Nurburgring: Mercedes-Benz preview

"Ring frei" for round eight With round eight at the Nurburgring this coming weekend, the 2007 DTM enters the start-and-finish straight with three races remaining until the finale in Hockenheim on 14th October. At the "Ring", Mercedes-Benz ...

"Ring frei" for round eight

With round eight at the Nurburgring this coming weekend, the 2007 DTM enters the start-and-finish straight with three races remaining until the finale in Hockenheim on 14th October. At the "Ring", Mercedes-Benz drivers have won six out of the new DTM's 12 races since 2000, Audi took four wins and Opel two. In 2006, Bruno Spengler won at the wheel of his DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class. The most recent Mercedes-Benz victory at the Nurburgring was achieved by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso in the European Grand Prix last month.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class drivers won five out of the 2007 season's seven races and started five times from pole position. Prior to the Nurburgring race, Bruno Spengler is third overall with 26 points followed by Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class) with 25.5 points in fourth place.

With Mika Hakkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class), who is the only driver in the field with two victories this year, and Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class), a total of four Mercedes-Benz drivers are among the top-six in the championship. One driver can score a maximum of 30 points in the three remaining races.

The Nurburgring race will be started an hour later than usual and will be broadcast live on German channel ARD at 3:00 p.m.

Since 1984, there have been a total of 62 DTM races at the Nurburgring. Mercedes-Benz won almost half of them (28). Volker Weidler took the first victory for the brand in a 190E of Dr. Helmut Marko's team winning in the debut year. Klaus Ludwig is the most successful DTM driver at the Nurburgring with 13 victories, 12 of which he achieved with Mercedes-Benz.

What drivers and Motorsport chief say:

Bernd Schneider, start number 1 (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class): "At the Nurburgring, I drove my first DTM race for Mercedes-Benz 16 years ago. Since then I have won five times out of 36 starts. One victory is still missing."

Bruno Spengler, start number 2 (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I want to win, as I did at the Nurburgring last year."

Jamie Green, start number 5 (2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class): "During the rain at the Nurburgring in 2006 I experienced some problems. Also the Formula 1 race five weeks ago has shown that rain can cause several surprises. I would like to do it like Fernando Alonso in Formula 1."

Mika Hakkinen, start number 6 (2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class): "We used the summer break to efficiently prepare for the Nurburgring race. Improving from grid positions 15 and 13 to one and seven at the chequered flag during the previous two races shows the potential not only of the new C-Class, but also of our team, as everybody is giving their best at all times. At the Nurburgring, my target will be high as I wish to get higher again in the championship position."

Gary Paffett, start number 9 (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I started my two previous races at the Nurburgring from pole position; I won in 2004 and lost victory due to a drive-through penalty one year later. I will push hard."

Alexandros Margaritis, start number 10 (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I live in Bonn and therefore the Nurburgring is my home circuit. For me, it is the most beautiful track on the calendar besides Zandvoort. I want to score points again and improve my position in the overall ranking."

Susie Stoddart, start number 14 (2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class): "Following the summer break I look forward to this race. The Nurburgring offers several overtaking opportunities. I expect an exciting race with many battles and I want to be right in the middle of them."

Daniel la Rosa, start number 15 (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I like the Nurburgring very much. As my summer break was one day longer caused by a driveshaft failure short before the start of the Zandvoort race, I look even more forward to this race. I want to score points again and get into the top-ten of the championship."

Mathias Lauda, start number 18 (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I know the Nurburgring pretty well and feel very comfortable there. Last year, I finished 13th, so this year my target are the top-ten and a points finish would be even better."

Paul di Resta, start number 19 (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class): "I will give it my all at the Nurburgring to score as many points as possible and to catch up with the front runners in the championship. It's only over when it's over."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "We have a good winning balance in the DTM at the Nurburgring and our brand has the longest motor sport history there. 73 years ago the first Silver Arrow drove to victory there, and there we won the European Grand Prix with the latest Formula 1 Silver Arrow and Fernando Alonso last month; a record crowd watched this live on TV. I hope that the DTM will show a sportsmanlike and fair race for the spectators at the track and live on TV; that is what we need for all supporters of this series."

-credit: daimlerchrysler.com

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Fernando Alonso , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Klaus Ludwig , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Volker Weidler , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green