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 Nürburgring.
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 Nürburgring 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.