Audi specialists win drivers' and team championships in ADAC GT MastersProsperia C Abt Racing mount successful defence of team titleRecipe for success of team led by Christian Abt - a combination of youth and experience
The 2014 ADAC GT Masters season ended with a perfect result for Prosperia C Abt Racing, the team led by former ADAC GT Masters champion Christian Abt and Slobodan Cvetkovic. The Audi specialists successfully defended their title in the team standings on the day after Kelvin van der Linde and René Rast had clinched the title in the drivers' championship. In the two years of its existence, the Frankfurt-based outfit with its own dedicated facility in Kempten (Bavaria) has so far won three ADAC GT Masters championship trophies. It is only the second time in the history of the ADAC GT Masters that a team has successfully defended the team title. For ex-DTM driver Christian Abt, this latest piece of silverware is the 18th in his 23-year career in motor racing, first as a driver and more recently as a team principal: "Winning the title is simply fantastic. It was an outstanding joint effort between drivers and team; there really is no other way. We did everything just right at every stage of the season with our championship-winning car, scored points consistently and didn't make any mistakes." The Audi specialists stepped up the scale of their involvement this year after making such a successful debut in 2013. At the beginning of the season, the team moved into its new 'Motorsport-Center' in Kempten, where the Audi R8s are prepared for the ADAC GT Masters races. Christian Abt: "I've been active in motorsport for 23 years. In that time, I've learned how to put a team together that is capable of achieving success." There was a change in policy with regard to driver line-up before the season started. Whereas in their debut campaign of 2013, the Audi team had gone for a mix of experienced former DTM drivers and GT aces, Abt and Cvetkovic now opted for a combination of youth with experience. Van der Linde, who was only 17 at the start of the campaign, doubled up with Rast, while 19-year-old Fabian Hamprecht shared a cockpit with Nicki Thiim. Christian Abt: "18-year-old guys can drive really fast and are perhaps better than the 23 or 24-year-olds who may already be a bit too set in their ways. You can motivate the very young ones more. With the experience I've accumulated, I can teach drivers how to compete for victories and ultimately win championships. Kelvin has really taken that on board. In him, I see the same characteristics that we observed many years ago in Mattias Ekström. We will stick by the principle of pairing a young driver with a more experienced team-mate next year." Cvetkovic and Abt had the idea of establishing Prosperia C Abt Racing at the end of the 2012 season, during which the veteran racer had already contested the ADAC GT Masters on behalf of his businessman partner. "When Christian Abt was a member of my ADAC GT Masters team three years ago, we realised that we worked well together and wondered what we might achieve if we pooled our efforts," says Cvetkovic. "We had the same objectives, and the team emerged from that. Winning both titles is incredible. The team did a fantastic job, particularly this weekend, because it was drama all the way for us after Fabian Hamprecht's accident in qualifying. We found both races quite nerve-wracking this weekend, but they were extremely worthwhile. Hockenheim has proved what a strong team we are." In two years in the ADAC GT Masters, Prosperia C Abt Racing have notched up eight pole positions, five wins and three titles, a record of success that is surprising even for Abt, despite his massive experience: "Actually, our plan was to win our first title within three or four years. The fact that we are so strong and have lifted two championship titles in only our second year is just amazing."