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
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.