Susie Stoddart will seek to pick up her first DTM points of the year later this month as the series heads to Brands Hatch for the eighth round of the campaign.

Ahead of her 'home' round, Susie spoke to Radio during Mobil 1's DTM preview event at Brooklands about her year to date...
Are you pleased with your season so far Susie?

Susie Stoddart:
Yeah I think it's been a solid start to the year. I wouldn't say I am overly happy with it but I wouldn't say I am disappointed with it either. There are four races left and there is the chance to get some good results in, but I have made progress and have improved on last year.

The situation changes every year in terms of how quick and how good your car is, but I have done a better job than last year. For me, it is great to have Gary Paffett as a team-mate given he is a past champion and a Formula One test driver. If I can get close to him, I know I am on the limit of the car and am doing a good job.
You've finished most of the races this year but haven't yet scored. Is that frustrating?

Susie Stoddart:
No. I think it always been my aim to score points but you have to realistic about your chances of achieving that. There are a lot of '07 cars that have scored points and I have been close and put in some good performances. For sure, I want to score points and it's what I'll be working on.
How tough was the last round at the Nurburgring?

Susie Stoddart:
The race was very late and it was difficult for the teams to know when to call you into the pits. But it was a pretty good race for me. I made a good start and was high up at the start but we probably made a mistake in making a third stop for wet tyres. Overall it was a successful weekend for Mercedes though.
How much are you looking forward to Brands Hatch?

Susie Stoddart:
For me I don't class Brands Hatch as a home race as its hours away from my hometown in Scotland! But it will be nice to do all my interviews in English and race in front of a home crowd if you can call it that. It is a shame we are on the Indy circuit rather than the GP circuit but it should be a good weekend and Lewis Hamilton is there doing a demonstration which will be great for the fans. We have a strong field of British drivers and I hope we get the people there to watch.
Do you think the GP circuit would be better for the DTM then?

Susie Stoddart:
I think the drivers would rather have the GP circuit but the DTM is based on the fans and that is what makes it successful. For them, I think it is better to see the cars on the Indy circuit as they can see them all the time and the racing should be tight and close.
How important is it for Britain to have a round?

Susie Stoddart:
Mercedes support young British talent and there are four British drivers in the nine driver line-up - so it is important to have a round in Britain. We have the chance to show the British fans how good the cars are and what a good championship it is.
Crowd numbers can be lower than in Germany - is that a worry?

Susie Stoddart:
In Germany the DTM is massive; it is only just behind Formula One so people really appreciate it and enjoy the racing. It isn't as well known in the UK but I hope we get a good showing with lots of people in.
We mentioned the weather at the Nurburgring and the UK summer weather can be unpredictable. Do you think that could make it a lottery?

Susie Stoddart:
Yeah for sure. In the DTM it is hard for visibility when you get a lot of rain and there will be a lot of traffic at Brands Hatch with such a short lap but it will make for an exciting race for the spectators.
Are you enjoying racing a more up to date car this season compared to the past two years?

Susie Stoddart:
Yeah but if you look at it, it hasn't been a massive step with the weight differences. But it is nice to step up the order a little and hopefully we can keep going that way in future.
What's it like having an ex-F1 race winner in Ralf Schumacher as a fellow Mercedes runner?

Susie Stoddart:
He has shown how tough DTM is as he is one of the most successful German F1 drivers and he has seen how competitive the series is. He has done a good job so far but has seen how tough the series can be.
There is an obvious rivalry with Katherine Legge which gets stoked up by the media...

Susie Stoddart:
She is another one of the 18 drivers I have to beat and there is no special rivalry there; she is just another racer. I think the media interest had died down a bit now as it isn't a female race; it is one race and one battle out there. And my aim is to be the top '07 Mercedes car.
What does the future hold?

Susie Stoddart:
My aim is to be successful in the DTM ad do well in the championship. Then we will see what happens from there.
Would you appreciate the extra competition of a third manufacturer?

Susie Stoddart:
Without a doubt. It is a successful series as it is with just two manufacturers, so a third one would make it even better than it is now.


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