Fresh from his dominant win in the first round of the German Touring Car Championship at Hockenheim earlier this month, Mercedes' victor Bernd Schneider will head into this weekend's second round at the shortened 3.44km EuroSpeedway Lausitz with a slight weight problem.

Alongside Schneider, his HWA team mates Jamie Green, Mika Hakkinen and Bruno Spengler will also suffer the five kilogram weight penalty whereas the Audi squad, desperate to deny Mercedes, will have five kilograms removed handing them the advantage in the bulk stakes.

In the build up to Sunday's race near Dresden, Germany, Schneider is confident of success despite the additional weight, and hopes to make it a hat-trick of wins at the EuroSpeedway.

"After two race wins at the Lausitzring I aim for victory number three," said the former champion, "weight handicap will make it quite a challenge."

Britain's Jamie Green meanwhile alluded to his frustrating start in Hockenheim where he claimed pole before spinning on the warm up lap due to electrical problems and retiring early on.

"I have already three pole positions, but no victory," sighed Green, "maybe I should try a different grid position!"

Meanwhile, fellow Mercedes challenger Hakkinen, who goes well at the circuit deep in the former GDR, is hoping to continue his rich seam of form there.

The Double Formula One World Champion hinted that a strong qualifying run on Saturday could hold the key to Sunday's race for the Finn. "One year ago, I claimed my first DTM podium finish here. This time I want more, but to achieve this I have to qualify better than in Hockenheim."

Norbert Haug, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport admitted the weight gain will cause an issue for his cars, but cites past form as possibly negating the effect.

"It will be more difficult for us than in Hockenheim," he said, "due to the handicap weight. However, last year we won here with the same weight gap and nothing but winning is our target again."

Hot on the heels of the Mercedes' will be Audi, and Wolfgang Ulrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, sees both the circuit, combined with the weight advantage, will benefit Audi at the circuit.

"We have good memories of the EuroSpeedway from last year and," admitted Ulrich, "and since our DTM comeback as a manufacturer, have won two of three races there. The circuit should be suiting us even a better than at Hockenheim, that is why we have set our sights on victory." confirmed Ulrich.

2004 Champion Mattias Ekstrom is looking to make up for retirement at Hockenheim and looks to prevail on a circuit he enjoys.

"It's one of my favourite tracks because in 2001 I clinched my first podium in the DTM here," said Ekstrom, "and last year won the last race I've driven so far at this circuit.

"After retiring at Hockenheim, I'm coming to the EuroSpeedway with an extra dose of motivation. I know that I need a good result there."

The Swede's team mate Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who jumped straight from Opel last year into the Audi this year at Hockenheim and claimed third on the podium hopes to build upon his strong start to 2006.

"Third place at Hockenheim was a good start," said the ex-Williams Formula One driver, "this gives me a positive feeling for the EuroSpeedway as well. I've gotten to know the Audi squad and I am in the process of acclimatising myself very well."

The only Audi ahead of Frentzen at Hockenheim was that of Tom Kristensen, who will be looking to the second round of the Championship to claim his first DTM victory since 2004 on Sunday and is confident of a good showing.

"The season opener at Hockenheim was very thrilling," said the Dane. "In the race we showed that we've got the right speed - even on a 'Mercedes track'. In terms of its characteristics, the EuroSpeedway should be suiting our A4 even better. We want to score as many points as possible and, preferably, Audi's first win of the season."


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