Football fever grips DTM paddock

The high-profile Euro 2000 football match between England and Germany has captured the interest of DTM's leading drivers ahead of Sunday's second round of the series

Football fever grips DTM paddock

Briton Darren Turner has vowed to get all the English people in the paddock together on Saturday evening to watch the match -- and has found an unlikely ally in Scotland's Peter Dumbreck.

"I know the Scots don't usually support England, but the way they lost the opening match makes me want to support them," said Dumbreck.

Turner watched England's opening Euro 2000 against Portugal with Pedro Lamy -- and after losing a bet on the outcome of the game he was forced to pay for dinner after the 3-2 defeat.

"It was really good for the first 20 minutes, and I was laughing at Pedro, but then it all went pear-shaped," explained Turner. "Maybe tomorrow I will get my revenge."

German Michael Bartels was confident, however, of a good result for the Germans. He said: "The papers are full of stories at the moment and I think England have not won a major game against Germany. I hope for us that it remains like this, because we need the points now. I think it will be 2-1 to Germany and we will get through to the quarter finals."

But DTM new boy James Thompson has promised to banish all thoughts of the match until just before kick-off in a bid to get his Audi on the pace.

The Englishman, who is racing in select events in the high-profile German category, is determined to push himself and his Audi team to a competitive finish in the double-header at Oschersleben.

"The football match obviously means a lot, but I've got more important things to do than think about it," he said. "I've got to keep my head down and get this car sorted because we've got a lot of work to do."

Audi are marginally closer to the pace of the Mercedes and Opels at the tight and twisty Oschersleben circuit, although Thompson ended Thursday's testing session slowest of all.

"The car, the track and the category are all new to me," he added. "There is a lot to get my head round and the main thing will be to get as much mileage as possible. The only good thing about being at the back of the field is that I can learn everything out of the spotlight."


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