DTM

Nurburgring: Opel preview

Nuerburgring: New arena is both a thrill and special challenge for Manuel Reuter Although the Nuerburgring, having recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, is a regular venue in DTM racing, the German touring car grand prix staged this first ...

Nuerburgring: New arena is both a thrill and special challenge for Manuel Reuter

Although the Nuerburgring, having recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, is a regular venue in DTM racing, the German touring car grand prix staged this first weekend in August will see a lot of change. In this seventh race of the season the DTM drivers will be contesting on this circuit for the first time following its reconstruction.

"The new track will probably be thrilling for spectators as it enables several different lines. One thing is certain: Since we'll only be racing the sprint circuit, the vehicle set-up will be a major challenge. The first half of the track is extremely slow, whilst the second half is very fast -- which means that we'll have to make some compromises," said Manuel Reuter (Opel Team Phoenix). His teammate Joachim Winkelhock added: "The new track is an improvement in terms of safety."

For the Opel Team Phoenix, based in the Nuerburgring industrial park in Meuspath, and for Timo Scheider (Opel Team Holzer), who is from Braubach, approximately 60 kilometres away, the only Nuerburgring race in the DTM series will be a home match. "I have good memories of the Nuerburgring. This is where I won my first Formula 3 race," says the 23-year-old Scheider. "The Nuerburgring is my favourite circuit," says the Belgian Yves Olivier (Opel Euroteam), not being the only one to express such sentiments. "Nowhere else does Opel have as many fans as at the 'Ring'."

Successful debut: DTM-Astra races Nordschleife for the first time

All around the legendary Nordschleife there was a high spirit of enthusiasm when the Opel Astra V8 Coupé had its test debut in the sixth race of the Langstrecken-Meisterschaft at the Nuerburgring. "We wanted to find out at this early stage whether or not it is possible to race a modern touring car on the Nordschleife, which can't be compared with any other race track in terms of its demands," Opel motorsport boss Volker Strycek commented on the use of the test car with a view toward next year's 24-hour-race. The debut was successful.

The former DTM title winner and Nuerburgring specialist Volker Strycek took pole position, then maintaining a superior lead of the field over four laps until ending the test race early, as planned. "Despite some necessary changes to the chassis and the high weight prescribed by the regulations, the Opel Astra V8 Coupé performed perfectly on the Nordschleife," said the highly pleased Volker Strycek.

Oval test: Initial experience with Astra V8 Coupé in "Turn 1"

"It was a brandnew experience that was also fun," said Opel works driver Manuel Reuter after a test on the EuroSpeedway Lausitz that involved driving one of the three banked corners for the first time. At a speed of about 260 km/h, the Opel Astra V8 Coupé -- the test car run by Opel Team Holzer -- entered the so-called "Turn 1." "There were no technical problems, neither with the Dunlop tyres nor the car itself," said the 40-year-old Reuter.

-opel-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Joachim Winkelhock , Manuel Reuter , Timo Scheider , Yves Olivier , Volker Strycek