DTM

Zolder: Opel preview

The regulations, the race cars, the race track - a lot will have changed at the first weekend in May when the DTM (German Touring Car Masters) returns to Zolder, Belgium, for its first meeting in that country since 1994. A parade of touring cars...

The regulations, the race cars, the race track - a lot will have changed at the first weekend in May when the DTM (German Touring Car Masters) returns to Zolder, Belgium, for its first meeting in that country since 1994. A parade of touring cars from the previous DTM era, including an Opel Omega 3000 Evo 500 and the Opel Calibra V6, clearly illustrate the visual differences, if nothing else, between those days and current race cars like the Opel Astra V8 Coupé.

"Home match" for Yves Olivier: Zolder is a demanding track

"A home match yes, a home advantage no," says Yves Olivier (Opel Euroteam) anticipating the second DTM meeting at Zolder, Belgium, to be held at the first weekend in May. Nevertheless, the 27-year-old driver from Roeselare presents a by and large positive "personal Zolder track record": "Whether in the Formula Renault or the Formula 3, in Zolder, I almost always ended up on the podium, ultimately at the 1998 24-hour race." The soon-to-be father describes the former Grand Prix circuit as being highly demanding. "The chicanes are crucial, good brakes and optimal traction are important."

Zolder was already on the DTM calendar from 1984 to 1994. Manuel Reuter (Opel Team Phoenix), who ultimately contested an Opel Vectra at Zolder in 1997, reminisces: "The Zolder races were never boring, if nothing else, the comparatively tight routing of the circuit ensures a lot of diversity. My first Formula 3 race at Zolder, however, brings back less favourable memories, because I rolled over during the qualifying session." Different recollections are voiced by his teammate Joachim Winkelhock, who took pole position as well as winning the Zolder race in his Formula 3 Championship year of 1988: "This circuit takes both the driver and the car to the ultimate test."

-opel-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Yves Olivier