Moscow. Spectacular cars in front of the Kremlin’s red walls, thrilled fans and a popular local hero: with a much-publicised show during the Moscow City Racing event, the DTM has warmed up the Russian fans for its first-ever race at the Moscow Raceway in a fortnight (August 2nd till 4th).
DTM points’ leader Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), Andy Priaulx (BMW) and Russian ex-Formule 1 driver Vitaly Petrov, who took over from Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) on Sunday and racked up his first miles with a DTM car, were cheered by 100,000 fans in spite of the rainy weather during their demonstration laps in front of the Kremlin and the Basilius Basilica as an impressive backdrop.
And who knows, perhaps I will also succeed in becoming the first DTM race winner in Russia in a fortnight, too,” he said. “We have given the people in this wonderful city a great show. Prior to our maiden race, this was a perfect opportunity to present ourselves. And I was really surprised to see how many fans here in Russia recognised me,” Andy Priaulx commented.
No less than three times on Sunday, Rockenfeller, Priaulx and Petrov were in action at the 3.7 kilometres long track in the centre of the Russian metropolis with an Audi RS 5 DTM, a BMW M3 DTM and a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, driving past the Kremlin’s walls at 200 km/h and thrilling the fans with numerous doughnuts. Between the demonstration laps, the visitors could take a close look at the DTM cars in the open paddock and obtain autographs from the drivers.
On Saturday already, the DTM had a spectacular show with an extraordinary photo call at the Bolshoy-Moskvoretskiy brigde over the Moskwa river, which was closed for traffic, with a direct view of the Kremlin. After that, Rockenfeller, Priaulx and Schumacher got the smoke coming off their tyres for the first time.
At midday, the trio had taken part in a special DTM press conference together with Petrov. Some 100 media representatives and ten camera teams gathered in a conference room of a luxury hotel and wanted to know everything about the DTM.
Petrov was impressed, too: “For me, being at the DTM is a great pleasure. I have never driven such a car or talked to a DTM driver before,” he said, while he also can envisage a DTM involvement. “One can’t rule out that I may be driving in the DTM in the future as well. The DTM is at a top level and the cars are fantastic. It is a unique series and I would love to be part of it one day, too,” Petrov said.