Interview with the team manager's
??? "What's Your sum up of the '95 season?"
Norbert Haug "1995 was the most successful season for Mercedes in DTM's history. We are happy that our team was able to defend the title it won in 1994 - the premiŠre season of Class 1. And we are proud on Bernd Schneider, who succeeded in setting up an all time DTM/ITC record of 11 victories."
Walter Treser "In spite of some setbacks Opel's sum up of the season is a positive one altogether. The series has proved, that the internationalisation and the formation of ITC was a big step to the right direction. But there were problems too. Like the row of accident in the beginning of the season, which was a big handicap for Opel, preventing us from refining the cars as we had planned to do. Instead of that we had to repair the cars all the time or even to build new ones."
Giorgio Pianta "We definitely can't be satisfied by this season. Particularly, as we never succeeded in finishing the set-up of our '95 cars 'en detail'. Indeed we achieved all five victories of the season on evolution versions of the '94 car. Nevertheless I wouldn't go as far to say that the season was a complete desaster. Several times we startded from a good position but a lack of reliability prevented us from winning more often."
??? "What do you regard as your highlight of the season?"
Norbert Haug "Concerning this question we've put our on hope on the final event in Hockenheim this weekend. No matter, what the race results will be: This is the seasons's highlight, this is Indianapolis made in Germany. A raceday with more spectators than the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Germany, this is a reason to be proud for all the makers and the fans of DTM. And for Mercedes Benz this final is a special satisfaction. Remember, in 1992, when Mercedes won his first title, it nearly looked like DTM wouldn't survive the winter after the retirement of two competitors."
Walter Treser "For me the higlight of this season wasn't a special event, but our complete team. The guys never gave up, but showed power, fighting spirit and efficiency by catching up with Mercedes and Alfa and making it possible, that Opel is in a much better position now than we've been in at the beginning of the season."
Giogio Pianta "Alfa Romeo's biggest highlight was the double victory in Diepholz. There we've been as strong as nowhere else during this season, alas.
?? "And what was the low ?
Norbert Haug "From the sporting point the low was Diepholz. We had agreed to a short term adjustment of the car weights between the four wheel driven cars and our rear wheel driven Mercedes and weren't quite competitive afterwards."
Walter Treser "The absolute low we had reached in Mugello, when we lost two cars by accidents. And this afer the AVUS race, where we had suffered a lot of damages too. As a consequence we nearly ran out of spare parts."
Giogio Pianta "Definitely the first race of the season in Hockenheim. There I was blamed to be too pessimistic after I had criticised our situation. But, as we all know now, I was right. The problems of our cars were even bigger than I had feared. First of all our '95 car wasn't ready in time, next followed our big transmission problems. Then, in May, we suffered one engine trouble after the other, caused by a loss of pressure at the pneumatic valve control. And we weren't able to solve these problems before Magny-Cours."
?? What about Your plans for 1996 ?
Norbert Haug "The plan is to copy the 1995 season - although this seems to be absolutely impossible. Alfa and Opel will be stronger than ever next year."
Walter Treser "It's obvious, that our aim for '96 has to be to become an equal partner and opponent of Mercedes and Alfa Romeo. This will be our third complete Class 1 season and we definitely want to win races in '96."
Giorgio Pianta "We are planning a drastic and radical evolution of the '95 car. But without developing a new car. The evolution will concern mainly the transmission. It will be a new system. But some details of the aerodynamics will have to be reworked too. Point three of our evolution will be to increase the power of our engines. Particularly we want to achieve, that the engine develops its maximum power in the region of 12.000 revs. At the moment we can do only 11.200 revs, which means we need another 800."