Opel prepared for second round at Estoril Following the season opener in front of a record crowd of 118,000 spectators during the race weekend at Hockenheim, the first foreign round of the 2004 DTM is now on. From April 30 till May 2, Europe's...
Opel prepared for second round at Estoril
Following the season opener in front of a record crowd of 118,000 spectators during the race weekend at Hockenheim, the first foreign round of the 2004 DTM is now on. From April 30 till May 2, Europe's premier touring car series will be racing at the Circuito do Estoril in Portugal.
Under the motto "Tribute to Ayrton Senna -- DTM Estoril", the second round of the season will be taking place there. For Opel, the three proven works-teams will be on the starting grid: the OPC Team Holzer with Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Timo Scheider and Manuel Reuter, the OPC Team Phoenix with Laurent Aiello, Marcel Fässler and Peter Dumbreck and the OPC Euroteam with Jeroen Bleekemolen.
"We are happy to be racing again at Estoril for the first time with the new DTM," says Opel motorsport manager Volker Strycek. "In the past, we were already racing there with the ITC. Portugal always has a very special atmosphere. From a sporting point of view, I hope that we can keep up the performance shown by Peter Dumbreck at the season opener at Hockenheim. With his great race, in which he showed an excellent recovery, he has underlined the potential of our Opel Vectra GTS V8. I am still convinced that the DTM will be very exciting this year!'
Circuit not unfamiliar after extensive testing
Although the DTM will be racing at Estoril for the first time since its revival in 2000, the former Grand Prix-track near the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is by no means unfamiliar to the DTM-drivers and teams. In March, the first combined test for all three makes represented in the DTM took place here. Opel already tested earlier at Estoril, both with the current Opel Vectra GTS V8 and with the Opel Astra V8 Coupé from last year. "During the race, we can start working from the data we have acquired in testing," says Opel motorsport manager Strycek.
Manuel Reuter: "Changes have had a positive effect on the track"
Opel works-driver Manuel Reuter already raced at Estoril with the ITC in 1995 and 1996, back then with an Opel Calibra V6. Since his last race there, the track has been partly reconstructed. Reuter describes: "The first corner after the start used to be a really quick right hander in the past, whereas now it is more like a hairpin. I am curious to see how things will go there right after the start of the race. All in all, the changes have had a positive effect on the track. I am optimistic for the race, not in the least because we were quick there in testing, too."