The Maiden DBA Win
Odd things were going on at Oschersleben yesterday, prior to the DBA crossing the line for its first ever win – as race winner Andy Wallace explains…..

“I thought it was a fantastic circuit, but the layout of the pit exit created the problem – that and the shortage of cars. We knew there was a problem on Saturday, because as you left the pits, you had to go round the outside of the first corner, staying beyond the white line – just as you have to at Magny-Cours and elsewhere. That was where all the marbles were collecting, so as you left the pits, you collected the rubber on your tyres. So a request was made for the pit exit to be swept before the race, but of course there was nothing anyone could do once the 150 minute race started.

“Our plan was for Hayanari (Shimoda) to start the race, and go almost to the half way point before pitting for the first time. That turned out to be a very good strategy. He drove an excellent 70 minute stint – a really brilliant job. While he stayed out there, Jan Lammers, then Gabbiani and then the Pescarolo car all came in for their first stops, picked up the rubber on the way out, and went slower. So Hayanari stayed out, and gained time on them all. With so few cars racing, each car that pitted collected substantial amounts of rubber.

“But of course until later on, we were unclear exactly what was happening… least until I took over at 70 minutes. And then the jacks wouldn’t work. The team had to use inflatable air bags to lift the car, so it was a bit wobbly and must have made changing the wheels pretty difficult. We lost at least a minute, and the Pescarolo car was in the lead – perhaps it didn’t pick up the rubber as badly.

“First lap out, I thought I was going to crash. It felt like a loose wheel, and the car was zig-zagging all over the place. I got on the radio to Dave Price and said that I must have a loose wheel, but they checked the nuts and they were all tight – so I had to press on. Straight back out and through the rubber again.

“I drove it like a madman to get rid of the rubber: I was swerving about, then trying to scrub it off the fronts in the corners. It was more difficult to get rid of it off the back because the car doesn’t spin its wheels.“My laps times were pretty poor, but they were better than everybody else’s! There was so much rubber on the rears, it actually changed the gearing of the car. On the straight, I stayed in fifth, rather than change up to sixth.

“In the end, I dived up the inside of the Courage at the last corner, and finally got him at the first corner. The Zytek V8 is really smooth: they’ve done a great job with the mapping of that engine.

“Both of the Domes made stops because they had cars as twitchy as mine, but I guess we just made the most of it.”

So a difficult weekend, but it was a win all the same for the DBA4-03S. The first ever overall win for a 675 car. And John Nielsen won in the Danish Touring Cars too – so a double victory for RN Motorsports.

Andy Wallace is off to Sears Point early on Wednesday, for the ALMS race. With Trois Rivieres following along close behind, we’ll try and catch up with him after the next pair of ALMS events, for the full story behind both….


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