Lausitz: Opel preview

Positive energy Only one week after Opel's brilliant first victory of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, Opel are gearing up for the fourth race of the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. The triumph of the Opel...

Positive energy

Only one week after Opel's brilliant first victory of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, Opel are gearing up for the fourth race of the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. The triumph of the Opel Astra V8 Coupé and OPC Team Phoenix, as well as the drivers, Manuel Reuter, Timo Scheider, Marcel Tiemann and Volker Strycek, has unleashed a lot of positive energy. And after the remarkable performance by Peter Dumbreck during the DTM race at the Nürburgring, Opel's first clinching of a podium position will merely be a matter of time, not only for the Scotsman.

Banking on "Turn One": For the first time, the DTM will be tackling a banked corner. At the EuroSpeedway the touring cars will be racing through so-called "Turn One", thus covering almost two thirds of this high-speed oval. Opel works driver Manuel Reuter is the only current DTM driver with "Turn One" experience. Last year, he tested this corner, which puts enormous stress on the racing cars and the tyres. At the entrance to "Turn One", the cars will be doing roughly 260 kph; at the exit, they'll still be at 230. One lap of this configuration is 4.575 kilometres long; the race will be run over 37 laps (169.275 km).

Dijon test: Alain Menu (OPC Team Holzer) and Jeroen Bleekemolen (OPC Euroteam) went for a day of testing to Dijon, France, on Wednesday after the Nürburgring DTM race. The test was primarily focused on different set-up versions.

Flashback: For the first time, three drivers (Alain Menu, Peter Dumbreck, Jeroen Bleekemolen) in the Super Pole competition, two drivers (Dumbreck 5th, Menu 6th) with point-finishes, four Opels among the top ten (Reuter 9th, Joachim Winkelhock 10th) - these are the bare facts from the third DTM race. More than these statistics, the performance delivered by Menu, who was third over a long distance, and, above all, by Dumbreck, who fought his way to 5th place from the rear of the grid, have confirmed that Opel have made major progress. In the DTM standings, Dumbreck has moved up to 6th place.

Volker Strycek, Opel motorsport director on two tough weeks:

"First, our good performance at the Nürburgring, which has been reassuring, then the test in Dijon, followed by the thrilling victory of the 24-hour race, and now the DTM race at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz - although these have been two extremely tough weeks, they've also been very encouraging and inspire us to be even more motivated than we've been all along. Our victory in this traditional endurance race has unleashed a new type of momentum in the entire Opel team as well as the whole company. Now, we have a great craving for more. We'll do anything we can to return to scoring successes in the DTM as well."

Peter Dumbreck (OPC Team Phoenix) on the EuroSpeedway Lausitz:

"Naturally, I'm looking forward to a circuit on which I've won a race before with eager anticipation. The race at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz in 2001 marked my first victory in a DTM race. At that time, I used the trick of overtaking two cars on the outer line right after the start and taking the lead. This time, however, we'll be racing Turn One, a completely different corner. The characteristics of this banked corner somewhat remind me of America. I'm sure that these corners which, overall, are semi-fast to fast, will accommodate the Opel Astra V8 Coupé very well."

Manuel Reuter (OPC Team Holzer) on the banked corner:

"Last year, we did a test in Turn One, which went off superbly. With only two vehicles on the circuit, there were no concerns about this challenge. Now, I'm eager to see what a field of 21 cars will mean. After all, there's no run-off area. Anyone flying off the track will inevitably land in the wall. Slipstream duels will make you lose downforce at the front end, causing the car to understeer - and then you're quickly against the wall. It'll be a new experience for everyone. I like the Lausitz-Ring, but the inclusion of Turn One completely changes its characteristics."

Jeroen Bleekemolen (OPC Euroteam) on test drives:

"Our day of testing in Dijon went well. For the first time, I was able to work with my team in 'peace and quiet' and try out a few things. We systematically worked our way through our list of jobs. Of course, it's normal that you try some things which won't amount to much. But even this will help, because it lets you exclude certain set-ups for the future. At the end of the day, we, that is Alain Menu and myself, did make quite a bit of progress. After chasing Super Pole at the Nürburgring for the first time, it would be great for me to be scoring my first points soon."


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Series DTM
Drivers Marcel Tiemann , Peter Dumbreck , Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Timo Scheider , Volker Strycek , Jeroen Bleekemolen , Alain Menu