DTM

Donington: Opel preview

Historic win at Donington: Manuel Reuter drove Calibra to its first ever victory in 1994. Donington Park, amongst the most beautiful circuits with a proud racing tradition in the United Kingdom, has a firm place in Opel motor sport history: The...

Historic win at Donington: Manuel Reuter drove Calibra to its first ever victory in 1994.

Donington Park, amongst the most beautiful circuits with a proud racing tradition in the United Kingdom, has a firm place in Opel motor sport history: The Opel Calibra V6 with Manuel Reuter at the wheel scored its first victory at the former Grand Prix circuit when the DTM went to Donington in 1994.

Whilst Opel works driver Keke Rosberg had scored three of four best times in the practice sessions, he only started from fourth position to the first race after his flying lap in the single car qualifying session. The first corner then already saw a collision, with teammate Reuter at that. For the second race, Reuter had to start from the pit lane. Fiercely fighting his way up to second place, he was declared the winner of the race, because Alessandro Nannini (Alfa Romeo) had crossed the finish line with his engine shut off and being disqualified for lack of a fuel sample.

"Taking a race car to its first victory is something special and I'm proud of having done that also with both the Opel Vectra and the Astra V8 Coupé," said Manuel Reuter, who has been with Opel since 1992. "Donington is a great track for drivers, offering a lot of diversity in bends, corners, up- and downhill stretches as well as a fantastic atmosphere. I enjoy this track, last but not least because of the highly enthusiastic and expert fan community there."

Welcome back: Winkelhock and Menu go to Donington as former BTCC Champions

Joachim Winkelhock and Alain Menu have won the hearts of the British racing fan community, because for many years they scored sensational successes in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Winkelhock, better known to British racing fans as "Smoking Joe," took the BTCC title in 1993. Menu was Champion in 1997 and 2000.

'Jockel' Winkelhock: "I wouldn't want to miss this experience for anything. It was a great time. Donington is one of the most beautiful and most difficult circuits in the United Kingdom"

Alain Menu, the Swiss who now calls Abingdon (near Oxford) home, divides the 4.023-kilometre track into two segments: "The first part is extremely fast, followed by a downhill stretch with many high-speed corners. In the second segment, two hairpins almost dramatically interfere with your 'rhythm'. From a driver's perspective, a very interesting circuit that puts extreme stress on the car, especially the brakes."

Nevertheless, Menu, who scored his first BTCC victory at Donington in 1993, does not see a home advantage for himself. "I don't think that such a thing still exists. At the DTM race at Zolder, I was faster than anyone else on Friday, although I had never been at Zolder before."

-opel-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Alessandro Nannini , Keke Rosberg , Alain Menu