A great warm-up for next weekend’s DTM race.
Cologne – Just a week prior to the DTM round at the Nürburgring (15th to 17th August), the most popular international touring-car series showcased itself in the heart of Cologne. On Saturday on the ‘Neumarkt’ (New Market) – one of busiest places of the entire city – the visitors witnessed a colourful stage program starring the DTM drivers Nico Müller (Audi) and local hero Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) from Lissendorf / Eifel. Then, on Sunday, the event was continued on the ‘Deutzer Brücke’, connecting the historic city with the districts located east of the River Rhine.
I’d never believed that there would be a day offering me the opportunity to drive through the city with a DTM car.
During a media event, Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), Maxime Martin (BMW) and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz) crossed the bridge that was blocked for the public and enjoyed the panorama represented by Cologne’s cathedral and the historic city. And although the 460bhp-DTM cars couldn’t make full use of their power, the spectators were provided a hint of the spectacular and thrilling action all those will witness next weekend who make the trip to the Nürburgring located just some 80 kilometres from the Rhine metropolis.
“What an impressive backdrop and what a great warm-up for next weekend’s DTM race,” said reigning DTM Champion Mike Rockenfeller. “It goes without saying that I have set myself ambitious goals for the Nürburgring round. After all, it is the home race for me and my team, Phoenix Racing.” Christian Vietoris, who also lives not far from the Nürburgring, takes a similar point of view: “I have got a lot of friends, here, and so, I’m coming to Cologne once a week. But I’d never believed that there would be a day offering me the opportunity to drive through the city with a DTM car.
Now I hope that the conditions at the Nürburgring next weekend will resemble those of the meeting and allow me to secure a similarly good result as my win, there.” And BMW’s Maxime Martin added: “My team-mate Marco Wittmann and I already celebrated four race wins in the season to date but nonetheless, I wouldn’t mind to continue this streak of success in the home race of our squad, BMW Team RMG.”
Meanwhile, DTM succeeded in thrilling the Cologners as early as Saturday. In addition to DTM drivers Christian Vietoris and Nico Müller, drivers racing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany also were on site for autographing sessions while experts representing DEKRA and the Driving Safety Centre Nürburgring (where driving-safety courses allow you to learn to realise and practice dangerous situations you possibly may have to cope with in the day-to-day traffic) provided information around the topic safety, on the stage and their information stands.
And those who wanted to make practical experiences on site even could enter the ADAC roll-over simulator or battle it out with one of the DTM aces in the Raceroom simulator in the official DTM game ‘DTM Experience’.
The three premium-car manufacturers involved in DTM – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – showcased their latest DTM vehicles and their respective production sisters, on their stands. The presentation was completed by historic DTM cars that could be admired – inter alia – on the Nürburgring stand. The Nürburgring’s ‘ring°werk’ currently features an exhibition around the topic ’30 Years of DTM’ and of course, the fans making the trip to the Nürburgring for next weekend’s DTM round also can visit this exhibition.
Audi driver Nico Müller summarised the fan event like this: “Celebrating a DTM party with the fans on the ‘Neumarkt’ – in the heart of the city – was really cool. The people could get really close to us drivers and to the cars to take a close look at everything. Some even were allowed to get behind the wheels of the DTM cars. And that’s exactly why we are here: to fascinate the people.”