DTM Invitational: DTM Debut at Shanghai
The race: The track features two 180-degree hairpins and six 90-degree corners. The races will be held without the pit stops which are compulsory in the DTM's championship events.
The city: Shanghai has a population of 17 mil-lion and is one of the fastest growing cities worldwide. It's said to be the shop window for China's economic power, and for the Western industries, it's the gateway to Asia's increasing market. On 3 May, DaimlerChrysler AG signed a contract with China to start the production of Mercedes-Benz E- and C-Class cars in 2005.
The facts: The Mercedes-Benz teams' prepara-tion for the event took more than six weeks. On 9 July, about 36 tons of equipment including eight cars, spare parts and tools will be shipped on a 12-hour flight to Shanghai. A Mercedes-Benz staff of 83 people will travel to China to attend the race.
The Mercedes-Benz line-up: All eight Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers will participate in Shanghai. Bernd Schneider, Christijan Albers, Gary Paffett and Jean Alesi with their AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars. Markus Winkelhock, Stefan Mücke, Jarek Janis and Bernd Mayländer in last year's AMG-Mercedes CLKs. They will race against the complete Audi DTM line-up extended by two guest drivers, and against four Opel drivers.
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"We look forward to the DTM debut at the new street circuit in Shanghai's centre. The first DTM race in China is important for our brand, because DaimlerChrysler will start to produce Mercedes C- and E-Class cars in a new manufacturing plant in China next year. The temporary street circuit is a new challenge for all teams and it will be exciting to see who will cope best with the 2.85-kilometre track."
Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes:
"I look forward to the Shanghai event. The track layout promises close races with many overtaking manoeuvres."
Christijan Albers, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes:
"I raced on street circuits like Macao already in Formula 3, and they suit me. I consider the races in Shanghai like a champion-ship event and I will do my best even if there are no points to score."