DTM driver Mike Rockenfeller provides a personal perspective of the upcoming races at Moscow Raceway.
How did you spend the DTM summer break?
With the team we continued to work on improving the set-up for the next races. In addition, I had a number of commitments including events with our partner Schaeffler and at Audi in Neuburg. Naturally, I spent as much time as possible with my family at Lake Constance. A few days ago, our second son, Paul, was born – he’s doing well and we’re very happy.
What’s your impression of Moscow?
I’ve had several opportunities to get to know the city even aside from the DTM races. Most recently, I visited the new Audi City where I watched the Le Mans 24 Hours – almost directly on Red Square. It’s generally a metropolis that’s really worth seeing. At the races I always enjoyed the friendliness of the people. And the interest shown by the local journalists is impressive as well. I’ve seldom seen so many members of the media at a press conference as I did following my victory in the DTM’s premiere in Moscow in 2013.
What is characteristic of Moscow Raceway?
The track has a good grip level. The surface is very even and has hardly any bumps. The left-hand turns, some of which are very fast, are technically pretty challenging to drive. You can’t brake as straight on entering and then turn in, but only brake while you’re driving through the corner. This poses the challenge of adjusting the set-up and your driving style so that you hit the brakes as late as possible without the rear of the car swinging out due to the lateral acceleration or the front wheels locking. In addition, the long straight offers a good opportunity for overtaking with DRS.
What are your expectations for the two races next week?
As always, it’s difficult to predict the outcome of the race. Having scored two victories, I’ve always felt very comfortable there. We hope that we made the right steps forward during the summer break and, as a result, will be well-set for the race weekend. In that case, I expect us to be in contention for victories again.
Coming up next week
19-21.08 Moscow (RUS), DTM races 11 and 12 19-21.08 Zandvoort (NL), ADAC GT Masters races 11 and 12 19-21.08 Zandvoort (NL), Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy races 9 and 10 20.08 Nürburgring (D), VLN round 6