One driver from each of the three DTM manufacturers completed the first winter test of Dunlop tyres at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz last week. Mercedes' 2003 champion Bernd Schneider, Opel's test driver Marcel Tiemann and Abt-Audi's Martin Tomczyk tried out the new tyres for the 2004 season.

Besides the normally used tyre, the three drivers compared a new construction during simulated qualifying laps and a distance run with three different compounds. The new fronts are higher and broader and the rears are also higher. However, the weather was quite cool so further tests are needed in warmer conditions.

Dr. Ulrich Pfisterer, DTM project manager at the Opel Performance Centre (OPC), which co-ordinates the work between the three manufacturers and the tyre supplier, described Dunlop as exemplary.

Tiemann, one of the drivers who was in the winning Opel team at the 24 hrs Nürburgring, ran 505 km in the Astra V8 Coupé. "It's not so good that we couldn't continue the test on Wednesday as planned, because of the weather," he said. "The difference between the tyres was noticeable in the long runs. As well as that, the new front wheel gives an improvement under braking."