After the DTM contested its sixth of ten season rounds at the Lausitzring last week-end, Opel and Mercedes used the test organised by Dunlop at a new variation of the race track, located south of Berlin. The first corner, "Turn 1", was integrated...
After the DTM contested its sixth of ten season rounds at the Lausitzring last week-end, Opel and Mercedes used the test organised by Dunlop at a new variation of the race track, located south of Berlin. The first corner, "Turn 1", was integrated into the familiar lay-out of the Grand Prix-circuit. While Uwe Alzen drove his regular Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM, the Opel Team Holzer used the Opel Astra V8 Coupé test car with Manuel Reuter behind the wheel.
"It was great fun", judged Mercedes-Benz works-driver Uwe Alzen at the end of a long test day, that took longer than initially planned. The purpose of the session was to test the durability of the DTM-tyres, exclusively supplied by Dunlop.
Both teams, the Opel Team Holzer and the Warsteiner AMG Mercedes-team, first tried to adapt to the new and unfamiliar circumstances at the beginning of the test, trying to work out the best possible set-up together with their drivers. Manuel Reuter summed it up: "Air pressure and camber were much different than normally, so that you first had to get a feel for the car."
But not only work on the set-up was needed, Alzen and Reuter also had to find a line for the new track lay-out. "Initially, I didn't have a feel for the right line, I first had to search for it", said Reuter. With the set-up that was found, the right tyre pressure and the necessary bit of courage, the drivers then took to their job. Opel simulated a ten lap qualification race and then a complete race distance of 20 laps. For Uwe Alzen and his AMG-team, long runs were also on the program after the initial brief stints.
"It was fun, a totally new experience", said Manuel Reuter about the test day, and adds: "An oval race with 20 cars on the track, with slipstreaming and the sensible aerodynamics of the DTM-cars is a different thing. You really have to assess the risk." Fellow driver Uwe Alzen had a somewhat different view, he envisaged "a race with exciting slip stream fights". Currently, extending the Grand Prix-track with turn 1 is being considered for next year. A real oval-race is not being considered. "Technically, at least turn 1 would be no problem", so Opel works-driver Manuel Reuter. The Dunlop tyres withstood the pressure.