DTM

Oschersleben: Mercedes-Benz preview

Eight Days -- Two Races The second round of the 2008 DTM in Oschersleben this coming weekend is the championship's 10th race at this circuit. In last Sunday's season opener in Hockenheim, Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class)...

Eight Days -- Two Races

The second round of the 2008 DTM in Oschersleben this coming weekend is the championship's 10th race at this circuit.

In last Sunday's season opener in Hockenheim, Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) finished fourth and was the best Mercedes-Benz driver. Paul di Resta posted the fastest lap of the race; however, following a clutch problem during his second pitstop he lost 30sec and ended up 13th.

After his DTM premiere in Hockenheim, Ralf Schumacher will race for the first time in Oschersleben. The 32-year-old knows the 3.696km track from testing there earlier in April.

Gary Paffett won last year's race with the 2006 AMG Mercedes C-Class; it was the first victory in the DTM with a model from a previous year. Paul di Resta came home second with a 2005 C-Class, the best result for the Scot in the DTM so far.

Mercedes-Benz won four of the nine DTM races in Oschersleben so far; Opel achieved three victories; two race wins went to Audi.

TV: With an audience of 1.78 million, about 21 percent more than a year ago, and a market share of 13.4 percent the DTM race's live broadcast was the TV broadcast with the fourth highest market share on German channel ARD that Sunday. In 2007, 1.47 million watched the DTM season opener.

Pit stops: In the 2008 DTM, the two pit stops are compulsory in the second third of the race. In the 44-lap race in Oschersleben, the drivers have to pit between laps 15 and 29.

The handicap weights will be distributed for all new cars. The winning brand of the 08 models will get five kilograms additional weight (maximum three steps) whilst the inferior brand will be allowed to take five kilos out of their cars (maximum two steps). The cars from the previous years will be evaluated together. The best car, relating to the best driver, will receive an additional weight of five kilograms in the next race, the second one will remain at its weight level and the third car will lose five kilos.

In 2000, there were two races per DTM event; since 2000, it has been one race per event.

The second race of the 2008 season will be the 10th DTM race in Oschersleben since 2000. Mercedes-Benz drivers won four of these races. Gary Paffett (AMG Mercedes) took the most recent victory for Mercedes-Benz winning in May 2007. Opel drivers took three victories in Oschersleben and Audi drivers two.

What drivers and motorsportchief say:

Bruno Spengler, start number 3 (2008 Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class): "In Oschersleben, we have to improve in Saturday's qualifying to achieve a better race result; particularly, because overtaking will be difficult on the twisty track. Therefore, a good grid position is even more important than at other circuits."

Paul di Resta, start number 4 (2008 AMG Mercedes C-Class): "My fastest race lap in Hockenheim demonstrated that our speed is better than the result showed. I put the disappointment behind me and want to push hard this coming weekend."

Jamie Green, start number 5 (2008 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I like the Oschersleben track and I set the lap record there last year. But you don't get points for that -- I prefer to end up on the podium this time."

Bernd Schneider, start number 6 (2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class): "The remodelled first corner made the track even more demanding for the drivers, as we have to slow down from more than 230 kph to about 70 kph 44 times during the course of the race. I am well prepared and want more than eighth like in Hockenheim."

Gary Paffett, start number 7 (2007 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I want to maintain the momentum following my seventh place in Hockenheim and aim to score points again. However, it will be very difficult to finish at the top like last year, but I will try."

Mathias Lauda, start number 8 (2007 Pixum AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007): "The Oschersleben circuit suits me and my target is clear -- I want to score points."

Ralf Schumacher, start number 11 (2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class): "It's good that we race again in Oschersleben only one week after Hockenheim. There, I want to try and achieve a better result already in qualifying."

Maro Engel, start number 12 (2007 JungeSterne AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I enjoyed my first DTM race a lot, only a good result was missing. I want to achieve that in Oschersleben."

Susie Stoddart, start number 16 (2007 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class): "For Hockenheim where I experienced technical problems and bad luck, I had expected a more successful start to the season. There's only one cure -- we must do better in Oschersleben."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "All drivers and teams tested intensively at Oschersleben in early April, so that everybody has a basis of data and car setup information to build upon from the test day on Friday. Out of the „new DTM's" nine races since 2000, Mercedes-Benz has won more than our competitors. Although comparatively short, the circuit is challenging for drivers as well as for the technics."

-credit: daimler.com

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Mathias Lauda , Maro Engel , Jamie Green