3rd round DTM NÃ¼rburgring May 23-25, 2003 Eifel thriller: DTM expects an action-packed race at the sprint circuit Following the successful guest appearance in Italy, the DTM is returning to Germany for the third round of its 2003 season: from...
3rd round DTM Nürburgring May 23-25, 2003
Eifel thriller: DTM expects an action-packed race at the sprint circuit
Following the successful guest appearance in Italy, the DTM is returning to Germany for the third round of its 2003 season: from May 23 till 25, Europe's premier touring car series will be racing at the Nürburgring.
The 3.629 km long "sprint circuit" of the traditional track in the Eifel region already proved to be a guarantee for excitement last year. And the first two races of the current season have shown that the new format with a longer race distance and two mandatory pit stops makes for even more excitement -- a true Eifel thriller can be expected.
Things are pretty close at the top of the leader board: Christijan Albers and Bernd Schneider are jointly in the lead with 14 points each from Marcel Fässler with 13 points (all Mercedes-Benz) and Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi, 12).
Mercedes-Benz driver Christijan Albers highly motivated after Adria victory
At the Adria Raceway, 24-year old Christijan Albers scored his maiden DTM-win with the AMG Mercedes-Benz CLK, also the first-ever victory for a Dutch driver in the DTM. Albers' victory caught plenty of attention in his home country. "The enthusiasm was enormous. I hope that now, there will be even more Dutch fans coming to the Nürburgring," Christijan Albers says. He has the best of memories of the track, because in the Eifel, he won the German F3-title back in 1999.
Team mate Bernd Schneider, winner of the season opener at the Hockenheimring, is especially fearing the opposition from the Allgäu at the Nürburgring: "It can happen that at the Nürburgring, we will be having a hard time against the Audis, because they were very good there in previous years. But I expect Opel to be strong there as well."
Opel-stalwart Joachim Winkelhock: "The fans at the 'Ring' are great"
At the Nürburgring, Opel has a large and very loyal fan community. According to stalwart Joachim Winkelhock, this is "a special motivation" for the drivers: "The fans at the Nürburgring are great. They are the real 'hard core fans', those who are turning up, come rain, come shine."
His Scottish fellow-Opel-driver Peter Dumbreck, who scored three points as best-placed Opel-driver both at Hockenheim and at the Adria with the Opel Astra V8 Coupé, is particularly looking forward to the home race of his OPC Team Phoenix, that is located right across the road from the circuit in the Eifel. "The Nürburgring is a part of German motor racing history. The scenery, the people, just great! I hope that this time round, our efforts will be rewarded with a podium finish."
Abt-Audi wants to continue streak of success at the Nürburgring
The Nürburgring is a good venue for the Abt-Audi-team: in the two previous years, Laurent Aiello won two out of three races there with the Abt-Audi TT-R. "For our car, the medium-fast corners at the Nürburgring are the best thing," the reigning champion says. The Frenchman is quite satisfied with his record so far: "This year, my only goal is the title, and so far, things are going very well for me in that respect. Because the Nürburgring suits us so well, I hope, of course, that we can break the double lead by Mercedes in the championship."
Audi junior driver Peter Terting, with his 19 years the youngest driver in the DTM-field, is expecting some overtaking manoeuvres: "There is a long straight towards the NGK-chicane. There, we will certainly see some overtaking, because it is a good place to get side-by-side under braking, just like before the 180-degree corner at the end of the main straight."