Wolfsburg (24 April 2006) “Double period ” in the ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup: at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz the drivers in Germany’s most successful “touring car school” will be contesting two races on a single weekend (28 – 30 April) for the first time this year.
Following the turbulent and thrilling curtain raiser at Hockenheim the spectators attending the DTM weekend at the EuroSpeedway are now in for a double bill of exciting racing action as well as a new qualifying format: for the first time, the grid positions for both Polo Cup races will be determined in two short qualifying sessions which will be interrupted merely by a short, five-minute break.
“Hockenheim gave a good foretaste of a thrilling season with various talented drivers at the front of the field,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “With the compact qualifying format, the young drivers need to adjust to a new situation. You have to plan both sessions very well, quickly warm up the tyres in order to have several attempts at a fast lap, and you should adjust the tyre pressure in an optimum way for both sessions. In addition, you shouldn’t make any mistakes during the first part of the qualifying practice because this might mean you’d have to start to the second race from a place far at the back of the grid. It will be very interesting to see who the drivers will be to best handle this time pressure. ”
One of the favourites travelling to the venue in the “Lausitz” is Jimmy Johansson from Sweden who won the season opening race ahead of Markus Grünewald from Thuringia and Stian Paulsen from Norway. “I wouldn’t mind if things continued this way, but I’m afraid my rivals won’t let me get away that easily,” cautions 21-year-old Johansson who had to fight hard for victory at Hockenheim after Patrik Olsson (Gota) and Markus Grünewald (Sonneberg) had been leading the race. “At the EuroSpeedway I’m again expecting close slipstream duels and dog fights. There are many good opportunities for overtaking there, such as the sharp ADAC corner,” says the knowledgeable Grünewald, who has as much as one year of experience in the 150-hp Racing Polo and – at age 23 – is one of the oldest youngsters in the field.
With less experience but backed by the support of friends and family Alexander Rambow from Brandenburg will be entering his merely second touring car race. After the 17-year-old had impressed as the best participant in the “rookie” classification for newcomers in the qualifying practice, he retired at an early stage of the race after an accident. “My retirement was really too bad, but I’ve put that behind me. At the EuroSpeedway I’m going to again try for a position among the top ten and to see the chequered flag as the best “rookie” this time,” says Rambow, who is completing an apprenticeship as a mechanic. Marleen Seilheimer from Mettenheim, who finished tenth in her touring car debut at Hockenheim, and Marlene Dietrich from Mannheim are two quick ladies in the field.
The ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup is one of the most popular one-make cup series and, in addition, has the reputation of offering an ideal stepping stone towards a racing career as a “touring car school.” The racing series, which debuted in 1998 – then contested by the VW Lupo – is based on a unique set of regulations offering a maximum of equal opportunities for all participants at affordable costs. Competitors, who have to qualify for the Polo Cup via an evaluation and qualification course, are aged between 16 and 24. Talent, not money, determines participation as well as success. This championship for youngsters is being contested with identical Polo cars, which are powered by a 150-hp FSI four-cylinder engine with 2 litres of displacement based on the production unit.. In the 2006 season, the Polo Cup encompasses ten races on seven DTM weekends.
Points score, drivers’ standings after one of ten races
1. Jimmy Johansson, 30 points; 2. Markus Grünewald, 24; 3. Stian Paulsen, 20; 4. Steffen Faas, 17; 5. Andreas Pfister, 16; 6. Christoffer Nygaard, 15; 7. Niclas Kentenich, 14; 8. Timo Walter, 13; 9. Constantin Dressler, 12; 10. Marleen Seilheimer, 11; 11. Nico Bastian, 10; 12. Marc Marbach, 9; 13. Markus Brun, 8; 14. Michael Schöch, 7; 15. Andreas Sauter, 6; 16. Martin Marill, 5; 17. Marlene Dietrich, 4.
Points score, rookies’ standings after one of ten races
1. Timo Walter, 30 points; 2. Marleen Seilheimer, 24; 3. Nico Bastian, 20; 4. Marc Marbach, 17; 5. Markus Brun, 16; 6. Michael Schöch, 15; 7. Andreas Sauter, 14; 8. Martin Marrill, 13.
EuroSpeedway Lausitz: Timetable, ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup
Friday, 28 April 2006
18.25 – 18.55, Free Practice (30 min)
Saturday, 29 April 2006
09.15 – 10.00, Qualifying 1 + 2 (2×20 min, 5-min break)
15.40 – 16.10, Race 1 (15 laps = 51.630 km + formation lap(s), maximum 30 min)
Sunday, 30 April 2006
08.40 – 09.10, Race 2 (15 laps = 51.630 km + formation lap(s), maximum 30 min)