ABT, Schaeffler and Audi Sport: Three strong partners make up the team that Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi will be on the grid with in the 2016/2017 Formula E season.
When the world’s first all-electric racing series took shape at the end of 2013, Hans-Jürgen Abt was one of the first to recognize the potential of Formula E. The Managing Director of ABT Sportsline secured one of the ten team licenses and founded the first and currently only German Formula E team. Schaeffler AG got on board as technology partner and Audi Sport made available one of their factory drivers, Lucas di Grassi. Furthermore, Audi Sport gave its name to the team and allowed ABT Sportsline access to the resources of the Competence Center Motorsport in Neuburg an der Donau.
“When the decision was made to include Formula E in our factory-backed motorsport program on a long-term basis, Team ABT was a logical choice for us,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Audi Sport and Abt Sportsline have enjoyed a longstanding, successful partnership.” In addition to Audi Sport Team Joest in the sports prototypes, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is the most successful Audi factory team with 52 wins and five championship titles in the prestigious DTM touring car series.
Since the end of the 1990s, ABT Sportsline has been present in motorsport primarily with Audi. The first great success under the banner of the four rings was winning the German Supertouring Championship (STW) with the Audi A4 quattro. From 2000 to 2003, the family company ABT, headquartered in Kempten in the German Allgäu region, took part in the DTM as a privateer team and even clinched the 2002 title. In 2004, ABT Sportsline became an Audi factory team and has since taken four further driver titles.
About 20 employees, under the leadership of Hans-Jürgen Abt and Sport Director Thomas Biermaier, handle the concurrent Formula E project. Franco Chiochetti, who was working in the DTM for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline for many years – including a stint as the vehicle engineer for Tom Kristensen and Eduardo Mortara – is the Technical Director.
After the first two years in Formula E, Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport can already look back on a number of successes. Audi driver Lucas di Grassi is one of the leading figures of the series, who missed out just narrowly on the title twice. In the teams’ classification, the team came third and second in the first two years. Before the start of the 2016/2017 season, its track record reflects four victories – all by Lucas di Grassi – and 13 podium positions.
Major successes of ABT Sportsline
2nd Formula E drivers’ and teams’ classification: 2015/2016
3rd Formula E drivers’ and teams’ classification: 2014/2015
1st DTM drivers’ classification: 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 (all Audi)
1st DTM teams’ classification:2004, 2007, 2011 (all Audi)
1st German Supertouring Championship:1999 (Audi)
1st ADAC GT Masters:2009 drivers’, 2010 teams’ classification (both Audi)
1st ADAC Formula Masters:2009
1st ADAC Formula Junior:1991, 1992, 1996