DTM

Sachsenring: Round four preview

4th round DTM Sachsenring, May 31 - June 2, 2002 Looking forward to Sachsenring: "A great track, a bombastic atmosphere" After two spectacular races abroad, the DTM is now returning to Germany where it will have its fourth of ten rounds at the...

4th round DTM Sachsenring, May 31 - June 2, 2002

Looking forward to Sachsenring: "A great track, a bombastic atmosphere"

After two spectacular races abroad, the DTM is now returning to Germany where it will have its fourth of ten rounds at the Sachsenring, May 31 till June 2. The DTM race is right in the middle of festivities: currently, the track in Saxony is celebrating its 75th anniversary. After three rounds, the top of the DTM points table is in French hands: with 25 points, Laurent Aiello, the winner of the races in Hockenheim and Zolder (B) with his Abt-Audi TT-R, is coming as the points leader.

Following his attention-invoking maiden DTM-victory with the Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM at Donington Park (GB), former F1-star Jean Alesi is runner-up, eight points down. He is followed by Abt-Audi-drivers Mattias Ekström (16) and Christian Abt (12), who are within striking distance.

Without exception, the DTM racing-drivers are looking forward to the 3.704 km long track near Hohenstein-Ernstthal - Christian Abt sums it up: "The track is great and much fun to drive. You can compare it with the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, but on a modern-day basis. There are up- and downhill sections with crests you can't look over. After last year's reconstruction there now also are very quick parts, where you are doing in excess of 250 km/h. The Sachsenring is my favourite track."

Abt-Audi-colleague Martin Tomczyk is also "highly motivated" coming to the east: "The track suits me, I was very quick there last year." Moreover, the 20-year old Bavarian, who was racing Alesi without any respect in England most recently, is looking forward to the atmosphere: "The spirit is bombastic, and there are many Audi-fans."

Opel-driver Manuel Reuter vows: "Now more than ever". Most recently in Donington, joy and frustration were close to each other: Reuter had claimed Opel's first pole-position of the 2002-season, but got innocently involved in a collision during the race, which forced him to retire. "As a professional, you must be able to forget such a week-end and just keep the positive things in mind. And it is certain that our entire Opel-crew was strong in England. After all, four of us were among the first six in qualifying. We just had a lot of bad luck during the race."

Opel-driver Alain Menu looked all on course to bring Opel its first podium finish of the season, as he was second for most of the race. But then, bad luck hit him in the closing stages of the race: he had to pit with a puncture and dropped back to eighth at flagfall.

Thomas Jäger, born in Chemnitz, only just missed out on a podium finish before his home round. At Donington, the 25-year old ran in third place with his year-old CLK-DTM as he had to pit with five laps to go because of a puncture. "That really was bad, otherwise third place would have been within reach." The Saxony-born is particularly looking forward to his home race: "The Sachsenring is a very demanding track, it requires everything from a driver and the car has to be top. I hope, of course, to continue my good performance from Donington. After all, many friends and relatives will be there to cheer for me."

-dtm-

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Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Martin Tomczyk , Manuel Reuter , Christian Abt , Mattias Ekström , Thomas Jäger , Alain Menu