Monday saw the start of the first joint test session of 2004 for the DTM, cars from all three manufacturers on track at Estoril. Opel started in fine style with Manuel Reuter (OPC Team Holzer) topping the times with a 1:35.368 in the new Vectra...
Monday saw the start of the first joint test session of 2004 for the DTM, cars from all three manufacturers on track at Estoril. Opel started in fine style with Manuel Reuter (OPC Team Holzer) topping the times with a 1:35.368 in the new Vectra GTS. Opel teammate Laurent Aiello (OPC Team Phoenix) was second fastest and eight of the nine drivers present were within six tenths of a second.
"The difference from the Opel Astra V8 Coup? is obvious," said Reuter of the new car compared to last year's model, although he judged it too early to say where it stands against Mercedes and Audi. "Where exactly we are we will probably only see at Hockenheim. I think with Audi now being a factory team, the DTM field will be even closer together."
The quickest Mercedes on track was Stefan M?cke's 2003 spec CLK, third on the time sheet ahead of the two new C-Class models of the HWA squad. Mercedes rookie Jarek Janis, also in a CLK, was seventh fastest.
The Mercedes 2004 spec cars were driven by current DTM champion Bernd Schneider and Jean Alesi, fourth and fifth respectively. "I'm happy to be back in the car again after the winter break," said Alesi. "The test went without problems which is good because we start the season very soon."
Martin Tomczyk was the best-placed Audi A4, in sixth, and Emanuele Pirro was the second Audi on track, eighth. Opel test driver Marcel Tiemann rounded off the times in a third Vectra GTS. The test continues at Estoril until Thursday.
Monday test times:
1. Manuel Reuter - Opel Vectra GTS V8 - 1:35.368
2. Laurent Aiello - Opel Vectra GTS V8 - 1:35.542
3. Stefan M?cke - AMG-Mercedes CLK - 1:35.547
4. Bernd Schneider - AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse - 1:35.555
5. Jean Alesi - AMG-Mercedes C-Klasse - 1:35.603
6. Martin Tomczyk - Audi A4 DTM - 1:35.734
7. Jarek Janis - AMG-Mercedes CLK - 1:35.921
8. Emanuele Pirro - Audi A4 DTM - 1:35.939
9. Marcel Tiemann - Opel Vectra GTS V8 - 1:36.124