Hot in Misano
Bella Italia! From 24th to 26th August, DTM will make its first stop at the Adria's Riviera, in the Emilia-Romagna - and consequently in a very special atmosphere. The Italian Spa Misano will stage the 13th and 14th round of the popular touring-car series.
Following several modifications, the 'Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli' now features a track length of 4.226 kilometres and 16 corners - 10 right-handers and only six left-handers. A layout that doesn't offer much room for high-speed sections. The longest straight has got a length of just 565 metres.
The circuit was opened in 1972. 21 years later it was extended to 4.060 kilometres. Furthermore, a new pit building with a 600-square metre media centre was built. In the years 1996 and 1997 the pit building was enlarged once again and later, a permanent grandstand was added. From autumn 2006 to spring 2007 the entire circuit was subjected to another modification and since then the races have been contested clockwise. The run-off areas were extended and the safety increased, in particular to meet the MotoGP standards. The result is a modern, challenging driver circuit with different corner radii.
Misano is virgin soil on the DTM calendar. The German Super Touring Car Championship's (STW) race meeting in 1999 was the only one a German series held at the 13,000-citizen town. The race meeting was held from 06th to 08th August and was the fifth in the season. "You have to know Misano," said Opel Motorsport Director and the first DTM Champion in the history of the sport, Volker Strycek, in the run-up to the event. "If you miss the racing line you can just forget it." In 1999m the race action still took place on the 4.060-kilometre version. The STW sprint featured 13 laps, the feature race 26.
The temperatures and the humidity were enormous and the engines weren't the only things that overheated. During the warm-up on Sunday the temperatures reached 40° C in the shade and 60 in the cockpits. "This wasn't a warm-up. It was a heat-up," said Christian Abt after the session. Abt finished fifth in the sprint although he crashed into the rear of 11-time DTM race-winner Manuel Reuter on the final lap. "I was flying blind as my windscreen was completely smudgy. Reuter's Opel lost Oil all the time."
Reuter who was born in Mainz is the drivers' representative today and still remembers the races in Misano well. "The circuit features a lot of tight corners," he told DTM.com. "In those days the races at Misano were contested anti-clockwise. If it was hot and making sure that the car and the brakes in particular survived the entire distance was quite a challenge," reveals Reuter who contested 200 DTM races to score a total of 1127 points. Only Klaus Ludwig (1823), Bernd Schneider (1808), Kurt Thiim (1441) and Roland Asch (1163) were more successful.
"Basically there are a lot of changes in direction," Reuter recalls. "Finding a good balance for the car isn't easy. In the slow corners you need a lot of traction and a lot of downforce in the fast. Furthermore, you have to cope with the high temperatures. You have to go easy on your tyres and your brakes," adds the German who has got particularly fond memories of the atmosphere and the environment. "The STW meeting attracted a big crowd. And the Italian fans always are cool, they just love motor racing. That was great. We arrived a bit earlier than necessary and in the heat we used the time for going to the beach. This was a special ambience and it felt somewhat like holidays."