AUDI AND MERCEDES-BENZ TO CONTEST THE DTM IN 2006
In 2006, DTM will once again provide top class motor racing. With the entry period of the German Motorsport association (DMSB) being over, since 15th December, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have signed on the official entry list for the 2006 DTM season.
Hence, the two premium segment automobile manufacturers use the successful platform DTM to also contest their duel on the race track, with the battle of these manufacturers being truly rich in tradition. 70 years ago, already, from 1934 to 1939, the Rings - at that time as Auto Union - and the Star battled it out with one another; a duel that will be continued in 2006 and beyond.
"By using DTM to also contest the duel of these premium brands on the race track, they prove the attractiveness of the DTM platform for manufacturers," said Hans Werner Aufrecht, Chairman of the ITR e.V., promoter and rights holder of the DTM.
"An average crowd of 83,000 on-site supporters and a TV audience of about two million viewers per race are the proof that the DTM concept - to provide top class touring car racing at fair prices - works fine, thus appreciating the engagement of the two manufacturers."
"Audi's scheduled long-term involvement and the planned regulations for 2007, making it even cheaper to enter cars for DTM, represent a positive signal for other manufacturers that think about joining DTM."
"It has become obvious that the enthusiasts want to witness spectacular touring car races on the highest level," said Audi Motorsport Director Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.
"And that's exactly what DTM provides them with. Furthermore, the cars are that attractive that DTM even attracts the world's best racing drivers." At the same time, the financial effort is manageable - otherwise, Audi couldn't enter ten cars as planned for the 2006 season.
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director Norbert Haug looks forward to the battle with the Ingolstadt based brand: "Mercedes-Benz has been contesting DTM since 1988. There is no reason to not continue in this successful series in the medium term, should the platform continue to develop that positively."
"Audi is a major rival from the automobile market's premium segment. The duel Auto Union against Mercedes Benz has got a lot of tradition and made history already 70 years ago - it's just great, that this duel has got the same significance, today."
Furthermore, a change took place regarding the ITR e.V. board members. During the rotational elections, Jürgen Pippig, Head of Audi's Motorsport Communication, was elected as new board member. He will be responsible for the public relations department, with immediate effect. Jörg Schrott, who was responsible for this area so far, retires from the board with immediate effect.