Sachsenring preview: too close to call?

Manuel Reuter will be leading Opel's charge to overhaul Bernd Schneider and Mercedes at the top of the DTM standings as the series heads to the Sachsenring this weekend - and with just three points separating the pair and 40 available, the championship lead is most definitely up for grabs

Sachsenring preview: too close to call?

The last meeting, on the Norisring street circuit, saw wins for both the leading manufacturers, with Jo Winkelhock winning for Opel Team Holzer in the first race and Bernd Schneider's AMG-Mercedes topping the podium in the second. However, in recent testing at the Nurburgring, the Opels looked very good. In perfect conditions, they had a problem-free test to take eight of the top 12 times, and must be confident heading into this weekend.

The first six races have seen a dozen different drivers finishing in the top six, and although Schneider, Reuter and Winkelhock are regularly scoring in the top three positions, there are plenty of drivers chasing hard. One man to watch is Klaus Ludwig, who has finally come on song for Mercedes. After disappointing performances in the early races, he looked more like the 'King' Ludwig of old in taking second and a third at the Norisring. That lifted him into fifth in the championship, and he will now be looking to overhaul his less experienced team-mate Marcel Fassler, who heads him in the championship by 14 points.

Meanwhile, at the back of the field, things aren't going well for the Audi squad. The Abt-Sportsline team have left out James Thompson in order to concentrate on their problems, but the three cars are not expected to find an immediate fix, and will continue to struggle.

The Sachsenring circuit, near to Leipzig in the old East Germany, is an excellent track for spectators, and the re-launched DTM will draw a big crowd. The 2-mile long circuit is undulating, and space is at a premium on some of its varied corners - so with the cars so closely matched, it is sure to provide some tight racing.

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