7th round DTM Nürburgring, August 15-17, 2003
So far, victories were all taken by Mercedes-Benz-drivers, but the opposition is in good shape for the seventh DTM-round at the Nürburgring (August 15-17). "Mercedes better be well prepared at the Nürburgring", Abt Sportsline's Christian Abt announces his ambitions. "After all, our Abt-Audi already was the fastest car on the track at Donington, we only weren't able to turn this speed into a race win there."
Peter Dumbreck, fourth in the standings before the round in the Eifel, is confident, too: "My goal is a podium finish," the Scot says. The current points leader is Bernd Schneider with 43 points, closely followed by Christijan Albers (40 points) and Marcel Fässler (34). Dumbreck is only eight points behind Fässler, followed by Jean Alesi (25, Mercedes) and the two Abt-Audi-drivers Mattias Ekström and Laurent Aiello (23/22).
With 41 race laps, the race at the 3.629 kilometres long sprint track (start 14.00 h, live on ARD from 13.45 h) promises sheer excitement. The Nürburgring event is also very special in its own right: qualifying of the ten fastest drivers, the "Super Pole", will be taking place on Saturday evening from 22.25 h, just before the world championship boxing match of Markus Beyer, reigning world champion in super medium weight.
Christijan Albers: "When you think about the championship, it will go wrong"
"I always try to concentrate on every single race, get a result as good as possible and score points," three times' winner Christijan Albers, 24, says. "After all, when you think about the championship, it will go wrong for sure." Bernd Schneider is "especially looking forward" to the Nürburgring: "Both Super-Pole at night and the boxing match are promising plenty of excitement. I think that fans hardly ever get to see something like that."
Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug also praises: "Organising boxing and the DTM together on one weekend is an excellent idea of the ARD. The Nürburgring has the logistical and organisational facilities and therefore is the ideal venue to do so. The Super-Pole competition on Saturday evening will certainly be a highlight that will also bring the DTM closer to a new, huge crowd of TV-spectators."
Abt-Audi very well prepared -- Ekström has been practicing starts
"My team principal can already order some new clutches and tyres", Mattias Ekström announced after the Donington round, "because I will come down to Kempten and practice 100 starts." The reason? A bad start cost Ekström a possible victory last time round. At its headquarters in Kempten, the team had been practicing pit stops for a whole day, while Ekström tried plenty of starts.
"At Donington, our car was definitely capable of winning, and the characteristics of the Nürburgring suit us even a little bit more. There, we have always been successful," Abt's team principal Hans-Jürgen Abt says. "When this time, we will have the luck that we were lacking at Donington, we have plenty of reasons to be confident." During the sixth round in England, both Laurent Aiello and Christian Abt had been in good position before being deprived from all the chances of scoring a good result by becoming innocently involved in an accident.
Peter Dumbreck (Opel): "One can attack at the Nürburgring"
"It will be a great event to which I am looking forward very much," Opel's motorsport director Volker Strycek says. "For the DTM, the double event is a first, with Super-Pole in the evening and at prime time live on ARD. I am really curious to find out what the reactions will be like. Thanks to our TV-partner, in this case the ARD, the DTM can continue to set new highlights. This innovation and top-class competition are the basis for the continuing positive development of the DTM."
Peter Dumbreck recalls the first DTM-appearance in the Eifel in May, during which he made it from 18th to fifth place after a collision. "At the Nürburgring, one can attack and overtake in some places, like at the end of the main straight, before the hairpin, before the chicane or before the final corner. To do so, you need a car that is well balanced and that is good on the brakes, too." The fourth-placed in the championship especially likes the left-right-combination after the hairpin. "I like such fluent, fast corners," the Scot says.