by Russell Atkins

Leading British tin-top star Jamie Green was arguably the fastest driver in the DTM last year, but for all his raw pace came away without a single race win to his name. He is adamant the forthcoming campaign will be a very different story.

In only his second season in the hotly-contested series, the 24-year-old stormed to four pole positions and registered a brace second-place finishes on his way to fifth position in the drivers' standings, in the exalted company of megastars such as Mika Hakkinen, Jean Alesi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Tom Kristensen. Here the former F3 Euroseries champion explains how he intends to make it a case of third time lucky in 2007...

Q:
Jamie, how excited are you about the season ahead?

Jamie Green:
I'm really optimistic for this year. Last year had a lot of positives apart obviously from not managing to get a race win, but overall it was a really good year for me. I think 2007 could and should be even better.

Q:
You mentioned last year. In 2006 you had a stunning record in qualifying, so the pace was certainly there. What do you think you have learned from that experience that you can put into practice this time around?

JG:
I learned you get no points on Saturdays! I finished fifth in the championship and that's all that really counts - the championship - not how many pole positions you set. This year I definitely need to work on my race performances, which is mainly the starts. They are my weak points, and if I can conquer that I think I will then have a very good chance of winning the championship.

Q:
One of the highlights for you last year must have been leading in front of your home crowd at Brands Hatch; how are you looking forward to going back there again?

JG:
Brands Hatch is unfinished business for me because I really should have won there last year, and to win in front of your home crowd would be a really special day. That's what I would like to do, so I'm especially looking forward to going back there.

Q:
The DTM is a fiercely-competitive series, and you will be racing this year in a 2007-spec Mercedes. How much of an advantage is that likely to give you?

JG:
You never know how close the new cars are going to be to the year-old cars, so you can't really predict how much of an advantage being in a new car will be. Obviously I'm happy to be in an '07 car, though. If Gary Paffett is in a used car then we will really see what the difference is, because he is the top driver. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Q:
Do you foresee a close fight with Audi again this year?

JG:
You never know. I think overall we had a slightly better package last year than Audi did, and even on the occasions when we had more weight in the car I was still able to qualify on pole position. We had a strong package and hopefully this year we can have a similar situation.

Q:
Who do you see as providing your chief opposition this year?

JG:
That's a good question. I think all my team-mates are rivals - they have got the same car as me. Mika, Bruno (Spengler) and Bernd (Schneider) are obviously the main ones because they have a similar opportunity as me, but then at Audi you can never rule out (Mattias) Ekstrom and Kristensen in particular, so there will be a lot of competition for sure.

Q:
It must have given you a lot of confidence last year to emerge as the fastest qualifier overall at the end of the season, especially with, as you say, drivers of the calibre of Hakkinen, Schneider and Kristensen in the field?

JG:
Yeah. It does give you a bit of a lift to know your ultimate pace is as good as or better than anybody else's, and especially against someone like Mika who has won the Formula One World Championship twice. It was quite surprising to be quicker than him - it's a bit of a strange situation for a young driver to be in, but at the same time a nice situation.

Q:
So what would you say are your ultimate hopes and aims for the year ahead? What do you think you can achieve out on the track?

JG:
To improve on Sundays and make some better starts, and I think the end result of that will be race wins. That's obviously the ultimate aim, but I just want to keep improving every year and enjoying the challenge, and hopefully if I do all that it will get me some wins along the way.

Q:
And if that is the case you could maybe even have a shot at the title too..?

JG:
Yeah, I think that's definitely possible. Bruno Spengler finished second in the championship last year and I wasn't too far behind him. That shows what's possible and I know I'm capable of doing the same as him.

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