DTM

Brno: Mercedes preview

Four Drivers within Four Points at the Top of the DTM Ranking The fourth round of the 2005 DTM will be held at Brno, Czech Republic this coming weekend. Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes), who is the overall leader with 19 points...

Four Drivers within Four Points at the Top of the DTM Ranking

The fourth round of the 2005 DTM will be held at Brno, Czech Republic this coming weekend. Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes), who is the overall leader with 19 points out of three races so far, was the best Mercedes driver with a third-place finish in last year's inaugural race of the new DTM at Brno.

Ranking: The top five drivers in the overall ranking are within five points and the top four are within only two points. Behind Paffett with 19 points, Spa's race winner Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes), Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes, fourth at Spa) and Mattias Ekström (Audi, second at Spa) are tied for second place with 17 points each. Tom Kristensen (Audi) is fifth overall with 14 points.

History: The former DTM held three events with two races each at the Masaryk circuit which is named after Tomas Masaryk, Czechoslovakia's first president from 1918 until 1935. In 1988 at Brno, Dany Snobeck scored the second DTM race win for Mercedes-Benz overall. Klaus Ludwig won in 1991, and one year later Bernd Schneider finished seventh in his first DTM race at Brno. Mika Häkkinen drove an AMG-Mercedes CLK in West livery for promotion purposes at Brno in 2001 and had Bernd Schneider as an instructor at that time.

The track: The Autodromo Brno was built in 1986 and is the second longest circuit on the DTM calendar after Spa. It features six left- and eight right-hand corners. There is a difference of 75 metres in elevation between the highest and the lowest points of the track. The one-kilometre long uphill section has a gradient of 7.5 percent.

Mika Häkkinen (AMG-Mercedes, winner at Spa-Francorchamps):

"I drove a few demonstration laps with the AMG-Mercedes CLK at Brno in 2001. At that time Bernd Schneider gave me some good instructions. I remember the track well. It is not easy and that's something I like. My target is to fight with the front runners again."

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes, fourth):

"Brno is a difficult circuit with some interesting combinations of corners. I like this kind of tracks and will do my best to maintain my position among the top drivers of the overall ranking. However, I expect a tough fight with the Audis which are 20 kilograms lighter than our cars and the Opels with 40 kilograms less weight."

Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes, eighth):

"Brno is a beautiful circuit and really demanding for the drivers. With the experience from last year's race we should have a good basic set-up so that we hopefully will start the weekend with a well balanced car."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Our teams with the 2005 C-Class will start again with an additional weight of 20 kilograms. Therefore Brno with its one-kilometre long uphill section is not an easy challenge for them. With his victory at Spa Mika has shown that we are nevertheless competitive. I believe that we will present the spectators with an exciting race again."

-mercedes-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Klaus Ludwig , Gary Paffett , Dany Snobeck