Patrick Huisman Q&A

Porsche Supercup star Patrick Huisman was hoping to chill out at home and catch some rays this weekend, but instead he got the call up from his old employers Mercedes-Benz to rejoin the DTM fray with Team Rosberg. It was obviously a good decision, because the Dutchman qualified 14th fastest and the first of the 2002-spec CLKs. He spoke to Charles Bradley after qualifying

Patrick Huisman Q&A



I got the first call on Thursday and my world was turned upside down! They asked if I could help them out so, for sure, I said yes. Although we parted at the end of last year we still have a very good relationship, and my only hesitation was that I knew I would have no testing and would be in at the deep end immediately. But it has all worked out very well, although it has not been easy. The car feels great and I feel very comfortable in it. I've had more fun this weekend than I had in the entire season in 2002. The car suits my driving style, and I got on the pace very quickly.



The step from going from a Porsche to the DTM is much easier, because you come from a modified road car to a car that drives like a single-seater almost. You have so much downforce and mechanical grip in a DTM car that it is much easier to get to the maximum. In the Porsche, the car is always just about perfect and it's up to the driver to make the difference. Going back to the Supercup in Barcelona next week will be much harder, because it would be easy for me to go back and overdrive it.



It took a few laps because the new Mercedes is much better than the old one in terms of response, and the driving characteristics are totally different. This car has different suspension geometry from what I am used to from 2002, which means you can nail the throttle in the corners. This is a big difference, and the thing I've had the most problems with. It's a confidence thing.



Yes, because I have become the benchmark for the 2002-spec cars. No-one, especially myself, expected that with no testing. There was no pressure, so I've enjoyed every kilometre. Am I happy? Yes. How much quicker can I go? I don't know. Now everyone else is chasing me. If the weather turns to rain, which is possible, then there might be some opportunities to gain some more places in the race.



I've not done a race distance, so we'll see. It's definitely going to be demanding. Bernd Schneider, who is very fit, says it will be very hard.



It's a one-off at the moment, so we will see. I don't plan to be in the DTM in two weeks' time, but who knows? It's been more fun than I expected, and maybe it would be good for the team to have the stability. I have a Porsche contract, though, which I can't get out of anyway, so I don't know what might happen.



From a driving point of view it's not like the DTM at all, but the basics are all there. We have a competitive car, we're with Formula 1 most of the time so we have a lot of spectators. It's a good series to be in, to drive internationally without too much politics. It has always been competitive and will always be so. The old characteristics of the 911 are not as extreme as they used to be, which is both good and bad. But at least I'm competitive and finished on the podium in the first round. And if I'm doing well there, it might open doors for me again, just like it did before.

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