Jamie Green will be hoping to draw inspiration from Formula 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton when the DTM arrives at Brands Hatch this weekend - and leap to the head of the drivers' standings by triumphing in front of his home supporters.

Green infamously spun away a likely victory when the pan-European tin-top series visited the country two years ago, but he is currently enjoying comfortably his most successful campaign since he joined the DTM back in 2005, lying second in the points table, just four markers adrift of Audi pace-setter Timo Scheider.

With three rostrum finishes from the first seven races of 2008 - two of which have been wins, at Mugello and the Norisring - the 26-year-old is certainly keeping up the pressure on his Audi rivals, and he will have the added incentive of Hamilton cheering him on this weekend, with the McLaren F1 ace due to support his fellow Mercedes drivers trackside throughout the race.

"Completing 82 laps on this short track requires one hour of maximum concentration," the former McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year and F3 Euroseries Champion stated. "I look forward to my home race in front of hopefully packed grandstands."

Brands Hatch is a home race, too, for Green's three-pointed star team-mates, with Paul di Resta similarly firmly in title contention, lying just three points further in arrears in the rankings ahead of the weekend. Gary Paffett and Susie Stoddart will also surely receive a wealth of support from the capacity crowds throughout the meeting.

It is record-breaking five-time series champion Bernd Schneider, however, who is the defending race-winner at Brands, with the experienced German also the DTM lap record-holder around the Kent circuit and the man who prevailed last time out in 2008 at the N?rburgring.

The 44-year-old - the most successful DTM driver in the UK - is expected to hang up his helmet at the end of the current campaign to move into an ambassadorial role with Mercedes, potentially making this his last competitive outing on British soil.

"I look forward to Brands Hatch," he enthused, "and with my victory last year I have good memories of this track. My win at the N?rburgring motivates me even more.

"The race on the short circuit will not be an easy one; however, I am fit, well-prepared and I want a podium finish."

The encounter will also mark the 50th time Mercedes has taken on rival manufacturer Audi head-to-head since the latter's arrival in the championship as a works' concern back in 2004, with the Stuttgart marque prevailing on 31 of those occasions, and four-three so far this season. Due to success ballast, though, the four 2008-spec Mercedes' will have to run 10kg heavier than their Audi counterparts this weekend.

"The challenges of the less-than two kilometres-long Indy circuit at Brands Hatch are quite different from those recently experienced at the N?rburgring," acknowledged Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug. "Apart from good speed, tactics and pit-stop strategies are particularly important here, because after a couple of laps there will probably be no situation without traffic.

"The race is also physically very demanding - 82 laps in a row is something you don't even see in a Formula 1 race. Lewis Hamilton's visit and his demonstration laps with his Formula 1 car are a thank you to the DTM spectators at Brands Hatch. They all can look forward to a great race and an awesome show - with Lewis as well as with his driver colleagues in the DTM."

Hamilton's visit will also mark a return to his roots of sorts, with the 23-year-old having spent two years racing on the DTM support bill en route to clinching the F3 Euroseries laurels back in 2005. The Stevenage-born ace will perform a couple of demonstration laps in his McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 in addition to signing autographs for the fans at the track.


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