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Niedzwiedz And Thiim Versus Winkelhock And Lauda: DTM Stars' Generation Battle
Posted by: newsla on May 02, 2012 - 05:59 PM
Sports Cars
Niedzwiedz And Thiim Versus Winkelhock And Lauda: DTM Stars' Generation Battle In Legends Cup


Four former DTM drivers representing completely different eras compete in the Legends classification at the second round of the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup season at the Lausitzring (04–05 May). The big attraction this time is found in the old versus young battle, since both Klaus Niedzwiedz (61) and Kurt Thiim (53) could be the fathers of Markus Winkelhock or Mathias Lauda (both 31).

 

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“The Legends Cup which runs within every Scirocco R-Cup race is an absolute highlight,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. “This is certainly the case this time when we have an exciting duel between the old campaigners and two drivers from recent DTM history – I’m intrigued to see who is in front at the end.”

Thiim and Niedzwiedz were major players during the first DTM heydays from the mid 1980s to 1996 when the series collapsed. Dane Thiim took the DTM title in 1986 at the wheel of a Rover Vitesse. With 19 race wins to his name, he holds third place in the DTM all-time winners list behind Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig. Niedzwiedz can also boast six DTM race victories. He was DTM championship runner-up in 1989 in a Ford Sierra. Second in the World Touring Car Championship in 1987 and victories in the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring in 1982 and 1987 number among his greatest triumphs.

The DTM oldies have already faced each other in Volkswagen’s Scirocco R-Cup. “The race at the Lausitzring will be our third Cup duel. Kurt blew me away once and I beat him once. This is the all important runoff in our small personal duel,” laughs TV commentator Niedzwiedz. His sporadic return to the cockpit is always a little like jumping into the fountain of youth: “When I’m sitting on the grid and the adrenalin rush begins I actually feel the same as I did during my active career.”

In the meantime Thiim has also acquainted himself with push-to-pass system which increases the engine power from 173 kW (235 hp) to 210 KW (285 hp) for a limited time. “It makes the fights for position and the races more interesting as a result. We racing drivers are always happy to use something that gives us more power.”

Their opponents in the Lausitz raced in the DTM about 20 years later. Matthias Lauda competed for Mercedes between 2006 and 2009. Winkelhock started his DTM career in 2004 at Mercedes and after a short detour through Formula 1 – where he started at the European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring for Spyker in 2007 – continued it at Audi. Both are currently opponents in the FIA GT1 World Championship. Markus Winkelhock competes in the Scirocco R-Cup for the very first time in the Lausitz. “My father Manfred won on the debut of the old Scirocco-Cup in 1976. Perhaps I can repeat this victory,” says the Swabian in anticipation of the race. “My biggest problem will certainly be adjusting to the car. I’ve never driven a race in a front-wheel drive car. This requires a different driving style. But after a test in preparation I’m really excited about my guest race as it’s incredible fun to drive the Cup-Scirocco.”

The race in the Lausitz is Lauda’s second Scirocco R-Cup guest start. In the 2011 season finale at Hockenheim he was barged into the gravel bed by a competitor on the first lap and did not see the chequered flag. “I hope that I have a little more luck this time,” says the son of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda. “This time I was able to test beforehand and go much better prepared to the race than I did last year at Hockenheim.”

Short portraits of the Legend starters

Mathias Lauda (born: 30 January 1981 in Salzburg, A) started motorsport relatively late. Without the usual basic training in karts the son of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda started in Formula Nissan 2000 at the age of 21. He drove 41 races in the DTM for Mercedes Benz between 2006 and 2009. This season he contests the FIA GT1 World Championship in a BMW Z4 GT3.

Klaus Niedzwiedz (born: 24 February 1951 in Dortmund, D) can look back on a successful career in sportscars and touring cars. Today a TV commentator, he was championship runner-up in the Touring Car World Championship (1987) and the DTM (1989). He won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (1982, 1987) twice and mounted the top step of the podium at six DTM races.

Kurt Thiim (born: 3. August 1958 in Vojens, DK) was German Formula 3 Champion in 1984. He celebrated quite possibly his greatest victory after taking the DTM title in a Rover Vitesse in 1986. With 19 race wins to his name, Thiim holds third place in the DTM all-time winners list.

Markus Winkelhock (born: 13 June 1980 in Stuttgart, D) completed a classic career for budding single-seater stars. After fourth place in the F3 Euro Series in 2003 he moved up into the DTM where he initially drove for Mercedes-Benz before making a brief foray to formula cars and then returning for Audi between 2007 and 2010. The Swabian currently races a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in the FIA GT1 World Championship for the Saxon team Münnich Motorsport.

TV schedule

Saturday, 05 May 2012
23.00–23.15 Sport1 Scirocco R-Cup Highlights

Sunday, 06 May 2012
23.45–24.00 Sport1 “DTM – Das Rennen” with Scirocco R-Cup

Monday, 07 May 2012
Morning n-tv Sport News

Wednesday, 09 May 2012
00.40–01.05 n-tv “PS Spezial – Motorsport pur”

Saturday, 12 May 2012
06.45–07.15 Sport1 “DTM – Das Magazin” with Scirocco R-Cup

Sunday, 13 May 2012
07.30–07.55 n-tv “PS Spezial – Motorsport pur” (re-run)

All 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup races can also be watched on a live stream on the internet; optionally with English or German commentaries. The racing action is broadcast on www.volkswagen-motorsport.com/livestream.

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