Opel – Preparing For The ‘Ring Already
The 32nd edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours is still six months away (Le Mans weekend of course) but preparations for the German classic have already begun – writes Johannes Gauglica.

Says Opel motorsport manager Volker Strycek: "Next to our involvement in the DTM, our participation in the 24-hour race is another highlight in Opel's motorsport programme for 2004; this year, we will once again be up against works teams from Audi and BMW, as well as numerous strong privateer teams. And of course, we want to repeat last year's great success!"

This statement was given at the end of a three day endurance test with the Opel Astra OPC V8 Coupé at Estoril last week. This new 'Ring endurance-prepared chassis is based on a 2003 DTM racer (last year's cars were modified 2002 chassis); driven by Strycek himself, along with Opel DTM works drivers Marcel Fässler, Timo Scheider, Manuel Reuter, and Marcel Tiemann, the car withstood the rigours of several long distance runs in varying weather conditions without major trouble.

"We have tried several components and also various tyres," said Strycek. "The changing weather conditions, with rain on the last afternoon, allowed us to try slicks, intermediates and rain tyres, and several different settings. All in all, we have acquired valuable experience that will certainly be useful during our efforts on the Nordschleife."

The Opel works team, victorious for the first time last year, is clearly intent on picking up where it left off in 2003.




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