Brands Hatch: Mercedes preview

Première at Brands Hatch Brands Hatch is the third circuit in England for the DTM. In 1991, 1993 until 1995 as well as 2002 and 2003 the races were held at Donington, 1996 saw an ITC event in Silverstone. Mercedes-Benz drivers won four out of...

Première at Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch is the third circuit in England for the DTM. In 1991, 1993 until 1995 as well as 2002 and 2003 the races were held at Donington, 1996 saw an ITC event in Silverstone. Mercedes-Benz drivers won four out of the total 12 races. Bernd Schneider took both victories in Donington 1995; Jean Alesi won at the same track in 2002 and 2003. The other race wins went to Alfa Romeo (4), Audi (2) und Opel (2).

The Brands Hatch circuit, 30 kilometres southeast of London, has been built for motorbike races in 1928. The first car race was staged here in 1950. Between 1964 and 1986 Brands Hatch was the venue for 14 Formula One World Championship events. The Grand Prix track is 4.197 kilometres long. With a length of 1.973 kilometres, Brands Hatch's Indy track is the shortest on the DTM calendar. The race distance will be 82 laps. The official lap record here was established by Luiz Garcia with a Formula 3000 Reynard-Ford; in 1991 he posted a time of 38.760sec (179.884kph).

The fastest time during the DTM test at Brands Hatch in March was a 41.587sec, posted by Tom Kristensen (Audi), whilst Mika Häkkinen was the best Mercedes driver with a 41.744sec in second position. All 20 drivers were within 1.159sec. The expected top speed for the DTM cars will be 245 kph at the front straight short before the first right hander.

Damon Hill enthusiastic about DTM

1996 Formula One World Champion Damon Hill will drive fans and winners of a competition around the Brands Hatch circuit with an AMG-Mercedes DTM taxi. In preparation for this event he tested Bernd Schneider's Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class on 23 June. "It was a lot of fun to drive a race car again. The handling of the AMG-Mercedes C-Class is similar to that of a Formula One car," Hill said.

Brands Hatch is one of four DTM venues outside Germany. The championship is also international regarding the drivers -- the top ten of the overall ranking have eight different nationalities: 1, Tom Kristensen, Denmark, 26 points; 2, Bernd Schnei-der, Germany, 24; 3, Bruno Spengler, Canada, 12; 4, Jamie Green, England, 11; 5, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Germany, 11; 6, Mika Häkkinen, Finland, 11; 7, Al-exandros Margaritis, Greece, 7; 8, Martin Tomczyk, Germany, 6; 9, Jean Alesi, France, 6; 10, Mattias Ekström, Sweden, 2.

The new weight distribution in the DTM: 2006 AMG-Mercedes C-Class (Schneider, Green, Häkkinen, Spengler): 1,075 kilograms; 2006 Audi A4 DTM: 1,065 kilograms; last year's cars like the AMG-Mercedes C-Class of Jean Alesi, Daniel la Rosa, Al-exandros Margaritis, Stefan Mücke: 1,060 kilo-grams; 2004 cars like the AMG-Mercedes C-Class of Mathias Lauda and Susie Stoddart: 1,020 kilo-grams.

Comments from the Mercedes drivers, in the order of the result from the Oschersleben race:

Bruno Spengler, start number 9 (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class, second in Oschersle-ben):

"After ninth and fifth positions I finally made it to the podium. I hope to continue this trend at Brands Hatch. However, with 20 cars on this short track it will be a close fought race."

Jamie Green, start number 3 (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class, third):

"Three years after my last race in the British Formula 3 Championship this will be my first race in front of my home crowd. I really look forward to this because the English spectators are par-ticularly well informed and enthusiastic."

Bernd Schneider, start number 2 (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class, fifth):

"The handicap weight of the new C-Class compared to the 2006 Audi will be reduced from 20 to 10 kilos. Therefore I expect an exciting race. With a little luck I hope to regain the championship lead."

Jean Alesi, start number 10 (stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class, eighth):

"I won two races in England. With a last year's car it will be difficult to repeat this suc-cess, but on the twisting and short track everything is possible."

Mika Häkkinen, start number 8 (AMG-Mercedes, ninth):

"82 laps on such a short track will require maximum concentration for one hour and will be physically very demanding. There are almost no straights where you could relax. I used the last six weeks since Oscher-sleben to prepare for Brands Hatch."

Daniel la Rosa, start number 18 (TrekStor AMG-Mercedes C-Class, 11th):

"During the test I realised immediately that I like this circuit. I hope I can make the best of it and finally finish in the points."

Stefan Mücke, start number 17 (TV Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class, 12th):

"This track is quite a challenge; however I like it anyway. I expect only close gaps within the entire field and I hope to achieve a good result."

Susie Stoddart, start number 22 (AutoScout24 AMG-Mercedes C-Class, 15th):

"Brands Hatch is a challenging circuit. I look forward to that, and, of course, to a race on home soil."

Mathias Lauda, start number 21 (Second Hand AMG-Mercedes C-Class, 18th):

"Brands Hatch will be my first DTM race outside Germany and this is quite exciting for me. It will be a tough race and every lack of concentration will be punished."

Alexandros Margaritis, start number 11 (Easy-Rent AMG-Mercedes C-Class, retired after a left rear wheel stud came loose):

"I'm seventh overall and best driver with a last year's car. Our team will work hard to grind out last race's nick and I will give it my all to move up further in Brands Hatch."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Brands Hatch is a classic race track with a big name and great history. Nowadays we will see the DTM on the shortest circuit that has been used in its history. With 82 laps the race will be particularly demanding and the spectators will certainly get their money's worth."

"As short as the lap is, as challenging is the entire race distance, because the drivers will ex-perience constant action, and with 40 planned pit stops the same can be said for the pit crews. In Brands Hatch, the DTM strives for a record crowd and our teams would like to finish on the highest step of the podium."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Damon Hill , Bruno Spengler , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Stefan Mücke , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green , Luiz Garcia Jr.