Essen. DTM goes flat out, at the Essen Motor Show: at the opening of the tradition-rich fair, the most popular international touring-car series was represented by a top-class fraction. During the opening press conference, DTM Champion Mike Rockenfeller (Audi), Marco Wittmann (BMW) and Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-Benz) answered the questions of the numerous journalists. And Hans Werner Aufrecht, Chairman of DTM rights holder and promoter ITR e.V., Audi’s head of DTM, Dieter Gass, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt and Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM Marketing Mercedes-Benz, were prominently involved in the opening ceremony. With DTM record Champion Bernd Schneider and the former champions Volker Strycek and Eric van de Poele, DTM looked back on the 30 years of its history. At the same time, the extension of the partnership with ADAC up to and including 2015 that was announced at the fair means a step into the future.
“ADAC has been a strong and reliable partner of DTM for more than 10 years,” said Hans Werner Aufrecht. “No matter if it comes to the execution of our races or the selection of young talents and supporting them on their way to the highest motor-raving categories: ADAC possesses and displays a lot of experience and passion. Therefore, we are delighted about the fact that we will keep on cooperating, in the coming two years.”
For ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk “DTM represents the perfect platform for ADAC’s numerous activities in motor racing. In addition, ADAC has made - with its regional and city clubs - for a perfect sports organisation of the series. On the other hand, DTM also provides many young talents racing in the ADAC series’ a platform for their development. Pascal Wehrlein who made it to DTM in 2013 is just the latest example for the ADAC supported talents who succeeded in doing so. Consequently, the extension of the deal was just a logical step.” ADAC and DTM have been partners since 2002. In 2014, one of the regional clubs of the second-biggest car club of the world once again will be responsible for the sports organisation and execution of each of the DTM rounds on German soil. At every DTM race, some ADAC 300 helpers are involved.
During the fair opening, Hans Werner Aufrecht underlined his delight with the relationship of DTM and the Motor Show. “I was one of the first tuners that used this fair as platform. And I’m really delighted with witnessing that motor racing again gained a bigger presence here, in the past two or three years. After all, the Motor Show without motor sport would be not exactly what the doctor ordered. To add, with a hint to hall 3 where the visitors can demonstrate - inter alia - their pit-stop skills, complete fast laps in a simulator or extensively test the new PC game DTM experience: “I think that the visitors will have the chance of making for a lot of individual history, on our stand.” Eventually, Germany that once again will host six of the ten DTM races, next year, is and will remain the heart of DTM. “The number of races on German soil will remain an integral part of DTM,” the ITR boss promised.
Meanwhile, the manufacturers also already look ahead to 2014. “Those who rest on their laurels quickly will drop back to the end of the field - the competition doesn’t sleep,” said Dieter Gass who hadn’t a special formula for success, for the remarkable Audi comeback that was crowned by the title won by Mike Rockenfeller. “And if we had had one I wouldn’t disclose it now. We have got a good basis we are planning to once again build on.”
After the ’triple in the comeback year 2012, Jens Marquardt was happy with the manufacturers’ title in 2013, too. “Repeating a year like 2012 is virtually impossible. Just like in many other sports, the second season is the most difficult one,” said the BMW Motorsport Director. At BMW, the „preparations for the 2014 season already are running flat out. “With the M4, we will have a very good and racy new model as production basis. We are about to witness interesting times. The testing will begin in the coming week and on Sunday, Jens Klingmann and Felix da Costa will contest rookie tests.”
Wolfgang Schattling came to a positive conclusion regarding the Mercedes-Benz experiment with five young drivers. “Altogether, we weren’t too happy with the season - the 25th DTM season also is difficult. But with their strong performances, our young guns demonstrated that opting for them was a good decision. They now have got more experience under their belts and therefore, we will be in a good position for 2014,” he said. And following a first visit, he also is looking forward to the new Chinese race in Guangzhou: “That will be a great event. The region is very open for motor racing and I think that we have found an ideal venue for DTM, there.”
Mike Rockenfeller was delighted with having the chance of attending the Motor Show. “Last year, other commitments unfortunately prevented me from doing so. Therefore, it’s particularly nice to stroll around the fair and take a look at all the cars,” said Rocky who has got an extremely tight schedule since his title triumph and hurries from commitment to commitment. “But as champion, that’s an enjoyable task.” Meanwhile, Marco Wittmann recalled previous Essen Motor Show visits. “As juvenile, I adopted the one or the other idea, here. To now have the chance of coming back as DTM driver and signing autographs for the fans on the occasion of the DTM anniversary is really interesting,” he revealed. While Daniel Juncadella is particularly fond of something completely different, at the fair: “For what is important for any young driver: the beautiful women,” said the Spaniard. While he isn’t an expert for the tuning parts offered at the fair. “When it comes to that you’d better ask my team-mate Pascal Wehrlein. He is far better informed than me, in this area,” he added with a smile.