Stoddart: I`m ready to show what I can do.

by Russell Atkins

Susie Stoddart may have ultimately come up just short in her stated aim of scoring a point in the DTM this year – her sophomore season in the leading European tin-top series – but she is convinced she can make it third time lucky in 2008.

The Scot achieved a best qualifying position of twelfth and a best race finish of tenth place in 2007 – just two spots shy of the points – in her 2005-spec Mücke Motorsport Mercedes C-Class. Had Lady Luck not deserted her when she was looking well on course to break her points duck at the Eurospeedway Lausitz back in May, though – a race dogged by controversial safety car decisions that mistakenly put some drivers, Stoddart included, a lap down – the story could have been rather different.

“I have to admit this year wasn't everything I had hoped it would be,” she candidly acknowledged, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio, “but it had its positive moments and I certainly still learned a hell of a lot. I was a lot closer to the pace at every race this year.

“It's very easy to look at qualifying and results and to think 'hey, it wasn't that great a year', but then when I look behind those and realise what I've achieved in certain circumstances I have to be happy with it. The DTM is incredibly tough, but I know I can achieve results there and 2007 just confirmed that. For me overall, it was another good year, and I'm feeling really positive ahead of next year.”

There was certainly a marked improvement in qualifying form this season, with the 24-year-old insisting the 2005-spec car was a lot closer to the front-running pace than the 2004-spec one had been the previous year.

“I think the whole weight penalty rule made a big difference to the two-year-old cars and meant we could fight harder,” she asserted. “That enabled me to learn so much more about the car, and in the DTM you never stop learning.

“We had some great moments in qualifying – like at Hockenheim, the Norisring and the Nürburgring – and some great races like the Lausitzring, where we battled hard and should have finished fifth but didn't because of the whole fiasco with the safety cars.”

Now turning her attentions to 2008, the fast lady from Oban – a BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award finalist five years ago – has high hopes, and justifiably so.

“I hope there are going to be some changes to the championship,” she said, “especially in terms of strategy concerning when people can make pit-stops, giving all the cars a bit of a fairer chance. People shouldn't be able to have great races purely through strategy, or be hampered by their strategy.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mercedes star Susie Stoddart during qualifying for the penultimate round on the 2007 DTM calendar at Barcelona [pic credit: DTM Media]
Leading DTM star Susie Stoddart in one of her poses for men`s lifestyle magazine GQ [pic credit: www.susiestoddart.com]
Susie Stoddart - TV-Speilfilm AMG Mercedes [pic credit: DTM Media]
Martin Tomczyk - BMW Team Schnitzer [pic credit BMW Press Group]
Mercedes AMG C63 DTM [pic credit Daimler Global Media]
Timo Scheider - Phoenix Audi RS 5 DTM [pic credit Audi Sport]
Mike Rockenfeller - Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit Audi Sport]
Mike Rockenfeller - Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit Audi Sport]
Mattias Ekstrom - Abt Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit Audi Sport]
Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM, [Credit: Mercedes Media]
Esteban Ocon, Mercedes, DTM [Credit: Mercedes-AMG DTM]
BMW has announced that it will retain an unchanged line-up for its 2016 DTM activities
Antonio Felix da Costa Team Schnitzer BMW M4 DTM - pic credit [DTM Media]
Jamie Green - Rosberg Audi RS5 [pic credit Audi Sport]
Jamie Green - Rosberg Audi RS5 [pic credit Audi Sport]
Mike Rockenfeller - Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM [pic credit Audi Sport]
Maxime Martin - BMW Team RMG [pic credit DTM Media]
Maxime Martin - BMW Team RMG [pic credit DTM Media]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.