ETCC: Oschersleben: Eve of the battle

Eve of The Battle Three Questions To: Frank Diefenbacher During his second season with SEAT Sport and in the FIA European Touring Car Championship, the 22-year old Frank Diefenbacher has completed his apprenticeship. He has grown up together...

Eve of The Battle

Three Questions To: Frank Diefenbacher

During his second season with SEAT Sport and in the FIA European Touring Car Championship, the 22-year old Frank Diefenbacher has completed his apprenticeship. He has grown up together with the Spanish team and the Toledo Cupra car, emerging as one of the fastest drivers in the field. In the current season he has obtained one podium result (third in Brno) and a number of points finishes in the points; so far he is lying ninth in the Drivers Championship.

Q: Last year in Oschersleben you claimed SEAT's first podium in the FIA ETCC. What is your goal for this weekend?

FD: "Conditions have changed since last year. Now we have a lot of pressure to obtain a good result this weekend, because everybody knows that this is probably the best circuit in the championship for SEAT. I'm quite optimistic, but you never know, because competition in the ETCC is quite high. Normally here the BMWs are the cars to beat; as for Alfa Romeo we have to wait and see if they will be fast as in Imola or they will struggle like two years ago. The podium is our main goal."

Q: In any case, this appears to be SEAT's best opportunity to score its first win in the Championship.

FD: "We don't know if we have the performance to fight for a victory. Everything is possible in the races, but we have to be realistic. Thompson and Garcia don't have ballast, Jorg Muller and Priaulx have only 5 extra kilos onboard. It will be difficult for us to fight against these top drivers in these conditions."

Q: Looking at the results you have obtained this year, are you happy with the way your season is progressing? FD - "Yes I'm happy with the performance I have had this season. I made only two driving mistakes, but on the other hand I had five engine failures and two other technical failures; in total this cost me nine races. In all the remaining seven races I've always been in the points. When I have no problems, I'm normally in the top-eight positions. I'm in an enviable situation: a young driver racing for a works team and growing up together with them in a championship that is becoming more and more important and competitive. Next year, with the World Championship, more Manufacturers and more top-drivers will join, and this means even more competition. I love competition, and this will be a big challenge for me."

THE DMSB PRODUKTIONSWAGEN MEISTERSCHAFT IS BACK WITHOUT FRONTIERS

After the successful experiment in Spa, the DMSB Produktionswagen Meisterschaft is racing together with the FIA ETCC again in Oschersleben. With the two Championships together, the whole field is close to the 30 cars.

Since three years the FIA and KSO, promoter of the FIA ETCC, have been working together to establish common technical regulations for international touring car competitions. Since the launch of the FIA Super 2000 regulations in 2002, they have been steadily adopted by a number of national championships. So far the Super 2000 cars are eligible for the championships in Asia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain and Sweden.

This spread of the FIA rules has already led to a practical result: for the first time, competitors of a national championship have been invited to race rounds valid for their own series within an FIA ETCC meeting.

THE RULES OF THE GAME

The competitors of the two championships compete together, following the FIA ETCC Sporting Regulations.

They will be mixed on the starting grid for Race 1, according to the times set in the qualifying session; and likewise for the starting grid for Race 2, according to the overall results of Race 1, with the top eight drivers classified placed in reverse order, irrespective of the championship they compete in.

-fia/etcc-

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Jorg Muller , Frank Diefenbacher