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Motorsports / DTM: german touring cars championship 2013, 5. Race at Nuernberg, Norisring

DTM RETURNING TO CHINA IN 2014 – 

The DTM will stage a race in China again in 2014. DTM rights holder and promoter, 
ITR e.V., and the Chinese Brilliant Culture Group have agreed upon a race for the most popular international touring car series in a Chinese metropolis next year. This round is to take place in the autumn of 2014, but, other than in 2010, will not be the final round of the season. The venue is yet to be decided. The decision whether the DTM will again be racing in Shanghai, or in Guangdong in the south of China, also known as Canton, will be taken at a later stage.

“We are delighted that we are allowed to be guests with the DTM in China for the third time. The Chinese passenger car market is among the fastest growing in the world and therefore is very important for our manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Moreover, we see the commitment and the passion with which our Chinese partners are pushing for this project and as a result, we feel very well in China. No matter what the decision about the venue will be: we will be racing in one of the biggest cities in the world,” says Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman of the board of ITR e.V. 

“China is ready for DTM’s return. We are now the largest car market in the world and the Chinese fans of Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz are looking forward to seeing their favourite manufacturers race here again. DTM will no doubt help grow motorsports culture in China,” says Maggie Ip, Chairman of the Brilliant Culture Group.

The DTM already raced in China in 2004 and 2010, each time in Shanghai. In 2004, Gary Paffett won an invitation race from his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Bernd Schneider and Audi driver Mattias Ekström. In 2010, Gary Paffett again won the race, but second place from Timo Scheider (Audi) was enough for his Mercedes-Benz team-mate Paul di Resta to secure the title. While Audi and Mercedes-Benz have already raced in China, the race in 2014 will be a premiere for BMW. 

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MAIDEN POLE FOR ROBERT WICKENS-

Nuremberg. At the Norisring, Robert Wickens claimed the maiden pole position of his DTM career. In the final heat on Saturday, the Mercedes-Benz driver needed 48.384 seconds for the 2.3 kilometres long lap and was overjoyed after his fantastic performance. “I knew that I had done a good lap, but I wasn’t sure whether it was enough to be on top. I just had butterflies in my stomach until Gary told me that I was first. However, it will be a hard race tomorrow,” the Canadian said.

Wickens’s compatriot Bruno Spengler (BMW) ended up second in qualifying. Thus, two Canadians will be lining up on the front row of the grid for the first time in DTM history. “It was a difficult qualifying, but I am happy with the result. Tomorrow, I will be starting on the inside from second place, that could turn out to be a slight advantage,” the three times Norisring winner said.

Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), who scored his first season victory at Lausitzring four weeks ago, will be starting from third place on Sunday and could make up ground on points’ leader Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), who didn’t do better than 19th. Instead, the best-placed Audi driver was Edoardo Mortara in fourth place. “Mercedes-Benz was very strong, but we had a good qualifying as well. I had a good feeling for my car and I reckon that we will be even stronger in the race tomorrow,” the Italian said.

Rockenfeller, who is leading the points’ standings equal on points with Bruno Spengler, already was out after the first qualifying heat. “Our set-up simply wasn’t right, my team-mate Molina even ended up last. It is frustrating, but we won’t give up. Last year, I still finished sixth here after a rather poor performance in qualifying,” the Audi driver said. 

Classified fifth, DTM novice Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz) missed out on making it into the final qualifying heat by only 17 thousandths of a second. Andy Priaulx will be starting next to him from sixth place on the third row with his BMW M3 DTM. Mercedes-Benz driver Daniel Juncadella, last year’s Formula 3 champion, also showed a strong qualifying performance with seventh place. Eight-placed Filipe Albuquerque was the second-best Audi driver from his fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström. 

Jamie Green (Audi), who is considered as ’king of the Norisring’ with four victories, didn’t do better than a disappointing 14th place in qualifying. Thus, another success at the street circuit in Nuremberg seems far off for the 31-year old. 

An overview of the tyre choice of every driver for the start of the race can be found atwww.dtm.com this evening. The fifth season round will cover 83 laps and 190.900 kilometres and will start on Sunday at 13.30hrs (CEST). ARD will already be broadcasting live from 13.15hrs.

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Paffett is making Mercedes-Benz happy – victory at Lausitzring…

Klettwitz. With a dominant lights-to-flag victory for Brit Gary Paffett at Lausitzring, Mercedes-Benz makes a strong comeback in the battle for the DTM title. After 52 laps, the 2005 DTM champion crossed the finish line as the buoyant winner and already collected the winner’s trophy for the 20th time in the DTM. In the drivers’ standings, Paffett moved up to third place behind Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), who are jointly in the lead.

“I had a great car. This was a perfect race. We got everything out of the option tyres and then tried to keep our margin big enough to prevent Rocky to use the DRS,” Paffett said after his third race win at Lausitz. For Mercedes-Benz, it was already the ninth win in the 15th race at the Lausitzring.

Mike Rockenfeller also showed a very strong race and turned sixth place on the grid into a second-place finish thanks to a good performance and the right tyre management. “Today, we had a different strategy and didn’t start the race with the option tyres. I had a good pace and we got the best out of the car. However, it wasn’t quite enough to catch Gary,” ’Rocky’ said.

The driver in third place also was very happy with his race. Christian Vietoris, who had claimed his maiden pole position on Saturday, already finished on the podium for the second time this season. In the season opener at Hockenheim, the 24-year old had also come third.

In total, 65,000 fans came to watch the fourth race weekend of the DTM. On Sunday, they got to see a race that was marked by tactics. Particularly the timing of the use of the option tyres determined the teams’ strategies. Gary Paffett had a perfect start and immediately took the lead of the 22-strong field. The Brit didn’t make any mistakes, had the right strategy and didn’t lose the lead until the finish. Behind him in the field, there were plenty of overtaking manoeuvres and position fights.

Behind the trio in front, Canadian Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) finished third. Jamie Green (Audi) and Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-Benz) scored their first points of the season in fifth and sixth place respectively. In the battle for seventh place, the spectators got to see a heart-stopping finale. Spengler fiercely defended his position against Mattias Ekström (Audi) and crossed the finish line in seventh only centimetres ahead of the Swede. “For us, it was a difficult weekend. We had hoped that the race would be slightly better for us, but that really wasn’t the case. I tried to focus on myself and not make any mistakes, but I often had to look into my rear-view mirrors. The DTM is a hard-fought series. Three manufacturers on the first three places of the drivers’ standings, that is what the fans want to see,” the best-placed BMW driver said.

In the points’ standings, Rockenfeller and Spengler each have 59 points. Paffett is following in third place with 47 points, Vietoris is fourth with 40 points. The fifth season round takes place at the Norisring, July 14th.

Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz: “A great performance by Gary. We are really happy, because the first three rounds didn’t go very well for us. Today, we have five cars in the top ten and two in the top three. What more do we want? Of course, there are always things we want to improve and we will do so. But first of all, today, we are happy.”

Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “Congratulations to Mike, who again has driven a great race today and took over the lead in the drivers’ standings. He was fautless and had a good strategy. Jamie has scored his first points as an Audi driver. Mattias Ekström was very strong, too. We can be happy with today’s result. In four weeks, an Audi driver is heading for the Norisring as the leader in the points’ standings. We will work hard to show a strong performance in our home round, too.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Obviously, we aren’t happy with the result. But it is so close in the DTM: first, second and third place in the last round at Spielberg and today only one car in the top ten in seventh place. But we are racers and we will come back. At the Norisring, a good performance in qualifying is important again, because here, it was clear to see that it is difficult to make up a delay from Saturday to Sunday.”

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9 Christian Vietoris (D), HWA, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé

Mercedes-Benz buries qualifying jinx – pole for Christian Vietoris…

Klettwitz. At last a successful DTM qualifying for Mercedes-Benz, and that with a premiere. With his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Christian Vietoris drove the fastest lap in qualifying at Lausitziring and thus secured his maiden pole position in the DTM. The 24-year old from Gerolstein completed his lap of the 3.478 kilometres long track in the Lausitz region in 1:17.715 minutes. “This season, I have definitely stepped up a gear. So far, we got plenty of critics and this is the right response. Now, I am up front for the start and that is where I want to be at the end, too,” Vietoris said. His team-mate Gary Paffett was 0.225 seconds slower and will be starting from second place alongside Vietoris on the front row. 

For the first time since leaving Mercedes-Benz, Brit Jamie Green made it into the final qualifying heat and set the third-fastest time with his Audi RS 5 DTM. “For me, the first three races weren’t ideal. Now, we are back, and that is nice. On Friday, I had my birthday, and it would be nice to score my first points of the season here,” said Green, who was on pole at Lausitz in 2005 and 2006, but didn’t win. Behind Green, Canadian Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) will be starting from fourth place.

The third row of the grid also promises excitement. Here, Canadian Bruno Spengler with the BMW M3 DTM will be in fifth place and Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) in sixth position, the first and second placed drivers in the points’ standings will be starting alongside each other. “Fifth place is okay, but it isn’t the result I wanted. My lap was nearly faultless, but that simply was all I could do today. It was clear that our opponents would improve. But today was only qualifying, the race is tomorrow,” Spengler said.

Augusto Farfus (BMW) ended up tenth in qualifying, but will be starting from 15th place on the grid. As the Brazilian had used a set of tyres that wasn’t allocated to his car in free practice on Saturday morning, he will be dropped five places.

For three DTM stalwarts, qualifying at Lausitz was very disappointing. Timo Scheider, Mattias Ekström (both Audi) and Martin Tomczyk (BMW) didn’t do better than 17th, 18th and 22nd place respectively. Marco Wittmann (BMW), the surprising second-placed from Spielberg, failed to build on his good performance and will start from 19th position. After finishing third in the race at Spielberg, team-mate Timo Glock had to make do with 14th place on the grid at Lausitz.

An overview of the tyre choice of every driver for the start of the race can be found in the evening at www.dtm.com. The fourth season round will cover 52 laps and 180.856 kilometres and starts on Sunday at 13:30 hrs. ARD is broadcasting live from 13:15 hrs

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Maiden pole position for BMW driver Augusto Farfus…

Valencia. Qualifying of the DTM at Valencia in Spain was a thrilling affair. In the battle for the DTM title, all candidates made mistakes and failed to secure an optimal starting grid position. On Sunday, Brazilian Augusto Farfus will be starting from pole position with his BMW M3 DTM. Edoardo Mortarta from Italy and Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque (both Audi) will be starting from second and third place respectively. The Audi drivers turned out to be dominant with seven Audi A5 DTMs in the top ten.

“I am overjoyed with my maiden pole position in the DTM. Since my first lap on Friday, I have been feeling well at the track. Things were just going perfectly. On Sunday, there will be a good show and I will try to make it through without any problems,” said Farfus, who is in his maiden DTM season. The Audi drivers were also happy with their achievement. “I felt strong in qualifying. Unfortunately, I always made a little mistake at one place, so it wasn’t enough for pole,” Mortara explained.

At the 4.005 kilometres long Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the drivers had to deal with the recently applied, extremely slick asphalt. Title candidates Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz, 127 points), Bruno Spengler (BMW, 116 points) and Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz, 108 points) failed to set fast lap times to secure a decisive advantage for the penultimate round of the season. They will be starting from 16th, twelfth and 18th place. “Surely, 16th place on the grid is disappointing for me. Now, we have to analyse the data, but I am confident that our pace will be stronger in the race and with a good strategy, we can move up the ranks tomorrow,” points’ leader Paffett said.

The changeable conditions with rain on Friday and sunny spells on Saturday made it difficult to find the right set-up of the cars. Mercedes-Benz had problems with the track in particular, as only drivers from the brand with the three-pointed star were already out after the first qualifying heat: next to Green, the two ex-Formula 1 drivers David Coulthard (grid position 21) and Ralf Schumacher (grid position 22) were also affected with their DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés.