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Biela replaces Kristensen
Audi factory driver Frank Biela makes a comeback in the DTM this coming weekend: The 1991 DTM Champion and four-time Le Mans winner jumps, at short notice, into Tom Kristensen’s cockpit at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline.
The Dane was involved in a bruising accident on the first lap of the DTM opener at Hockenheim. Owing to the high-level of passive safety exhibited by the Audi A4 DTM, Tom Kristensen remained uninjured, apart from whiplash and bruising, and was able to leave hospital only two days after the accident.
Since being at home in Denmark, Kristensen has almost fully recovered from the after affects of the heavy accident. After talking to the consulting physicians, the DMSB and Audi Team Docotr Christian John, Audi has however decided not to enter Tom Kristensen at Oschersleben.
"The health of our drivers is of the highest priority,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "We want to give Tom the opportunity to recover completely before climbing back into the cockpit of his A4 DTM. In view of the severity of the accident this simply needs time.”
Frank Biela will drive the #7 Siemens Audi A4 DTM at Oschersleben. The 42-year old last competed in the DTM during the 2004 season and won the 12-hour race at Sebring in March with the Audi R10 TDI. Biela this year also competes in the 24 Hours of Le Mans which he has already won four times, and is an integrated in the further development of the Diesel Sportscar.
"Obviously I know just how close things are in the DTM and how difficult it will be to hit the ground running in the season without testing,” says Frank Biela. "On the other hand I heard that the new A4 DTM is great to drive. I’m intrigued and will do everything to do a good job as cover for Tom. I know that he’ll be sitting in front of the television at home keeping the fingers crossed for me. Naturally I’m delighted about this race and the chance to start in the DTM again. However, I would have preferred if it had been due to different circumstances…”
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