DTM

Donington: Opel race report

Dumbreck finishes sixth for Opel at Donington. Opel's Scottish ace Peter Dumbreck maintained his fourth position in the DTM championship standings with sixth position in his home race at Donington Park in Great Britain on Sunday. The OPC Team...

Dumbreck finishes sixth for Opel at Donington.

Opel's Scottish ace Peter Dumbreck maintained his fourth position in the DTM championship standings with sixth position in his home race at Donington Park in Great Britain on Sunday.

The OPC Team Phoenix Astra V8 Coupe driver from Kirkcaldy in Scotland battled back after a poor beginning to the race. The Audi of Mattias Ekstrom, who went on to finish third, blocked Dumbreck harshly going into the first corner after the Swede had made a bad start. Former British Touring Car Champion Alain Menu (OPC Team Holzer) got ahead of Dumbreck to take Peter's place as the lead Opel runner, but Menu became caught up in a crash at Fogarty's Esses when the Audi of Laurent Aiello spun and another Audi driver, Christian Abt, also struck Alain's car as the Swiss driver tried to avoid the accident.

"I just could not miss him," said Menu afterwards. "The impact destroyed my suspension and it was impossible to carry on. It's a real shame to end a race like this when it was going so well."

Also out of the race by this point was Manuel Reuter (OPC Team Holzer), who could not avoid yet another spinning Audi, that of Martin Tomczyk, at the opening corner. The collision was sufficient to damage the Opel's cooling system and suspension, and also set-off his in-car fire extinguisher. "It was a shame because I was very optimistic for the race after a positive warm-up session in the morning," said Manuel.

Despite the depleted Opel ranks, Dumbreck continued to fly the Opel flag in sixth place. He gained on Ekstrom after the opening round of pitstops, but then got stuck in traffic and dropped away from the Audi. Although another lightning pitstop -- both pitstops of OPC Team Phoenix have been the fastest of the day -- gave him hope, Peter suffered a spin at the Melbourne hairpin as his tyres became worn and he locked his rear tyres.

"I was pushing like mad to catch up with the leaders in front of me," said Dumbreck. "But as the tyres became older, I had to fight the back of the car to stay on the track. The car's handling was very sideways on the Grand Prix loop, but the positive thing is that I've come away with more points and maintained my position in the championship.

"Looking at my fastest lap, it compares well to the others," added Dumbreck. "Hopefully we can learn from this weekend and improve the car for the rest of the races this year."

Making it two Opels in the point scoring positions was Timo Scheider, who finished eighth in his OPC Team Phoenix Astra. He was pushed into Tomczyk's Audi at the first corner, which damaged the floor of the Astra Coupe that meant his pitstops were delayed as the damage was hampering the quick release of the right rear wheel.

"The rear end of my car was not at all perfect after what happened at the first corner," said Scheider. "Still, one point is better than nothing, so it was worth persevering until the end."

Joachim Winkelhock finished 10th in his OPC Euroteam entry, while his Dutch team-mate Jeroen Bleekemolen was 13th after he was involved in three different incidents.

Opel's motorsport principal Volker Strycek was disappointed with the weekend in general, as he had expected more from the picturesque English track.

"We are not happy with this result," said Strycek. "Once again, the last sector of the circuit has been the problem, as it has been all weekend. In the end, we have to say that we were not quick enough to be with the frontrunners. Our focus is to win races, and we expected to be better at Donington. We have to identify what our problem is in the final sector of the track, and work on it during the following two weeks."

-opel-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Laurent Aiello , Peter Dumbreck , Martin Tomczyk , Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Timo Scheider , Christian Abt , Volker Strycek , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Alain Menu