Oschersleben: Team Ford Hotfiel preview

Team Ford Hotfiel Sport pushes for better results on home ground Cologne, August 19, 2005 -- Team Ford Hotfiel Sport are on home ground when the next round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship moves to Oschersleben, a 3.667 kilometre/2.269...

Team Ford Hotfiel Sport pushes for better results on home ground

Cologne, August 19, 2005 -- Team Ford Hotfiel Sport are on home ground when the next round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship moves to Oschersleben, a 3.667 kilometre/2.269 miles long circuit in the heart of Germany.

Oschersleben is no stranger to the WTCC and has hosted a round of the championship and its predecessor, the FIA European Touring Car Championship, since the series began. The Hotfiel team is based around 300 km west of the circuit in Kirchlengern, and has competed there several times since 1997, each time with Ford Focus.

Rebuilt and Ready
Despite the two accidents at the last round in Spa-Francorchamps, Team Ford Hotfiel Sport will field the same new Ford Focus cars in Oschersleben that competed in Belgium.

"We have rebuilt both cars," said team principal Hans Hotfiel. "Michael Funke's car had only minor scars on the bodywork, while Thomas Klenke's vehicle needed new front wings after the head-on impact with Jordi Gene's Seat. Luckily, neither the roll cage nor the chassis itself suffered from the impact, and this saved us from having to build an all-new car."

Klenke is ready for Oschersleben. "To be fast around Oschersleben, you need a lot of downforce," he said. "But at the same time, you must be very careful not to make the car too light. You need stability at the rear for the fast 'Triple' corner and the chicane after the backstraight. Also, the car has to be good and stable over the kerbs. Our experience should help us to achieve a good set-up pretty quickly."

Oschersleben is Special
As the team missed the Mexican round of the Championship, it had the opportunity to undertake additional testing in Oschersleben on a few occasions and to great benefit.

"Oschersleben is a very special track. You have to shift a lot of load to the front; the set-up must cope with a slight oversteer," explained Funke. "We managed some encouraging times in our latest test there, both on new and on used tyres. We're hoping we can reproduce these times on race weekend."

Klenke added: "Top speeds in Oschersleben don't exceed 210 kph. The drag doesn't count as much as it does on high-speed tracks. In contrast, you need good traction out of the many slow corners. We should look a lot better there than we did at Spa. Ideally, we'd like to be fighting for the mid-field positions."

"Since Oschersleben is our home circuit and we know the track like the back of our hands, this should be our best race of the season," commented Hotfiel. "Anything short of a major step forward would be a disappointment."

-tfhs-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Jordi Gene , Thomas Klenke , Michael Funke