Two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider believes that Audi rescued his career from the doldrums when it took a chance on him ahead of the 2006 season.
The German had previously endured a winless five years with Opel in the series followed by a season in the FIA GT Championship. But since joining Audi, initially in a year-old A4 run by Team Rosberg, he has amassed five race wins and become only the second man to successfully defend his title.
"After my year off, I was in the middle of nowhere, so I have to say a big thank you to [head of Audi Sport] Dr [Wolfgang] Ullrich. "He saw a chance to take me, and he gave me the opportunity," said Scheider. "Before I came to Audi, I was struggling to even be on the podium in all the years I spent in the DTM. But they gave me everything I needed to be a top driver in DTM.
"After that [joining Audi], I showed my real performance, but it was just because they gave me what I needed to be successful."
Scheider said that he found it hard to contain his feelings as he clinched the title with a second place finish at Hockenheim last Sunday.
"As soon as I crossed the finish line I was struggling. The emotions came out straight away," he added. "I started to understand what we have managed this year. It's something special, especially after last year. To be back at the front again, it's unbelievable. It's an amazing feeling to be twice the winner of the DTM championship."