The heat is on for drivers

The drivers say Sunday's DTM race at the Adria circuit near Venice will be the most gruelling of the whole season.

The heat is on for drivers

But it's the temperatures inside the cars, not the challenge of the track itself, which will put the stars of tin-top racing at the limits of their endurance. Opel ace Peter Dumbreck says testing and practice have only hinted at what lies ahead in the race.

"On Friday we were seeing 70 celsius inside the car and it'll be a lot worse over a race distance," said the Scot. "The heat from the engine and exhausts, plus the heat from the heavy braking we do here, is amazing. It actually makes you feel claustrophobic. Try putting on several coats and sitting in a sauna for an hour and you're not even close."

Dumbreck's team-mate Alain Menu tried a driver cool suit in recent testing, but Opel, like most of the field, has opted to tough it out, rather than take a risk on potentially complex solutions.

Multiple DTM champion Bernd Schneider agrees with Dumbreck, adding: "It's not a really challenging circuit, and there are no real corners - just straights and hairpins, but the heat will make it the toughest race we do this season."

With its lack of challenging corners, driver reaction to the 2.703km track has been muted.

"Over an hour of racing will be hard on us," says pole-sitter Marcel Fassler. "But what makes it worse is that you never get a break on this track."

Dumbreck added: "I don't like hairpins and this track has a lot of hairpins, so that's my worst nightmare. But the quicker I go, the more I like it."

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