Norisring: Opel driver Winkelhock raves about fantastic atmosphere Whenever Joachim Winkelhock (Opel Team Phoenix) starts talking about the Norisring, he virtually goes into raptures: "This race has a fantastic atmosphere. For the drivers, teams...
Norisring: Opel driver Winkelhock raves about fantastic atmosphere
Whenever Joachim Winkelhock (Opel Team Phoenix) starts talking about the Norisring, he virtually goes into raptures: "This race has a fantastic atmosphere. For the drivers, teams and, of course, the spectators, the Norisring is in a class of its own," says Winkelhock who scored his first points in his red Opel Astra V8 Coupi at the Sachsenring, thus being in top shape for the fifth DTM race in Nuremberg. The 2.3-kilometre city circuit has seen 'Jockel' Winkelhock victorious in three previous races, most recently two years ago, for and with Opel.
"Fans have the chance of being closer to the action than anywhere else, because the teams in the paddock are working out of tents instead of pit lane garages," says Timo Scheider (Opel Team Holzer). "Both the atmosphere and the circuit are unique," as Alain Menu (Opel Euroteam) found out during his Norisring debut last year. "With regard to technical aspects, excellent brakes and optimal traction are crucial."
After the Football World Cup final, which will be broadcast on large screens, the DTM may well be seeing the 'hottest' race of the season. After all, the Norisring is known for its heated battles. Manuel Reuter (Opel Team Phoenix) is convinced: "The DTM will be entering a new dimension at the Norisring. Especially during qualifying, the differences in time will be extremely small, with hundredths and thousandths of a second, not tenths, being decisive."
Shifting marathon at the Norisring: 22 gearchanges per lap
With 2.3 kilometres, the Norisring is the shortest circuit on the DTM calendar. But the urban track around the old grandstand built of stone is anything but a piece of cake. With 22 gearchanges per lap, drivers have a veritable 'shifting marathon' ahead of themselves.
After the 'Dutzendteich-Kurve', they will accelerate from first to sixth gear, shifting down to first before the 'Grundig-Kehre, then accelerating up to fourth, down-shifting to second before the 'Schoeller-S', again speeding up to fifth and going through the 'Dutzendteich-Kurve' in first after braking. "Your right hand will stay on the gearshift lever over longer periods of time," says Alain Menu (Opel Team), who scored third place at the Sachsenring. 44 laps will be driven in the race alone - accounting for almost 1,000 gearchanges, including the opening lap and pit stops.