Preview: new challenge for tin-top stars

The DTM takes a small step into the unknown at EuroSpeedway Lausitz this weekend as Europe's fastest touring car field takes on the banked Turn 1 of the oval circuit for the very first time

Preview: new challenge for tin-top stars

The bend was tested with mixed results last year - including a car stuffed into the wall - and the integration of this new challenge has caused a few headaches for engineers in the weeks leading up to the event.

"Finding the right set-up has never been more important in a DTM race," reckons driver-come-technical expert Christian Abt. "At normal tracks, you need a relatively high amount of camber on the wheels in order to be quick in the corners. At a banked corner, however, you need very little camber. So it will be very difficult for everyone. Driving it will be a thrill. You will need a lot of courage, but courage has always been my piece of cake!"

Opel's Manuel Reuter was more circumspect about the challenge: "It's the fastest corner on the DTM calendar. Coming into the corner you can chose from several different lines, but you don't see the exit. It is like driving towards a wall. Especially at the exit, Turn 1 becomes very narrow. With 21 cars driving through the corner, it will be a huge thing."

Reigning champion Laurent Aiello believes his Abt Audi team will struggle with the high-speed sections of the Lausitz track, most of which is situated in the infield of the tri-oval. Mercedes has won every race thus far and should start as favourite this weekend, although Opel has been boosted by its Nurburgring 24 Hours victory.

Merc's Jean Alesi said: "In the high-speed section I expect plenty of slipstream fights with lots of overtaking. This will be particularly spectacular."

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