DTM

Lausitz: Mercedes preview

To Be Continued: Six Drivers, Six Podiums *The re-modelled turn 1 at the Lausitzring is to allow for outbraking manoeuvres and thus more overtaking. This coming weekend, the circuit will be the venue for the third round of the 2007 DTM *Three...

To Be Continued: Six Drivers, Six Podiums

*The re-modelled turn 1 at the Lausitzring is to allow for outbraking manoeuvres and thus more overtaking. This coming weekend, the circuit will be the venue for the third round of the 2007 DTM

*Three drivers are at the top of the rankings with 12 points each. Mattias Ekström (Audi), DTM-Rookie Paul di Resta, who recently finished second in Oschersleben with the 2005 JAWA4U.DE AMG Mercedes C-Class, and Martin Tomczyk (Audi). Oschersleben winner Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006) follows in fourth place only one point behind.

*The front straight has been extended by 36 metres to 672 metres, followed by a sharp left-hander. This is to enhance the possibilities for outbraking. Here the cars are slowed down from 245 kph to a little over 85 kph. Last year, the wide first corner, which offered several racing lines, saw speeds of about 130 kph.

Six different drivers occupied the six podium positions of the 2007 season's first two races. In addition to Audi drivers Mattias Ekström and Martin Tomczyk as well as Daniel la Rosa at the wheel of the 2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class in Hockenheim, Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Mike Rockenfeller (2006 Audi) were at the top in Oschersleben. Last year, Bernd Schneider repeated his victory in the season opener in the second race; Tom Kristensen (Audi) came home second twice. Only third place changed: Mika Häkkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class), third at the Lausitzring, followed Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Audi), third in Hockenheim.

Team Persson Motorsport, entering the C-Class cars of Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta and Alexandros Margaritis, is the only team to end up scoring points with three cars each in both of the 2007 season's first two races. In Oschersleben, the team of Ingmar Persson not only achieved their first DTM win -- and this as a 1-2 victory -- the team also scored 19 points, more than any other team in one race so far this year.

For the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, podium positions have been possible in both races. In Hockenheim, Bruno Spengler (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes) finished third after pole position and 11 lead laps, but was relegated to 14th by a time penalty after the race. In Oschersleben, Mika Häkkinen (AMG Mercedes) started from pole position, ran third until the penultimate lap, but dropped to 17th following an extra pitstop due to a damaged tyre after a race accident. Jamie Green posted the fastest lap of the race; however, he lost the chance for a podium finish by a drive-through penalty (incident with Vanina Ickx, Audi).

Lausitzring track layout: The circuit has been extended by 36 metres to a total length of 3.478 kilometres. The fastest spot is at the end of the now 672 metres long front straight; here, the DTM cars arrive with a speed of about 245 kph. Only Brands Hatch (1.929 kilometres), Norisring (2.300) and Barcelona, (here the DTM will use the 2.949-kilometre short track) are shorter than the Lausitzring.

The top speed at the end of the front straight is the second lowest. Only in Oschersleben, the cars are slower (239 kph), in Brands Hatch they reach the same speed as at the Lausitzring. The highest top speed of all DTM circuits has been recorded at Zandvoort with 265 kph.

Statistics: Eight DTM races have been held at the Lausitzring so far. The first race in 2000 was cancelled after eight laps behind the Safety Car due to heavy rain. Bernd Schneider won three of the other seven events, in 2002, 2003 and 2006. Peter Dumbreck in 2001 and Gary Paffett in May 2005 scored the other two of the totally five Mercedes-Benz victories at the Lausitzring. Paffett, who has won the last race in Oschersleben with his 2006 Laureus AMG-Mercedes C-Class was also first at the Lausitzring in 2004 but was disqualified afterwards and Mattias Ekström (Audi) was declared the winner.

The 2007 Audis received an additional weight of seven kilos each twice, following places one and four in Hockenheim and Oschersleben respectively). The new AMG Mercedes C-Class was allowed to take out seven kilos twice (sixth place for Jamie Green in Hockenheim after Bruno Spengler was relegated from third to 14th by a time penalty and sixth place for Bernd Schneider in Oschersleben). The 2006 AMG Mercedes C-Class got an additional weight of seven kilos each twice, following third place in Hockenheim (Daniel la Rosa) and Gary Paffett's win in Oschersleben. The 2006 Audis remained without points in Hockenheim and finished third in Oschersleben. The 2005 AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005 got additional weight after DTM rookie Paul di Restas positions five and two whilst the 2005 Audis did not score so far.

What the drivers and Motorsport chief say

Gary Paffett, start number 9 (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006): After winning the race in Oschersleben my car will even be heavier and it will be more difficult to repeat this success. However, the atmosphere within our team is great and everybody is confident that we will achieve another good result at the Lausitzring where I won two years ago."

Paul di Resta, start number 19 (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005): "We have continuously improved throughout the first two races and we focus to maintain this level. Then we should be among the front runners again."

Bernd Schneider, start number 1 (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "I have won at the Lausitzring three times and I like this track. It would be great if I could achieve the first race win for the new C-Class here."

Alexandros Margaritis, start number 10 (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006): "Six points out of the first two races were a reasonable start into the season. I want to improve further."

Jamie Green, start number 5 (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "At the Lausitzring I achieved two poles and one fastest race lap so far, so the track suits me. This time I want to be at the front also in the race."

Mathias Lauda, start number 18 (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006): "I had expected more than two 13th places for the first two races. I can do better than that as I want to show at the Lausitzring."

Daniel la Rosa, start number 15 (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006): "The Lausitzring event is the home race for our team Mücke Motorsport. I look forward to the great atmosphere with the packed grandstand and I want to show that my 14th place at Oschersleben was only a one-off."

Susie Stoddart, start number 14 (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005): "After a disappointing weekend in Oschersleben, I hope to get back on the pace and fight for points in the race at Lausitzring."

Mika Häkkinen, start number 6 (AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "At the Lausitzring, we don't know the modified first corner yet. Therefore, Friday's tests will be even more important. I finished third twice at this circuit and two years after my first DTM victory I finally want to end on the top spot this time. A pole like in Oschersleben would be the best."

Bruno Spengler, start number 2 (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "Two promising races but finally no points -- this was a difficult start into the season for me. However, the new C-Class has a lot of potential and at the Lausitzring I finally want to win."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: „The previous race in Oscherslaben has shown that the DTM is as competitive as never before and consequently, surprising results like the first-class operating Persson team's 1-2 victory with Gary Paffett and Paul di Resta are possible.

Mercedes-Benz led more than 76 percent of all the first two races' laps, scored most of the points, and in Oschersleben the new C-Class had the best speed of all competitors, including pole position, fastest race lap and best average lap times over the distance. However, the most important is still missing -- a victory. At the Lausitzring we aim for that as well as for a positive team result.

-credit: mercedes

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Vanina Ickx , Peter Dumbreck , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mike Rockenfeller , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green
Teams Mücke Motorsport , Persson Motorsport