S e since the last DTM round at Hockenheim, the circle has been DTM title candidates shrunk again. Now even a manufacturer. After Mattias Ekström gambled away his last theoretical chances at Hockenheim, the Mercedes drivers are now fighting for the DTM crown among themselves. No wonder that the house blessing at Audi last hung crooked. 'If we hadn't been annoyed, it would have been funny too,' said Timo Scheider. 'It would be wrong not to sit down and discuss the why, why, why.'
At Mercedes they let the champagne corks pop and already celebrated the safe title. But which pilot will clear it up in the end? With Bruno Spengler, Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett three drivers still have a chance at the DTM round in Adria. League leader Paul di Resta is currently with the best cards. He leads by three points ahead of Spengler. But the Scot cannot be sure of his cause. Because in Adria there are some unknowns waiting for the DTM circus.
The DTM last made a guest appearance at the Adria International Raceway in 2003 and 2004. Some drivers have already been able to gain experience in the DTM car there. Others like Paul di Resta drove a Formula 3 car on the 2.702-kilometer Adria International Raceway or, like Mike Rockenfeller, did their laps in the Porsche Carrera Cup. 'It's a very, very slow track,' reports Rockenfeller. 'I still have some data from the days when my team drove for Opel, where I can read the gears and lap times.'
At the Adria International Raceway, there is a lot of downforce in the DTM due to the lack of straights -Boliden on. Before the hairpin bends in Adria, as is often the case in the DTM, the saying goes: if you brake later, you are faster longer. Out of the tight corners, you need a lot of traction and mechanical grip. 'I really like the track, even if it looks like an inflated go-kart track,' says Timo Scheider. 'It definitely has spice in it.'
How could it be otherwise: After just one DTM victory for Audi this season, Mercedes is going once again as a favorite in the Adriatic race. The decisive factor, however, will be who can quickly find the right setup. After six years of abstinence on the circuit near Venice, the DTM cars have to be retuned.
In addition, those who have a good qualifying will certainly also be favorites in Adriadeliver. 'Because there are hardly any overtaking opportunities in Adria, qualifying will be particularly important there,' says di Resta.
Expert opinion (Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport):
'We know that the focus is on high braking performance, good traction and mechanically generated grip in the tight corners. The asphalt on the track does not make any special demands, but in conjunction with the Dunlop tires it creates very typical coefficients of friction. The old data that the Audi A4 DTM generated from 2004 can of course no longer be used directly. However, we can use them as a basis in conjunction with current vehicle data to carry out simulations Aspects. '