Fastest test time for Opel-driver Menu, makes only split seconds apart Faster, more spectacular and with lap times that are only split seconds apart: the first combined DTM-test of 2002 in Germany promises a really exciting season. Like during...
Fastest test time for Opel-driver Menu, makes only split seconds apart
Faster, more spectacular and with lap times that are only split seconds apart: the first combined DTM-test of 2002 in Germany promises a really exciting season. Like during the test in the south of France, the DTM-coupes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Opel managed almost identical lap times at the Motopark Oschersleben as well.
Opel-driver Alain Menu marked the fastest time of the two days. "It is nice to be on top of the time sheets", the Swiss said. "But it is far more important for us, that we have learnt a lot. I completed a race distance, and it worked out very well." With 1.22.907 minutes, Menu, whose Opel Astra V8 Coupe was running with 2002 aerodynamics components for the first time, was some six tenths of a second faster than last year's best qualifying time. Second fastest was new sigining Karl Wendlinger (Abt-Audi, 1.23.037 minutes) from Peter Dumbreck (Mercedes-Benz, 1.23.162 minutes).
"We have completed our programme and we have made another step in sorting out the new car", says Opel motorsport director Volker Strycek. "Alain's fastest time confirms our effort and is also very motivating. But there is no reason to be euphoric. All makes were extremely close together. I hope it will remain as exciting as this." During the test, focus was on suspension settings and engine mapping. Joachim Winkelhock had missed out on the fastest lap time on the first day by only 0.011 of a second. "It really was fun. I would have liked to get some more laps", said the Swabian.
On Tuesday, reigning champion Bernd Schneider had been fastest with his Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM. Bar Uwe Alzen, all Mercedes-drivers were in Oschersleben. "It is important, that the drivers get to grips with their cars after the winter break", says Hans-Jürgen Mattheis, team manager of the HWA-team. While Peter Dumbreck, Patrick Huisman and Stefan Mücke mainly were concentrating on race distances, Marcel Fässler and Jean Alesi tested new components for the DTM-CLK of 2002.
At Abt Sportsline, Karl Wendlinger and Christian Abt shared the testing duties, mainly involving set-up of the spring/damper-unit and suspension settings. "We have made big steps ahead and we were able to improve many details", says Abt. "Now, I am looking forward to the first round even more. As far as I am concerned, the season could start tomorrow." Former F1-driver Karl Wendlinger showed an impressive performance. Behind the wheel of the Abt-Audi TT-R, the Austrian completed almost 90 constantly fast laps on Wednesday, marking the second fastest time of the day. More important for Karl Wendlinger, however, was the great atmosphere within the Abt-team: "The team and I are getting on better and better. That makes even a hard test day real fun."
The countdown is running: the final tests before the opening round of the season, April 21 at the Hockenheimring, are taking place April 2 and 3 at the short circuit in Hockenheim. From there, the teams will travel to the DTM-presentation (April 4) at the Europa-Park Rust, located 150 km south of Hockenheim.
Test times Tuesday, March 26:
1. Bernd Schneider, Mercedes, 1.23.324 min., 86 laps
2. Joachim Winkelhock, Opel, 1.23.335 min., 56 laps
3. Bernd Mayländer, Mercedes, 1.23.445 min., 92 laps
4. Christian Abt, Abt-Audi, 1.23.462 min., 54 laps
5. Marcel Fässler, Mercedes, 1.23.515 min., 87 laps
6. Thomas Jäger, Mercedes, 1.23.659 min., 85 laps
7. Alain Menu, Opel, 1.23.677 min., 58 laps
8. Timo Scheider, Opel, 1.23.882 min., 55 laps
9. Christijan Albers, Mercedes, 1.23.954 min., 114 laps
10. Peter Dumbreck, Mercedes, 1.24.712 min., 44 laps
Test times Wednesday, March 27:
1. Alain Menu, Opel, 1.22.907 min., 79 laps
2. Karl Wendlinger, Abt-Audi, 1.23.037 min., 87 laps
3. Peter Dumbreck, Mercedes, 1.23.162 min., 84 laps
4. Michael Bartels, Opel, 1.23.227 min., 40 laps
5. Thomas Jäger, Mercedes, 1.23.350 min., 55 laps
6. Marcel Fässler, Mercedes, 1.23.461 min., 83 laps
7. Manuel Reuter, Opel, 1.23.891 min., 43 laps
8. Patrick Huisman, Mercedes, 1.23.991 min., 79 laps
9. Jean Alesi, Mercedes, 1.24.287 min., 82 laps
10. Stefan Mücke, Mercedes, 1.24.316 min., 102 laps