ETCC: Hockenheimring: Roland Asch interview, news update

Three Questions For: Roland Asch The FIA European Touring Car Championship's fourth meeting in Hockenheim will be a special one for Roland Asch. The German driver knows this racetrack very well, and it is also the home circuit for RS-Line ...

Three Questions For: Roland Asch

The FIA European Touring Car Championship's fourth meeting in Hockenheim will be a special one for Roland Asch. The German driver knows this racetrack very well, and it is also the home circuit for RS-Line Rotpunkt Sport. This could be a good occasion for Asch and his Ford Focus ST170 car to close the gap further.

Q: Last week the Ford Focus cars in Super 2000 specs won the first races of the DMSB Produktionswagen Meisterschaft, which showed that the car has potential. How do you explain the difference of results between the ETCC Fords and those running in Gemany?

RA: "I was in Oschersleben myself, and honestly, it's a mystery to me. We don't know what the problem is. I suppose it's because the European Championship here is on an higher level. The BMW cars are simply perfect, and both the Alfa Romeo and SEAT teams are very competitive. I think that our Focus is just as good as those of the German championship, and has the same potential. It's just the competition level that is higher."

Q: From Monza to Magny-Cours, the RS-Line Focus cars were consistently reducing their gap from the front-runners. Do you think it will be possible for you to cut it down further to 1.5 seconds, here in Hockenheim?

RA: "Hockenheim is my home track; I have a lot of fans here, cheering for me, and I will be definitely doing my best. I believe this will give me an extra half-a-second. With that, maybe it will be possible to close the gap to 1.5 seconds. It won't be easy, but this is our goal for the weekend."

Q: To be realistic, what is your goal for the second part of this first ETCC season?

RA: "There's definitely a lot of potential in the car, and its strong points are the aerodynamics and the chassis. We stiil have to work to develop the engine and the gearbox. It would be great to be classified among the top three of the Independents at the end of the season. Of course, an overall podium finish would be amazing, but this will be really difficult. Even though we're working very hard!."

FACTS AND FIGURES
- Cars which have passed scrutineering 24
- Manufacturers represented 6
- Driver nationalities 11
- Former ETCC champions racing 2
- Rookie drivers 10

LATEST NEWS

MAGNY-COURS RESULTS DECLARED FINAL
The analysis of the fuel samples, collected by the FIA Technical Delegate Jacques Berger after the races in Magny--Cours from cars # 3 (AutoDelta's Augusto Farfus) and # 42 (BMW Team Deutschland's Jorg Muller), were in conformity.

Therefore the results of both the FIA ETCC rounds 5 and 6, were declared final by the panel of the Stewards, with decision TC3 issued on 13th May 2004.

UPDATE ON PAULIEN ZWART'S HEALTH
Paulien Zwart is recovering after her shunt in Magny-Cours two weeks ago. Carly Motors' lady-driver is currently in a hospital in Amsterdam, where doctors diagnosed that no surgical operation is needed to fix her broken pelvis. "Yesterday she moved her first steps using a Zimmer frame, and by next week she should be walking without it," Paulien's team-mate and real-life companion Tom Coronel reported.

Paulien Zwart should be back at the wheel of her car in Donington Park, or in Spa at the latest. With her father Klaas committed to racing in the Monte Carlo historic Grand Prix, Carly Motors has entered only Coronel's car in Hockenheim; Klaas Zwart will join the team again in Brno.

PEUGEOT STILL WITH THE 3-DOOR CAR
Once again Jan Magnussen will be driving the Peugeot 307 3-door interim car, as the new 5-door has only finished its functional tests at the Michelin Competition department in Clermont Ferrand last Monday.

"We did not have enough time to get the car ready and bring it here," Peugeot Sport Engineering team manager Jørgen Agergaard explained. The team is working at a frantic pace, also looking after their cars racing also in the Danish and the Swedish Touring Car championships. The new 5-door 307 will be inspected next week by the FIA Technical Delegates.

-fia/etcc-

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Series General
Drivers Jan Magnussen , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Klaas Zwart , Roland Asch , Paulien Zwart