Dennis Marschall produces some spectacular racing at Nürburgring
Dennis Marschall headed back to the Eifel with fond memories, returning to the scene of previous success as the Nürburgring hosted the fifth meeting of the Audi Sport TT Cup at the weekend. The 20-year-old had taken his maiden win of the season on his first appearance in the Audi one-make series under the banner of the Nürburgring 24-hour race. Marschall was all set to do it again. Racing luck was not on his side, though, despite his impressive pace and a spectacular scrap for victory in Race 1. He crossed the finish line in fifth and 13th place. However, he is in second position overall and still has a good chance of lifting the championship title.
You fought for victory for 13 laps in the first fixture in what was probably the most exciting Audi Sport TT Cup race ever. How was the race for you sat in the cockpit?
It was really incredible! Having started from second place on the grid, I was immediately all over the driver in the lead, putting pressure on him all the time. My speed was really good, and I had the best pace of anyone in the entire field. Had I got past him, I would have easily won the race. Unfortunately, Sheldon van der Linde in the lead did a lot of blocking – unfairly at times, I thought. Ultimately, there were several contacts between us, and we even fetched one another off the track in the end. My car was no longer at its best after that, and I dropped down into P5. He didn’t fare much better. I even overtook him again towards the finish and came home ahead of him.
Your grid position was again great with second place on the grid in the second race on Sunday, but…
Yes, unfortunately, there’s that word ‘but’ again! I’d planned to make amends, and it went really well at the start. I went straight into P1, but my joy was short-lived. It was more slippery than I expected in the second turn. I got oversteer and spun. I might have been able to catch it, but unfortunately, couldn’t avoid hitting a fellow competitor in the confusion of the first lap. I don’t blame the other driver, I just misjudged conditions in this situation, and one thing led to another.
Nevertheless, you were able to pick up the race again and still secure eight vital points…
I must first say a big thank you to the Audi mechanics for that! They really helped me. A shock-absorber and wheel got a bit damaged. We saw a chance of points still, as there had been so many retirements. Unfortunately, repairs during the race stoppage took a little longer than the three minutes allowed, which is why I got another drive-through penalty. Nevertheless, I was 13th at the chequered flag and took eight points, because some guest entrants, who finished in front of me, were not eligible to score.
You are currently second in the championship. Are your sights still firmly fixed on the title?
Most definitely! Of course, the championship fight has not got any easier after this weekend. I had planned to increase my lead on Sheldon. I did indeed manage that, but unfortunately, I’ve been overtaken in the standings by another driver and am 17 points down in second place. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of points on the table, and I’ve no intention of giving up!
The next round in the title fight gets under way in two weeks’ time. What are your expectations as you head to the Hungaroring?
This will be my first time out at this track. I’ll prepare myself with videos and drives in the simulator prior to the weekend. It’s a flowing circuit with long, drawn-out turns. It will be interesting to see how our Audi TT Cup car behaves on the new tarmac. The track will be quite hard on tyres, and the race could again be a gamble with tyres, especially with our front-wheel drive.