DTM Oschersleben: Preview

Stuttgart, May 17, 2006
The new weight distribution in the DTM: 2006 AMG-Mercedes C-Class (Schneider, Green, Häkkinen, Spengler): 1,080 kilograms; 2006 Audi A4 DTM: 1,060 kilograms; last year’s cars like the AMG-Mercedes C-Class of Jean Alesi, Daniel la Rosa, Alexandros Margaritis, Stefan Mücke: 1,060 kilograms; 2004 cars like the AMG-Mercedes C-Class of Mathias Lauda and Susie Stoddart: 1,020 kilograms.

Facts and figures:

Bernd Schneider has won the first two races in 2006; Jamie Green achieved pole positions for both rounds and Bruno Spengler posted the fastest laps in both races. Also the performance of Alexandros Margartitis is remarkable: He was the best driver with a last year’s car at the wheel of the Persson team’s EasyRent AMG-Mercedes C-Class.

Since 2000 seven DTM races have been held at Oschersleben; four of them during two events in the first year. Mercedes-Benz drivers took three victories with Bernd Schneider in 2000, Marcel Fässler in 2001 and Gary Paffett in 2005. Three victories went to Opel and Audi’s Tom Kristensen, currently second in the overall ranking, who won in 2004.

During last year’s event the qualifying had been postponed by 40 minutes due to a thunder-storm and heavy rain. The single-lap qualifying afterwards had been cancelled because another thunderstorm had been expected.

The Motorsport Arena Oschersleben was built near Magdeburg within 13 months starting in June 1996. When it was launched on 25 July 1997 the 3.667-km long circuit was the third permanent facility in Germany after Nürburgring and Hockenheim.

Comments

Comments from the Mercedes drivers, in the order of the result from the Lausitzring race:

Bernd Schneider, start number 2 (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes C-Class, winner at the Lausitz-ring): “Two wins in two races were a great start to the season. My target is to maintain the overall lead.”

Mika Häkkinen, start number 8 (AMG-Mercedes C-Class, third): “After finishing fourth in Hockenheim and my podium at the Lausitz-ring I want to make another step forward. I hope for the top spot on the podium in the sea-son’s third race like last year.”

Jamie Green, start number 3 (Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes C-Class, fourth): “I achieved my first DTM podium finish at Oschersleben one year ago. A good grid position here is crucial, be-cause overtaking is very difficult.”

Bruno Spengler, start number 9 (Daimler-Chrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class, fifth): “At Oschers¬leben it is tricky to find a good set-up. Therefore the tests on Friday are particu-larly important, because we can evaluate differ-ent things and prepare for the race with long¬runs. After posting the fastest laps in each of the first two races I aim at being among the fastest over the entire distance.”

Alexandros Margaritis, start number 11 (EasyRent AMG-Mercedes C-Class, sixth): “The Oschersleben track suits me. There’s no weight handicap for last year’s cars and I want to be the best driver with a 2005 car again.”

Jean Alesi, start number 10 (stern AMG-Mercedes C-Class, seventh): “Racing at this cir-cuit with its many corners is physically demand-ing and requires maximum concentration. I am in good shape and fully motivated. Also with a 2005 car a good points finish is possible.”

Stefan Mücke, start number 17 (TV Spielfilm AMG-Mercedes C-Class, 12th): “Oschersleben is my second home race after Lausitzring. I hope we will have solved the problems with the balance and I will be able to score some points.”

Mathias Lauda, start number 21

(Second Hand AMG-Mercedes C-Class, 14th): “I never raced at Oschersleben before, but I heard this track is quite demanding. I want to learn more and continue my upward trend which started at the Lausitzring.”

Susie Stoddart, start number 22 (Auto-Scout24 AMG-Mercedes C-Class, 15th): “I don’t know Oschersleben yet and I’m already excited to race there. I’m able to adjust to new tracks fast and I like this challenge.”

Daniel la Rosa, start number 18 (TrekStor AMG-Mercedes C-Class, retired due to steering problems): “The Oschersleben track characteris-tics are not easy; however I know the circuit since my Renault World Series start. That should help me. I want to be fastest driver with a 2005 car.”

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

“As short as the Oschersle-ben circuit is, it is demanding concerning the set-up of the cars. The track layout which looks like an oversized kart circuit is also quite a big challenge for the drivers. Overtaking is not easy here; however, it’s not impossible and it will be difficult for the drivers with the 2006 C-Class cars, after two victories anyway. Nevertheless it’s not impossible for them to win. We expect a full house like last year and I am sure that the spectators will see a first-class race. During the previous race at the Lausitzring, there were 30 percent more TV viewers watching the live broadcast compared with last year and we want to offer enough excitement to continue this trend.”

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