Smokin' Jo wants more DTM rough stuff

Opel DTM star Jo Winkelhock has called for more British Touring Car Championship-style 'panel-bashing' to spice up the DTM

Smokin' Jo wants more DTM rough stuff

The 1993 BTCC champ's call comes in the wake of two processional double-headers at the Sachsenring and the Nurburgring - four races during which not a single change of lead took place.

"The last couple of races have been quite processional," said Winkelhock "and that's not good. It's up to us to keep it interesting for the spectators and the TV, and I think we need to be less disciplined the way we race.

"Okay, maybe the BTCC was sometimes a little too crazy back in 1993 and 1994, but this is touring car racing and a little bit of contact is all part of it. I had some great fights in the BTCC and sometimes I made mistakes, or [Alain] Menu or whoever took out his brain, but it was good for the spectators."

But Winkelhock warned that the series needs bigger grids before it can spice up the action.

"It makes no sense to take off half the field in the first race, then only have seven or eight cars start the second," he said. "but if we get 26 or 28 cars - whatever - then I think we can all race a little harder."

'Smokin' Jo' also suggested that more races on the calendar would allow drivers to make more doorhandle-to-doorhandle moves without blowing their title chances.

"At the moment, with only nine rounds and 18 races, we need to finish every one. But if it's like the BTCC and we have maybe 24 races, then it's possible not to finish one or two and still fight for the title."

Winkelhock's wishes look like being granted: for 2001, the DTM's sports chiefs are likely to release cars to privateers to make up a 26-car grid, while the number of meetings will be increased to 11 (22 races).


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