The first two races of the 2004 DTM saw the young-sters up front: In the overall ranking, 25-year-old Christijan Albers (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes), winner at Estoril a week ago, leads ahead of 25-year-old Mattias EkstrÃ¶m (Audi), ...
The first two races of the 2004 DTM saw the young-sters up front: In the overall ranking, 25-year-old Christijan Albers (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes), winner at Estoril a week ago, leads ahead of 25-year-old Mattias Ekström (Audi), 23-year-old Gary Paffett (C-Klasse AMG-Mercedes), winner of the season opener at Hockenheim, and Martin Tomczyk (Audi/22 years). Defending champion Bernd Schnei-der (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes/39) is sixth overall behind Tom Kristensen (Audi/36).
Competitive DTM: With their fastest laps at Estoril, winner Christijan Albers, second-placed Mattias Ekström and the fast-est Opel driver Timo Scheider who finally ended up sixth, were within 0.113sec. In the single-lap qualifying for Super Pole on Saturday, the four Audis, two Opels and four Mercedes-Benz cars were within 1.058sec. In the single-lap qualifying two weeks earlier at Hockenheim, all brands in were within 0.681sec.
The circuit: An exceptional feature of the Adria International Raceway is the covered paddock which is located in a huge shed. The four hairpins offer overtaking opportunities, but the short and twisty track will be a real challenge especially for the drivers' fitness.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"At first sight, the Adria Raceway is an inconspicuous track. However, it's demanding not only for the drivers. Also the strategy and the ability to make best use of the tyres are crucial here. If all brands manage that, the spectators will see the good and fair sport they expect."
Christijan Albers achieved his first DTM victory one year ago at Adria. He won five out of the last eleven DTM races and scored points in every race since the 2003 Adria race apart from last year's season finale at Hockenheim.
"The Estoril race was quite a challenge for me and I expect the same for Adria. I hope to qualify further up the grid than in the first two events to have a better basis for the race."
"My results in first races were not what I had expected. However, I like the Adria Raceway and I hope to close the gap to the overall front runners."