DTM

Adria: Opel preview

For the Italian OPC Euroteam with Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen behind the wheel, the race at the Adria International Raceway is a home round: the team led by Gabriele Seresina is located in Arese near Milan. The two German Opel works-teams will...

For the Italian OPC Euroteam with Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen behind the wheel, the race at the Adria International Raceway is a home round: the team led by Gabriele Seresina is located in Arese near Milan. The two German Opel works-teams will be present as well: the OPC Team Holzer with German drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Timo Scheider and Manuel Reuter and the OPC Team Phoenix with Frenchman Laurent Aiello, Swiss Marcel Fässler and Scot Peter Dumbreck.

The DTM is racing for the second time at the Adria International Raceway near Venice. From May 14 till 16, the state-of-the-art motorsport centre in Italy will be hosting the third season round of the 2004 DTM.

During the last DTM-round at Estoril in Portugal, the current Opel Vectra GTS V8 showed its potential once again. Timo Scheider was on his way to a safe podium finish until a throttle problem made him drop back to sixth.

"The speed is definitely there. In Italy, I want to continue my performance from Estoril", the Austrian-based driver says. Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek is expecting an even more exciting race: "At the Adria Raceway, competition will probably be even closer. Margins will be in the area of thousandths of a second. For the race, it will be crucial to start from a good grid position, because here, overtaking is even more difficult than at other tracks due to the lay-out of the circuit."

Strycek is confident regarding the performance of the Opel-team. "After Opel had already been clearly within striking distance to the other two manufacturers at Estoril, I expect this trend to continue, ensuring that the three makes are getting even closer together."

Under one roof: special atmosphere in the indoor paddock

The motorsport facility near Venice that was opened last year is one of Europe's state-of-the-art circuits. Special feature is the large indoor paddock area, in which all the trucks of the race teams will be lined-up. "It provides a very special atmosphere, both for drivers and team members and for the fans", says Opel works-driver Laurent Aiello. "When there is a rain shower, like we had last year, you are well protected there."

Varying track lay-out could lead to exciting racing

Asked about the lay-out of the track, Aiello's Scottish team-mate Peter Dumbreck says: "At first sight, the track doesn't look very spectacular with its straights and relatively slow corners. But last year's event has shown that the Adria International Raceway can provide some exciting racing indeed. The race there saw many hot position fights and spectacular overtaking manoeuvres."

According to Dumbreck, the track requires a good physical condition, too. "For me, the race we had there last year was probably the toughest race I have ever had. On one lap, you have to brake very heavily a couple of times, this requires maximum effort."

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Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Manuel Reuter , Timo Scheider , Volker Strycek , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Gabriele Seresina