2011 at the wheel of a year-old car he achieved the greatest victory of his career up to now.
“It goes without saying that we deeply regret that he decided, at this moment in time, to seek a new challenge after his most successful DTM season with Audi,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “I can, however, completely understand that after eleven special years of highs and lows with Audi he would like to try something new – after all by winning the DTM title at the wheel of an Audi A4 DTM he has achieved exactly the goal for which he was worked so hard for many years. I’m personally delighted that Martin showed his many critics this year because I always believed in him. I can understand that to start he viewed the transfer to team Phoenix and a year-old car as demotion. But it gave, as I hoped, his career new impulses. I always enjoyed working together with Martin. He is a complete professional who I personally hold in high regard. I wish him all the best for the future.”
How Audi will line up in the DTM next year will be decided over the forthcoming weeks. In Mattias Ekström (Sweden) and Timo Scheider (Germany) the brand with the four Rings has two DTM Champions under contract who have both won the championship twice for Audi. No less than eight of the nine Audi drivers mounted the podium at least once in the DTM in 2011. Audi currently plans to contest the DTM 2012 with a maximum of seven cars.