DTM

Hockenheim II: Opel preview

This weekend (October 1 till 3), the 2004 DTM is turning onto the finish straight at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. Traditionally, the current season is ending at the same venue where it started at the end of April. Close to Opel's ...

This weekend (October 1 till 3), the 2004 DTM is turning onto the finish straight at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. Traditionally, the current season is ending at the same venue where it started at the end of April. Close to Opel's headquarters in Rüsselsheim, the actors from the DTM will be facing each other for the last time this season.

Motorsport director Volker Strycek is hoping for a good result: "During the last few races, an upward trend has become apparent within our team. Most recently at Brno, we again had four cars in the top ten. A podium finish would certainly be a nice way to end the season."

Talk about ending the season. What makes the last race of the year so special? Marcel Fässler explains: "On one hand, a racing driver wants to bow out of the current season with a result that is as good as possible. On the other hand, the season final has also something sad, at least for me. You know that things are already over and that you will only see many familiar faces in the next year again. Then, you realise how quickly things are going."

Manuel Reuter has a special relationship with the track in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg: "For me, Hockenheim is always special. When I turn into the Motodrom and see the flags being waved, it sends me shivers down my spine. And for the DTM-fraternity, Hockenheim is what the centre court at Wimbledon used to be for Boris Becker, his living room."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen, too, is eagerly awaiting the Hockenheim race weekend. "After all, for me, it is not just about the race, it is also about a lawn-mower race, in which I will be taking on Volker Janitz, a presenter from German radio channel SWR3, on Saturday afternoon. There has been a lot of talk about this already and it will surely be a very special highlight."

The organisers are expecting well over 100,000 spectators for the Hockenheim final. The DTM is one of the few racing series in the world that have a growing audience: the nine races held so far attracted on average 20 percent more spectators than the first nine rounds held last year.

A remarkable achievement, and even more so considering that the DTM raced for the first time this year at two foreign race tracks (Estoril in Portugal and Brno in the Czech Republic). New record crowds turned up, among others, during the DTM-races at the Norisring, at the Motopark Oschersleben and at Zandvoort in The Netherlands.

-opel-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Marcel Fassler , Manuel Reuter