N?rburgring: Opel preview

Third DTM race at the Nürburgring Back to fast cornering The third DTM race this coming weekend (23 to 25 May) will mark the first major touring car event at the Nürburgring this season. Only a week later the 24-hour race will follow as the ...

Third DTM race at the Nürburgring
Back to fast cornering

The third DTM race this coming weekend (23 to 25 May) will mark the first major touring car event at the Nürburgring this season. Only a week later the 24-hour race will follow as the second highlight. On this traditional circuit in the Eifel region, usually a favourable venue for Opel and a stronghold of Opel's fan community, the drivers of the six Astra V8 Coupés are determined to use this DTM race as the next stepping stone on their way back to the podium.

Sprint track: The third DTM event will not be staged on the Grand Prix circuit but on the so-called Nürburgring sprint track. One lap is 3.629 kilometers, 41 laps (148.789 km) will be driven. This circuit is deemed to guarantee exciting races. Another element of suspense to the roughly one-hour race has been added by the two new tyre and refuelling stops, which are now mandatory in the DTM. Contrary to the Adria Raceway, the DTM's most recent venue, the Nürburgring sprint track features several fast and flowing corners, which should suit the Astra V8 Coupé very well.

Flashback: As in Hockenheim, Peter Dumbreck was again Opel's best-placed driver in the DTM's Italian outing in Adria. After clinching the fifth position on the grid the Scotsman finished the race in sixth place. His OPC Team Phoenix managed to perform the fastest pit stop of the day. With an eighth-place finish, Alain Menu (OPC Team Holzer) scored his first DTM points of the season, whilst Joachim Winkelhock (OPC Euroteam) was the third Astra driver to finish among the top ten.

Italian test: Opel works driver Manuel Reuter and OPC Team Holzer went directly from the Adria Raceway to Vallelunga near Rome for a day of testing. This test on the track where Opel did most of their winter testing was focused on the continued development of the chassis and spring/damper units to optimise driveability.

'Home match', but no advantage: By special permission, OPC Team Phoenix enjoys the privilege of driving their racing cars on public roads from their workshop in Meuspath to the near Nürburgring paddock. Like Phoenix, Timo Scheider, who grew up in the nearby village of Braubach, is facing a 'home match' at the 'ring'. Nevertheless, in the DTM there's no such thing as a home advantage.

Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek on the third DTM race at the "ring"

"The Nürburgring has become increasingly popular with DTM fans in recent years. This has been confirmed by the impressive advance sale of roughly 20,000 tickets as well. No matter whether we're talking about live broadcasts on television or being right there at the track - spectators can look forward to another thrilling race. Hockenheim and Adria have both shown that the new DTM format benefits the series. The Nürburgring is a special venue for Opel, primarily because of the many fans of our brand. During our tests we've taken another step forward. That's why we're going to the 'ring' with lots of confidence."

Peter Dumbreck (OPC Team Phoenix) on the Nürburgring

"Fast corners are my favourites, and the Nürburgring has several really good ones. The circuit offers a little bit of everything, slow and fast chicanes, all sorts of cornering radii. As always, it's important to work out a good vehicle balance. Also, what counts on this demanding circuit is the right rhythm you have to find as a driver. So far, I've not been very lucky on the Nürburgring, but I want to change that with Opel."

Manuel Reuter (OPC Team Holzer) on test drives in Italy

"We did a lot of winter testing in Vallelunga. That's why going from Adria to Vallelunga for a day of testing suggested itself. We have specific reference parameters there, which enable us to draw an effective comparison to our current performance level. In summary, I can say: The test went well and was important. Once again, we've learned a lot about our new car and have clearly made further progress. Driveability, in particular, has been improved, which will be a benefit on all the other circuits. For me, personally, the race in Adria was a bummer, but after the test I'm going to the Nürburgring with a lot more confidence."

Timo Scheider (OPC Team Phoenix) on his fan club

"Even though I'll soon be moving into my new home in Altach, Austria, the Nürburgring will be my 'home match', because I grew up in nearby Braubach. Of course, my first official Timo Scheider fan club, which has grown to about 60 members by now and is very active, will be at the race. They organise trips to the races, sponsor special events and support charity. The proceeds from raffles and other activities go to non-profit projects, like the children's cancer hospital in Koblenz. I'm very happy to support such causes."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Peter Dumbreck , Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Timo Scheider , Volker Strycek , Alain Menu