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Motorsports / DTM: german touring cars championship 2013

The two times’ DTM champion is back – pole for Timo Scheider…

Hockenheim. The 2013 DTM season has started. With his Audi RS 5 DTM, Timo Scheider was fastest in qualifying for the season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. The 2008 and 2009 DTM champion will be starting from pole position on Sunday. The 34-year old completed his lap of the 4.574 kilometres long track in 1:35.918 minutes and thus ended ahead of Brazilian Augusto Farfus (BMW) and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz), who were second and third respectively.

For Scheider, it is already his eleventh pole in the DTM. “I am extremely happy. This is a perfect start into the season. Today, we have achieved a really good lap. Let’s wait and see how many good laps we can do in the race on Sunday,” Scheider said after qualifying, which started on a wet track after continuous rain. However, conditions improved steadily and the asphalt dried out towards the end.

Farfus, who will be starting alongside Scheider from the first row with his BMW M3 DTM, was also very upbeat with his qualifying result: “That was a difficult qualifying with changeable conditions. I got it together quite well and I am very happy with second place. Tomorrow, it will be exciting, especially with the new features, the option tyres and DRS.”

With his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Christian Vietoris came within 0.276 seconds of the fastest time of the day. Vietoris said: “We didn’t know where we are. I am happy with the result. The team has done a great job. In the final qualifying heat, I pushed, but unfortunately, Augusto and Farfus pushed a little bit more.” 

For Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz), qualifying ended with disappointment. For the first time in his DTM career, the Canadian made it into the final heat of the four-heat qualifying, but then, in the battle for first place, he crossed a white line of the track limit with all four wheels of his car, after which he was disallowed his lap time by race control. Fifth-placed Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) was followed by the two title contenders of the previous year, Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) and DTM champion Bruno Spengler (BMW) in sixth and seventh place respectively. “Seven was my starting number in 2012, so the result is not that bad when you look at it this way,” Spengler said with a smile. 

The youngest driver in DTM history, Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz), showed an impressive performance. In his first-ever DTM qualifying, the 18-year old ended up eighth.

The DTM is booming and even three times’ Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel took the opportunity to watch first qualifying of the year from up close at the track. Like his fellow F1 drivers Nico Rosberg and Nico Hülkenberg, Vettel witnessed the qualifying premiere of Timo Glock (BMW), in which the ex-Formula 1 driver ended up in 15th place. “It is too bad that we didn’t end up more to the front. I felt really well in the car, but we have to learn to understand the tyres, especially in wet conditions,” said Glock. 

On Sunday, two technical novelties will be used in the race for the first time. The Drag Reduction System (DRS), which allows the driver to temporarily adjust their rear wing from the cockpit and thus increase their top speed, as well as the option tyres, which differs from the regular DTM tyre with a softer rubber compound and allows for 1 to 1.5 seconds faster lap times for a while. 

The first race of the season covers 42 laps and 192.108 kilometres and starts on Sunday at 13:30 hrs (CET). ARD is already broadcasting live from 13:15 hrs.

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DTM GOES USA WITH COOPERATION WITH GRAND-AM AND IMSA

Exploring an opportunity that could additionally change the face, and the future, of road racing, GRAND-AM Road Racing and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) tonight announced a license and cooperation agreement with the Internationale Tourenwagen-Rennen (ITR e.V.), which administers DTM racing.

The collective goal is a North American version of DTM, the popular German touring car series. Representatives from all three organizations gathered for the announcement during a press conference at the InterContinental New York Times Square Hotel’s Gotham Ballroom, an event highlighted by GRAND-AM founder Jim France and ITR Chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht signing the agreement.

The earliest the new series would begin would be 2015, possibly running as part of United SportsCar Racing event weekends. United SportsCar Racing was announced March 14 as the name of the new series resulting from the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. IMSA will serve as the sanctioning body for United SportsCar Racing, which also was announced on March 14.

“On the heels of our United SportsCar Racing and IMSA announcements, reaching this agreement adds to the momentum we’re experiencing right now,” GRAND-AM President and CEO Ed Bennett said.

“The next steps in this process will involve further discussions with various automotive manufacturers, whose commitment to this concept is essential if a North American DTM-style series is to become reality.”

If realized, a North American version of DTM would join the current Europe-based DTM and Japan-based Super GT platforms. DTM is administered by ITR e.V., Super GT by GT Association (GTA). ITR e.V. and Super GT agreed last October to a cooperation starting in 2014.

“The new technical regulations and the formed partnerships represent – for the first time in the history of the sport – a global platform for the manufacturers involved,” said Hans Werner Aufrecht, “a platform offering them the opportunity to race – on the same technical basis and with the best global promoters as guarantee for a competitive and attractive platform – in the core markets of North America, Europe and Asia.

“In addition to the six German and Japanese manufacturers – Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Nissan and Toyota – which are already involved, the new cooperation quite obviously also offers a new and extraordinary field of activity for the American premium manufacturers such as Cadillac, Lincoln or Dodge SRT within the framework of future motorsport programs. Now, we have to inform and thrill them together with our new partner GRAND-AM/IMSA and encourage them to get involved.”

Said GTA Chairman Massaki Bandoh: “The new partnership between the parties will further increase the value of DTM, GRAND-AM, IMSA and SUPER GT. This would be the opening of the doors for globalization of GT/Touring car races. We have to take this opportunity to cooperate with each other.”

European automobile manufacturers responded optimistically to news of the agreement, acknowledging the importance of the U.S. market to their businesses and the direct link DTM-style racing would create with consumers.

“This offers the opportunity to use the Audi RS 5 DTM in a premium race series not only in Europe but in Asia and North America too, in the future,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Audi AG’s Board of Management member Technical Development. “For Audi as a globally operating company, this development represents an exciting and interesting option.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW’s motorsport director, said his organization “welcomes the planned cooperation between DTM and GRAND-AM/IMSA. It represents another important step on the way to the internationalisation of DTM. We as BMW are extremely open-minded, regarding these plans. The North American market represents the biggest market area for BMW in general – and the biggest market area for BMW M vehicles, too. BMW has got a great motor-racing tradition in the USA and therefore, we are truly happy about the prospect to also see DTM vehicles racing in the USA, in the future.”

“For Mercedes-Benz, the U.S. represents the biggest market area worldwide,” said Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “We are particularly delighted about the long-term cooperation deal between DTM and GRAND-AM/IMSA. Thanks to the technical basis agreed upon, we will be offered the opportunity to use our DTM cars to also demonstrate the competitiveness of our brand on U.S./North American race tracks, in the future.”

Sports car racing legend Hans Stuck, now the president of Germany’s motorsports governing body, Deutscher Motor Sport Bund (DMSB), considers the current DTM competitive environment a template for success. “If you want to hold motor-racing events in car nations such as Germany or the U.S., your grid must feature cars that have what it takes to fascinate the crowds,” Stuck said. “The technical DTM regulations that were developed by DMSB in close cooperation with the car manufacturers involved – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – combine this guideline with an extremely high safety level that also represents an international benchmark. We are delighted that these regulations will be used not only in Europe, in the future, but also in Japan and the U.S.”

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#7, Bruno Spengler (BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Bank M3 DTM (2012))

THE 2013 RACE CALENDAR: NORISRING RESCHEDULED – FANS CAN ATTEND BOTH DTM AND FORMULA 1

New dates for the 2013 DTM calendar: as response to the changes on the 2013 Formula 1 calendar, the most popular international touring-car series also has adapted its calendar for the coming season. To make sure that the German car racing enthusiasts aren’t forced to make a choice between the German Grand Prix and the DTM highlight at the Norisring, due to the new date for the Formula 1 event, the tradition-rich race at Nuremberg’s street circuit has been rescheduled and will be held a week later than originally planned – on 14th July.

This change results in another three alterations: due to logistic reasons, the race at Zandvoort’s dune circuit will now be held on 29th September – as penultimate round of the season – between the race at Oschersleben (15th September) and the traditional season finale at Hockenheim (20th October).

On the way to trying to defend his title, BMW driver Bruno Spengler will have to contest 10 races, next year. This means that the 2013 race calendar of the most popular international touring-car series comprises the same number of races as this year’s. One of the highlights of the new season definitely will be the maiden DTM race in Russia that will be held on 4th August at the Moscow Raceway, just a stone’s throw from the Russian metropolis.

“Due to the short-notice alterations on the Formula 1 calendar, we also had to respond by adapting the DTM calendar to the new situation,” says Hans Werner Aufrecht, Chairman of DTM rights holder and promoter ITR e.V. “By postponing the Norisring round by a week we avoid a scheduling conflict with the home race of Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Consequently, the fans aren’t forced to choose if they prefer attending the F1 race or the DTM round in Nuremberg. Thanks to this move, they have the chance of witnessing these two motor-racing highlights on two successive weekends.”

Altogether, six of the ten races will be held on German soil, next year, with the other four taking the DTM fraternity abroad. In addition to the two rounds at the Moscow Raceway and Zandvoort, the three premium-car manufacturers involved – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – will have to contest another two races on foreign soil: on 19th May at Brands Hatch/GB and two weeks later, on 2nd June, at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, located not far from Spielberg. Meanwhile, the ’German season’ comprises the season kick-off (5th May) and season finale (20th October) at Hockenheim and the aforementioned races in Nuremberg and at Oschersleben as well as the rounds at the Lausitzring (16th July) and the Nürburgring (18th August).

The 2013 DTM calendar at a glance*

 

5th May Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg (D)
19th May Brands Hatch (GB)
2nd June Red Bull Ring Spielberg (A)
16th June Lausitzring (D)
14th July Norisring (D)
4th August Moscow Raceway (RUS)
18th August Nürburgring (D)
15th September Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (D)
29th September Circuit Park Zandvoort (NL)
20th October Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg (D)

 

THE 2013 RACE CALENDAR: NORISRING RESCHEDULED – FANS CAN ATTEND BOTH DTM AND FORMULA 1

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THE BATTLE FOR THE DTM TITLE WILL BE DECIDED IN THE SEASON FINALE AT HOCKENHEIM…

In the ninth DTM season round at Valencia in Spain, favourites Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) faltered. After collisions and penalties, they lost valuable points in the battle for the DTM champion’s crown. Augusto Farfus had his name written in the DTM history books by becoming the first Brazilian race winner with his BMW M3 DTM. He finished ahead of Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström (both Audi), who ended up second and third.

Points’ leader Paffett was involved in a collision on the opening lap, incurred a time penalty later on and finally parked his car in the pits on lap 27. The Brit still remains competitive: “We are still in the lead of the championship. Here, we had a bad weekend, but at Hockenheim, we will be quick and fight for victory.” Spengler dropped back to the end of the field after a drive-through penalty because of a jump start. The Canadian still scored valuable points by finishing sixth. “Fortunately, I was able to drive consistently fast after the penalty and score important points,” Spengler said. Green was given a drive-through penalty for leaving the track after his first pit stop. “Nevertheless, we will fight until the last lap at Hockenheim,” he said after his tenth place at Valencia. Prior to the Hockenheim season finale, Paffett is leading with 127 points from Spengler (124) and Green (109).

Race winner Farfus crossed the finish line full of emotions. “Winning here in the DTM is such a privilege. I am overjoyed,” said the 29-year old, who started from pole position and scored his maiden DTM race win. Rookie Tambay was equally happy with his second place. Swiss lady racer Rahel Frey left 15 drivers behind her by finishing seventh with her Audi A5 DTM, scoring her first-ever DTM points. For the Mercedes-Benz drivers, the race was disappointing. They would have loved to show this week-end’s 24,000 spectators at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo more than Jamie Green’s tenth place as the best driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Huge congratulations to Augusto Farfus. Being on pole and bringing victory home here as a rookie driver was a great performance. We have four BMWs in the top ten and Bruno Spengler has reduced the gap. Now, we have an entirely open championship situation for Hockenheim, which is what we wanted. Now, we need to continue to work in a concentrated way and see what comes out.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “We have reached our goal to score many points for the manufacturers’ championship here. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win. Nevertheless, all our cars were at a high level and it is enthusing to see how many young drivers have come to the fore. Adrien Tambay scored a podium finish in second place and Rahel Frey has shown a great performance, too.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Gary had a good start and already had made up several places. In the collision, his car was significantly damaged and there was no point in carrying on. It is the first time this season that Gary hasn’t scored any points. The finale at Hockenheim in three weeks’ time will be thrilling and Gary still has all the chances.”

The DTM finale takes place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from October 19th till 21st.

Valencia. The battle for the DTM title will be decided in the season finale at Hockenheim. In the ninth DTM season round at Valencia in Spain, favourites Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), Bruno Spengler (BMW) and Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) faltered. After collisions and penalties, they lost valuable points in the battle for the DTM champion’s crown. Augusto Farfus had his name written in the DTM history books by becoming the first Brazilian race winner with his BMW M3 DTM. He finished ahead of Adrien Tambay and Mattias Ekström (both Audi), who ended up second and third.

Points’ leader Paffett was involved in a collision on the opening lap, incurred a time penalty later on and finally parked his car in the pits on lap 27. The Brit still remains competitive: “We are still in the lead of the championship. Here, we had a bad weekend, but at Hockenheim, we will be quick and fight for victory.” Spengler dropped back to the end of the field after a drive-through penalty because of a jump start. The Canadian still scored valuable points by finishing sixth. “Fortunately, I was able to drive consistently fast after the penalty and score important points,” Spengler said. Green was given a drive-through penalty for leaving the track after his first pit stop. “Nevertheless, we will fight until the last lap at Hockenheim,” he said after his tenth place at Valencia. Prior to the Hockenheim season finale, Paffett is leading with 127 points from Spengler (124) and Green (109).

Race winner Farfus crossed the finish line full of emotions. “Winning here in the DTM is such a privilege. I am overjoyed,” said the 29-year old, who started from pole position and scored his maiden DTM race win. Rookie Tambay was equally happy with his second place. Swiss lady racer Rahel Frey left 15 drivers behind her by finishing seventh with her Audi A5 DTM, scoring her first-ever DTM points. For the Mercedes-Benz drivers, the race was disappointing. They would have loved to show this week-end’s 24,000 spectators at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo more than Jamie Green’s tenth place as the best driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Huge congratulations to Augusto Farfus. Being on pole and bringing victory home here as a rookie driver was a great performance. We have four BMWs in the top ten and Bruno Spengler has reduced the gap. Now, we have an entirely open championship situation for Hockenheim, which is what we wanted. Now, we need to continue to work in a concentrated way and see what comes out.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “We have reached our goal to score many points for the manufacturers’ championship here. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win. Nevertheless, all our cars were at a high level and it is enthusing to see how many young drivers have come to the fore. Adrien Tambay scored a podium finish in second place and Rahel Frey has shown a great performance, too.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Gary had a good start and already had made up several places. In the collision, his car was significantly damaged and there was no point in carrying on. It is the first time this season that Gary hasn’t scored any points. The finale at Hockenheim in three weeks’ time will be thrilling and Gary still has all the chances.”

The DTM finale takes place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from October 19th till 21st.

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DTM

Spengler scores dominant win and puts points’ leader Paffett under pressure…

Oschersleben. Canadian BMW driver Bruno Spengler has scored a dominant win in the eighth DTM round of the season. Thus, the 29-year old reduced his gap to championship leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz), who finished second, to eleven points. Paffett’s compatriot and fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Jamie Green, who dropped back one place to third in the points’ standings, was the third driver on the podium. In the Magdeburger Börde region, Mike Rockenfeller was the best-placed Audi driver in sixth. Now, the battle for the title will be decided between Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

With an undisputed lights-to-flag victory, Spengler crowned a perfect racing weekend. For the twelfth time in his DTM career, he crossed the finish line in first place. “For me, this track is really fun. It is aggressive on the car, but everything lasted. Gary was very quick and I am delighted that I have brought victory home. Now, the concentration is on the two final rounds. Of course, I will try to score as many victories as possible,” said Spengler, who scored his third race win of the season.

At times, second-placed Gary Paffett had closed up to the eventual winner, but wasn’t able to overtake. After the race, the points’ leader said: “Being on the podium again is good. Nevertheless, I am a little bit disappointed, because we could have won today. The car was very fast, but we have lost too much time during the stops. There are still two races to go and of course, I will give everything.”

In fourth place, local hero Dirk Werner (BMW) achieved his best season result to date. His Brazilian fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus followed in fifth position. Mike Rockenfeller was the best-placed Audi driver in sixth. “At least, I managed to score valuable points with sixth place and now I am the best-placed Audi driver in the standings again. That is positive. But I simply couldn’t do more today,” said ’Rocky’ after the 51 lap race.

Behind Canadian Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz), Mattias Ekström from Sweden finished eighth. The Audi driver started from fifth place, but stalled at the start and then had to make his way up through the field from 20th place. Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque and German Timo Scheider (both Audi) rounded out the top ten.

The DTM is booming: in Oschersleben, the most popular international touring car series has already equalled the number of spectators of the entire 2011 season. This weekend, the drivers from Audi, DTM returnee BMW and Mercedes-Benz attracted 71,000 spectators to the circuit in the Magdeburger Börde region. Thus, the DTM already had 630,500 fans during the first eight rounds of the season and equalled the number of the ten rounds of the previous year. The penultimate round of the season takes place at Valencia in Spain, September 30th.

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “I really am overwhelmed. This is an incredible victory by Bruno and a magnificent result for BMW. In the drivers’ standings, there is still somebody ahead of Bruno, but anyone who knows Bruno, also knows that he will be giving everything during the final two rounds.”

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough today. It remains as thrilling as the last couple of laps over here. Gary Paffett is heading into the two final rounds of the season at Valencia and Hockenheim with an advantage of eleven points. Not a huge lead, but we rather are eleven points ahead than eleven points down.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Unfortunately, we already lost all chances of a better result at the start today. Afterwards, Mattias Ekström showed what theoretically would have been possible with his recovery. But it is also a fact that all in all, we weren’t quick enough here at Oschersleben. We will continue to work hard and do everything to show a better performance again in the last two rounds at Valencia and Hockenheim. The title in the manufacturers’ standings is still within reach.”

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Bruno Spengler claims pole position at Oschersleben…

Oschersleben. Bruno Spengler (BMW) will be starting from pole position into the eighth DTM season round at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. In the fourth qualifying heat, Spengler set the fastest time of 1:20.916 minutes with his BMW M3 DTM. For Spengler, it is the 14th pole position of his DTM career. Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) will be lining up alongside him on the front row of the grid. The Brit came within 0.086 seconds of Spengler’s time. Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) and Dirk Werner (BMW) will be starting from the second row into the race on Sunday. Mattias Ekström was the fastest Audi driver in qualifying at Oschersleben, having secured fifth place on the grid.