DTM

Lausitz: Mercedes preview

The five new AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars will start the second round of the 2005 DTM at the Lausitzring this coming weekend with a handicap weight of 10 kilograms each. After Jean Alesi won the season opener at Hockenheim 10 days ago, the 2005 ...

The five new AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars will start the second round of the 2005 DTM at the Lausitzring this coming weekend with a handicap weight of 10 kilograms each. After Jean Alesi won the season opener at Hockenheim 10 days ago, the 2005 Mercedes-Benz cars will have a total weight of 1,060 kilograms, according to the new DTM rules.

Audi which was the second-ranked brand at Hockenheim will keep the basic weight of 1,050 kilograms whilst Opel is allowed to reduce their cars' weight by 10 kilograms each after ending up third.

The adding or reducing of ballast weight with a maximum of plus/minus 20 kilograms shall make the races even more attractive and prevent series of wins of one brand or driver, according to the agreement of the German motor sport authority DMSB and the manufacturers involved in DTM.

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes Second Hand Cars) as well as Stefan Mücke and Alexandros Margaritis (Mücke Motorsport) will race with last year's C-Class cars.

New circuit layout: The 4.534-kilometre track used by the DTM until 2004 has been shortened by 1.1 to 3,410 kilometres. About halfway down the back straight a lefthand corner was added cutting the former layout short. The new 32.5-metre wide ADAC corner provides additional overtaking opportunities. The race will now be 42 laps long instead of 37.

Facts and Figures: The Lausitzring saw five DTM races so far. In 2000, the first race had been cancelled due to torrential rain after eight laps behind the Safety Car. Bernd Schneider won two of the other four races (in 2002 and 2003) whilst his former team mate Peter Dumbreck won the 2001 event. Gary Paffett took the 2004 victory but was disqualified later and Mattias Ekström (Audi) moved up the ranking to be the winner.

The top-three drivers of the season opener at Hockenheim and their comments on the upcoming event at the Lausitzring:

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes, winner at Hockenheim):

"With an eighth, a fifth and a sixth place my balance at the Lausitzring has still room for improvement. After winning the season's first race at Hockenheim I hopefully will be able to score many points despite the ballast weight."

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

"With ten kilograms additional weight it is difficult to say where we will be in the second race compared to the other teams. However, I will do my best to grind out last year's nick when I crossed the finishing line first but nevertheless lost my victory."

Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, third):

"After one race it is not easy to judge where we are compared to the opposition. Particularly the consequences of the new ballast weight will be evident only after a couple of races."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"With a ballast weight of ten kilograms in the new C-Class it will hardly be possible to score a result as good as in the season opener at Hockenheim. However, our team will fight and especially the drivers with last year's C-Class want to seize their chances."

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Gary Paffett , Alexandros Margaritis , Stefan Mücke
Teams Mücke Motorsport