Following the tests: praises for the ‘Istanbul Park’
This weekend, DTM makes it debut appearance at the Bosporus: for the first time in the sport’s history, a race is held in turkey, this Sunday, with the all new ‘Istanbul Park’ being the venue of the tenth round of the 2005 DTM season. Up to Thursday, TV pictures had been the only chance for the DTM drivers of making themselves familiar with the 5.338-kilometre track that was opened only this August and is located close to Istanbul. The Friday test sessions, however, offered the field of 20 the opportunity of gathering their own experience – and data for DTM’s tyre partner, Dunlop. Following the second test session, the approval for the circuit designed by German architect Hermann Tilke was universal.
“A sensational circuit,” said Opel’s Marcel Fässler, “But it demands for a virtually perfect line. If you go too far over the curbs, it will coast you dearly as the terrain tends to slope. Hence, the car will hit the ground and spin.” At the end of the 180 minutes of extensive testing, his team-mate, Laurent Aiello, was also enthused: “This circuit is a true test for your driving skills,” said the 2002 DTM Champion.
An assessment that was confirmed by reigning champion Mattias Ekström: “A very demanding track.” Just like the entire field, Ekström and his team also tested many things and learned a lot, during the course of the test sessions. And when Tom Kristensen was asked for his first impressions of the ‘Istanbul Park’, he praised: “It’s just incredible. It’s the best new track I’ve ever been racing on.”
Furthermore, the two 90-minute Friday sessions also proved that the DTM enthusiasts may look forward to another thrilling race. At the end of the day, the 16 fastest cars were split by less than a second. All the 20 DTM drivers focused on gathering as many data as possible. In the qualifying session you will find out who was the most successful when it came to making use of these data to perfectly set his car up. The ARD will cover the Istanbul qualifying action live from 14.00hrs CET.