DTM Invitation Race Shanghai/China, July 17-18, 2004
DTM in Shanghai: suspense guaranteed on street circuit
The DTM racing cars have already arrived in China: the DTM will this weekend (July 17-18) become the first international motorsport series to stage a race in Shanghai, China. The two race sessions of 30 minutes each will not count towards the championship. A total of 20 drivers are competing in the metropolis. Audi has eight instead of six cars in contention, Mercedes-Benz has its eight-man squad, and Opel is sending four drivers to China.
The 2.85 kilometre-long race track weaves through the heart of the financial district Pudong. The circuit has two 180 degree- and six 90 degree-turns. The paddock is situated in the shadow of China's highest skyscraper - the 468 metre-high "Oriental Pearls TV Tower". Numerous city sights are scattered along the course, such as the aquarium at the start-finish straight or the Central Park on the back straight.
Safety is also of utmost importance in China. The stewards and emergency services have been trained at Formula 1 races. Two free practices, qualifying and the super pole will take place on Saturday (July 17). The two races will begin at 1310 and 1515 local time on Sunday.
Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz):
"I used to drive on street circuits like in Macao during my days in the Formula 3. Those kinds of circuits suit me. It is quite special driving among skyscrapers. I'll consider the races as if they were a championship race and will give my all even though there aren't any points up for grabs."
Marcel Fässler (Opel):
"Shanghai is a fantastic challenge because the course is new for everyone. I'm sure the fans will be thrilled with the DTM. Condition will play a key part due to the warm temperatures and the high humidity. That's why I've been in the sauna more often than usual these past weeks in order to be well prepared."
Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Opel):
"Everything that comes from the West is currently very popular in China. I above all remember the contrasts from my time as a racing driver in Asia. Life is incredibly hectic and busy, but the people are very polite and restrained."
Tom Kristensen (Audi):
"The market is growing stronger and stronger in China and we can achieve a lot there with the DTM. We are practically the first to compete there. It will be a great experience and I'm very much looking forward to it. The entire team is also raring to go to China."
Emanuele Pirro (Audi):
"China is full of contrasts. On the one hand it's a very modern and open country. On the other hand, the Chinese look back on long traditions and an even longer history, and also foster these. The people there are very friendly and above all enthusiastic - it's going to be a great show."
Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz):
"I'm really looking forward to the event in Shanghai. The track layout promises fiercely-contested and thrilling races with much overtaking. I'm sure the Chinese spectators will be thrilled."