Lausitz: Round four preview

Fourth DTM race, EuroSpeedway Lausitz (GER), June 4 - 6, 2004 Who can stop the DTM young guns at the Lausitzring? Three completed races, three different winners, none older than 25 years: such is the winning formula at this year's DTM. The next...

Fourth DTM race, EuroSpeedway Lausitz (GER), June 4 - 6, 2004
Who can stop the DTM young guns at the Lausitzring?

Three completed races, three different winners, none older than 25 years: such is the winning formula at this year's DTM. The next stop on Europe's leading touring car series is this weekend (June 4-6) on the EuroSpeedway Lausitz. The young guns have been turning up the pressure on the experienced DTM drivers. Last year's champion Bernd Schneider (39, Mercedes-Benz) is bent on cracking this winning streak and of making up lost ground with a victory. He currently lies in eighth position on four points.

25-year-old Christijan Albers (Mercedes-Benz) heads for the 4.534 kilometre-long Lausitzring as leader in the overall standings with 26 points. A mere two points separate the winner of the last race at the Adria Raceway, Mattias Ekström (25, Audi), from the top slot. Gary Paffett (23, Mercedes-Benz), winner of the season-opener and in striking distance just nine points behind, will also be slugging it out for a top berth from the 37 race laps (167.758 kilometres). A podium finish is the clear aim of the weekend for Opel and their hitherto most successful driver Timo Scheider (25).

Last year, 62,000 spectators watched the thrilling race, which ultimateIy saw a driver each from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Opel reach the podium. The race this Sunday starts as usual at 1400 CET. ARD will broadcast live from 1345 CET to 1520 CET. The third programmes (HR and WDR from 1300 CET and MDR from 1315 CET) will broadcast qualifying live on Saturday, SWR will show it later at 1630 CET.

Mattias Ekström (25, Audi A4 DTM):

"The signs are good. I've caught another cold as I always do before the race at the EuroSpeedway. Up until now I've always come second or third in each race here. So I'm quite familiar with these two podium places by now and would next like to take a look at the other place..."

Emanuele Pirro (42, Audi A4 DTM):

"I'm very confident although the EuroSpeedway is another of those tracks that I only know from television. I just feel more and more comfortable in the A4 DTM, and the speed is already all there in races. But our Team Joest really must improve significantly in qualifying."

Stefan Mücke (22, AMG-Mercedes CLK):

"On the Lausitzring it's more important to have a car with a perfect set-up than it is on many other race tracks. Long straights are followed by countless long-drawn out turns. It won't be easy racing into the points with last year's car. My team and I already managed it in Adria. With a bit of luck it may also be possible here at my home race."

Markus Winkelhock (23, AMG-Mercedes CLK):

"The race on the Lausitzring will be a big challenge as I have never driven a DTM car here before. The course is a good combination between tight and long-drawn out turns."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen (37, Opel Vectra GTS V8):

"I only know the Lausitzring from television. The whole site is very impressive. I'm looking forward to experiencing the course first-hand. The team has given me extensive data so that I've already been able to familiarise myself with its characteristics. I hope from a sporting point of view that we can carry on from where we left off in Adria. I'm still in a learning process, but am getting along better in each race. If I can manage this time to steer clear of the scrum and not again be torpedoed by a rival, then I hope to make it into the points."

Timo Scheider (25, Opel Vectra GTS V8):

"This course offers quite a few opportunities to overtake. I expect there'll be thrilling slipstream duels on the straights. It's like on an oval circuit in America. The pit lane is in the shadows of the gigantic main grandstand, which still impresses me every time I see it. You see a wall of spectators when you drive out of the pit - that motivates you even more. "

Norbert Haug (Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director):

"The Lausitzring's characteristics require aerodynamic efficiency of the DTM touring cars as well as traction accelerating out of the many narrow corners. The DTM is hard fought - the first three events this year saw three different winners. The last race's qualifying result proved the competitiveness of the championship. 20 cars were within 0.7sec and the 20th was just 0.25sec behind the tenth who was the last participant of the single-lap qualifying."

Volker Strycek (Opel Motorsport Director):

"We're looking forward to competing in Germany again after the two races abroad. We want to match our good performances from the previous years on the EuroSpeedway and deliver a cohesive team result. We expect that the atmosphere there will be good and that the stands will be full - after all, Lausitz is Opel territory. At any rate, advance ticket sales so far have been fantastic."

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Audi Motorsport Director):

"We know since Adria that the Audi A4 DTM can win races if everything works perfectly. That was the case for Mattias Ekström in Adria, sadly not for our other drivers. We analysed the causes and aim to be as strong again as a team on the EuroSpeedway as we were in Hockenheim and Estoril."


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Series DTM
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Bernd Schneider , Christijan Albers , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Volker Strycek , Markus Winkelhock , Stefan Mücke , Emanuele Pirro