Interview with DTM champion Timo Scheider

Wolfgang Wilhelm
DTM driver Timo Scheider in an exclusive interview
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You are going into the season as reigning champions for the second time. How big is the self-confidence?
S cheider: One can already say that after the second title the self-confidence is a Has grown a little. But I know only too well how tough the DTM is. So it doesn't really mean much to success. Except that you get to the point faster and more directly with various decisions that you have to rediscover race weekend after race weekend.

Do you have the feeling that you are being shown more respect?
Scheider: You could tell from the whole environment that there was more respect and that it has grown in the last two years. Confirming the title is a very different story than winning the title once. If you can do that in a row, that's something special. This was also shown to me, which I received very positively.

Despite your wave of success, is there anything you can learn from your teammates?
Scheider: There are always situations in which you can can learn from other people. There are always people who do something better than oneself. I hope that I will learn a lot in life and that I will get to know many people who can help me further in life and vice versa.

With Oliver Jarvis you have a new team-mate at Abt. What do you think he can do?
Scheider: Oliver is a very hungry and cool guy. I am very happy that it became him. He makes a very open and honest impression. In terms of performance, he showed what he can do in last year's car. Now it is important that he implements it in the current car and can show it on the race weekend. I trust him to do everything possible and have the greatest respect for my team-mates in general, therefore also for Oli.

What insights did you gain during the test drives?
Scheider: The findings were limited to adjusting to the new route and coordinating the set-up with the new tires and the asphalt. We have the second race of the season in Valencia. It was therefore very important to try out many set-up combinations. Sometimes it went in the right direction, sometimes in the wrong direction. That was a very valuable test for us and I took myselfImmediately at ease in the car again.

Is the track coming towards the Audi?
Scheider: It is increasingly difficult to make predictions between the two manufacturers because both have evolved. But Valencia is a track on which it will generally be difficult to get a perfect lap. With the different passages, sometimes downhill, uphill, with blind crests and with crests that are behind a crest, you have factors that could lead to a mistake. I would be careful to favor someone. I think it is more a matter of making perfect rounds.

Has anything changed despite the freeze on technology? Are there any details, apart from the standards, that are being changed?
Scheider: As far as our experience is concerned, the cars are of course very far after a certain time. There are always other external circumstances such as grip conditions on the various routes or outside temperatures that influence the whole topic again. This means that what worked yesterday did not work again the next day. As a result, there is always work to be done on a racing car and you can always try to make the set-up even more perfect.

And what options are there?
Scheider : We still have the same options, e.g. our stabilizers on the front and rear axles, damper and spring adjustment options, the vehicle height front and rear, the wings on the rear axle, the aerodynamic parts on the underbody or on the rear wing and on the front of the car. Then there is the gear ratio and the differential. We have many options to change the car's balance and set-up. The circle that ultimately defines having a perfect car has become smaller - because we have frozen the regulations. We now have more knowledge of the car because we've been driving it for a longer time. But the most important thing is that it doesn't hurt the sport. That's why it was the right decision for me to freeze the regulations. I think it's a good time. I am sure that we will get an even closer championship than we ever had.

What is your impression of the new tires?
Scheider: The tires on the rear axle differ from the tires from last year. The sidewall of the tire makes a more stable impression and has less movement in it because it appears stiffer. That's something that suits me a little, because I'm someone who needs a good rear axle in a racing car to be quick.

What will be decisive in the fight for the title when all the cars are now on the Status of last year?
Scheider: It will be tight because the cars are frombetter understood by both manufacturers. If this is passed in such a way that the five kilograms of the previous year's vehicles come out, then they will be a much more danger than they already were. It will count again to collect as many points as possible from the start. There are many more candidates for the title this year.

What do you say to people who say it will all be the same as it was last year anyway?
Scheider: The development of the two manufacturers in terms of performance at the end of the season shows that things are going to be extremely exciting. In the beginning it was a bit different and depending on the route. But at the end of 2009 it suddenly became very tight. The fact that another five kilos are out of last year's cars makes us think about where last year's cars will be stronger in the current cars.

Have you set yourself a goal? I suppose it's a title defense?
Scheider: As a two-time champion there is no other goal. But I know the DTM too well and have been through all the highs and many more lows. That's why I know how careful you have to be. I'm just looking forward to the championship. But the fact is to defend the title number two.

In addition to the DTM, a lot is currently also about your kart team. How is the state of affairs?
Scheider: At our Race-4-Kids in Kühtai, I had the team presentation of my six drivers. It was the first time I saw them walk in their outfits and helmets. I really got goosebumps. To be on the other side of motorsport for the first time made me very proud. The first test drives took place over the Easter holidays. You see things here from a completely different perspective. It makes me proud that I have young drivers, male and female, who think the concept is good. I hope that I can give you the right tips on the way. The whole thing only works with the right partners, of course, and Nintendo, as the main sponsor of my kart team, has made a major contribution to this.

Are you also in the races?
Scheider: I want to be part of all races where I don't drive DTM races myself. It's a passion that has never been gone. Going karting was the cornerstone of my career and it was always a dream to have my own karting team. Now I've made it and I'm really looking forward to the challenge. There is certainly a lot of work behind it, but I think I have the right people together who can take this forward with me.


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