Debut in the Lausitz: DTM baptizes brand-new track.
By Harald Bloche -

A lot of news for DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), as the series arrives in the Lausitz-area, 130 km south of Berlin, September 1-3: it will be the first car race in the history of the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. Two days after the grand opening with a show-programme, the DTM-cars hit the track August 22 and 23 for the first every-day operation. The DTM-test took place on the Grand Prix track, a 4.5 km long combination of tri-oval sections and an infield part, on which the DTM-races will be held, too. "An impressive facility", Manuel Reuter (Opel Team Phoenix) applaudet. "The lay-out is a bit unusual because of the oval-part, but it is getting more fun the more laps you drive."

Threefold-DTM-champion Klaus Ludwig (Warsteiner AMG Mercedes) was also impressed: "I'm proud of the fact that we have a track like this in Germany. You won't find anything like this, not even in America. Some curbs still have to be extended, but that's peanuts." Not only does the multifunctional facility include the only oval in Europe, it is also impressive because of its dimensions. Some 25,000 tickets were already sold to the DTM-event.

Bernd Schneider (D2 AMG Mercedes)will be coming to the Lausitz as points leader. After his double victory at the rainy Nurburgring, he was able to extend his margin. "Still I am not sure of the title", Schneider says. "After all, at the Nurburgring, we have only reached the halfway-point of the season." In the remaining eight races, 160 winners' points are at stake. "we have made a miscalculation in the Eifel", says Opel sport-director Volker Strycek. "All Opel drivers have chosen a dry set-up, which wasn't effective under the circumstances given. During testing in the Lausitz, however, we were on the same level as Mercedes again: Oper driver Stefano Modena was fastest on the first day, on the second day, it was Schneider." The Abt-Audi squad is confident, after its drivers Laurent Aiello and James Thompson could keep up with the drivers in the midfield in the Eifel.