6th round DTM EuroSpeedway Lausitz, July 12-14, 2002 DTM starting into the second season half with points leader Aiello Four victories out of five races-- points leader Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) could be relaxed looking into the second...
6th round DTM EuroSpeedway Lausitz, July 12-14, 2002
DTM starting into the second season half with points leader Aiello
Four victories out of five races-- points leader Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R) could be relaxed looking into the second half of the season as the championship leader with 48 points and a 25 points' margin. "But my opponents should not be underestimated", the Frenchman says. "They will be after me, and such a margin decreases quickly when you have bad luck. At the Norisring, it was as close as it gets, Bernd Schneider could have won there just as well." When the DTM is starting into its sixth round at the 4.534 km long Grand Prix-track of the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, 65 points are at stake for the five remaining races (ten each for victory in the main race, three each for a qualification race win).
Reigning champion Bernd Schneider, third in the standings with 21 points: "As long as there is a mathematical chance, I don't think about theoretical decisions. In the DTM, anything can happen. A field with 21 cars, all within seven tenths of a second, like at the Norisring, speaks for itself. Even though it doesn't look that way in the current championship standings, there is at least a dozen potential race winners in the field."
Joachim Winkelhock, for instance, who most recently became innocently involved in an accident which prevented him from scoring any points, is one of the drivers that never give up. "There is no way I put any pressure on myself, because that would be the wrong strategy at the Lausitzring, which is marked by a very harmonic lay-out. You have to conquer the track in a very sensitive way. When you push too hard, you are automatically slow. I will take it easy and I see that as a chance to be successful. The track is also quite demanding, as there are some fast corners, in which the men are separated from the boys."
The Grand Prix-track is a mixture of banked corners of the oval and the circuit in the infield. Fellow-Opel-driver Manuel Reuter: "I am convinced that we will still be winning races this year, because our performance in practice makes us confident. We just need things to go our way in the race."
For Berlin-based Stefan Mücke (Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM), the Lausitzring is his home track. "I am looking forward to my home crowd and the support of the fans. Obviously, that is motivating", the 20-year old says. "There is no such thing as a home advantage, though, because I have not yet raced there with a DTM-car." Mücke is convinced that "a good set-up will be decisive at the twisty track with its many long corners. You have to find the right balance between aerodynamic grip and mechanical grip, so that you are not too slow on the straights and still quick in the corners. I think that our CLK-DTM is providing quite a good basis as far as the balance is concerned and that the track suits us."
The Benjamin of the DTM, 20-year old Martin Tomczyk (Abt-Audi TT-R) is confidently looking forward to next week-end after his severe crash in qualifying at the Norisring, in which he got a bruised shoulder. "I like fast corners, high lateral speed and balancing on the small limit of grip of our tyres. For me, that is the pinnacle of motor racing. Moreover, the Lausitzring provides plenty of opportunities for overtaking, and that will delight the spectators."