Previous results mean nothing at Norisring
It is their territory: since 2003, the winning streak in the DTM of Mercedes-Benz continues. After Christijan Albers’ initial win with the AMG-Mercedes CLK, ten further wins for the brand followed. In 2015, however, Audi is keen to end this streak. It would be the first success in the home round for the brand from Ingolstadt since Laurent Aiello’s success in 2002. Based on the impressions from the first four races of the season, Jamie Green has the best chances to drive his Audi RS 5 DTM faster than any other driver at the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit this year. However, last year’s winner, Robert Wickens, isn’t the only one who is determined to make life as difficult as possible for the points’ leader. “It would be very nice when our winning streak with Mercedes would continue here,” Wickens said during the event-opening press conference at the Norisring on Friday.
At 12.15 hrs, the drivers got their first experience of the atmosphere at the street circuit in Nuremberg. For 40 minutes, the drivers completed their laps around the huge concrete grandstand next to the Zeppelinfeld during the roll-out. Everything went well, none of the teams had any major issues to report. “Here, you need a great car and you have to be top fit and highly focussed as a driver. Only when you have the best of all components, you are in a position to win here,” said BMW driver Bruno Spengler, who already won the race three times (2006, 2007 and 2011), each time with Mercedes. However, the Canadian keeps a rather low profile as far as his chances of success are concerned: “So far, we simply have been lacking the pace this season, especially in qualifying. Our mechanics are working day and night to make us go faster, but even on good days, the Norisring has never been a BMW circuit.”
Wickens is rather more optimistic. He won the race last year and knows the street circuit well. Weather conditions aren’t playing a role for him this weekend: “Come rain, come shine, I don’t care. The track always has some particular characteristics. Last year, we were strong in both conditions. I love the challenge here in Nuremberg and I am really looking forward to the race.” Meanwhile, ‘Mr. Norisring’ Jamie Green plays down his role as a favourite. For him, neither his four race wins at the Norisring, nor his excellent record during the current season is decisive for him: “This is an entirely different track. Here, anyone can win. My results from the past mean nothing. Moreover, our car is very heavy. Simulations have revealed that we can be three tenths of a second per lap slower than the lightest car in the field.”
First free practice at the Norisring could allow for some first indications. At 16.45 hrs, the entire field of drivers will head out onto the track for the second time this Friday, while the first of two race days follows on Saturday (June 27).