DTM

Mercedes-Benz presentation in Dusseldorf

Power in the City A crowd of 200,000 at Dusseldorf's shopping street Konigsallee attended the DTM's start for the 2008 season. The DTM presentation one week prior to the season opener in Hockenheim, the third one in a row in Dusseldorf,...

Power in the City

A crowd of 200,000 at Dusseldorf's shopping street Konigsallee attended the DTM's start for the 2008 season. The DTM presentation one week prior to the season opener in Hockenheim, the third one in a row in Dusseldorf, attracted 17,000 spectators more than one year ago. For the first time in 2008, all nine Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers introduced themselves to a record crowd.

Driving the AMG Mercedes C-Class: Paul di Resta, Jamie Green and Maro Engel drove the racing version of the AMG Mercedes C-Class around an 800-metre long temporary circuit. The pit crew of the Mucke Motorsport team showed precision work and record times in the pit stop competition.

Safety first: For the DTM and other series, an 800-metre long circuit has been built at the Konigsallee. It was surrounded by 1.500-metre long steel walls, 200 metres of concrete walls and 2.5 kilometres of fencing. 200 security staff members cared for the spectators' safety.

Attractive DTM: For the third time in a row since 2006, Dusseldorf hosted the DTM presentation and thus holds the record for this event. Before that, the DTM season presentation had been held twice each in Hamburg (2004 and 2005) and in the amusement park Europapark Rust (2002 and 2003). The season premieres in 2000 and 2001 were held in Berlin and Hockenheim respectively.

Racing atmosphere in the city: The drivers entertained the audience with engine sound. They signed autographs for the spectators around the circuit and in the paddock. Oldtimer demonstration laps including a Mercedes-Benz Kompressor from 1929, the pit stop competition with Maro Engel, when the Mucke Motorsport mechanics proved their perfect skills and live concerts of the German group Revolverheld and US-American singer Jennifer Paige rounded off the entertaining programme.

Sportschau live from Dusseldorf: German channel ARD broadcast their regular Sunday's show Sportschau live from the DTM presentation from 18:00 until 18:30 h. The show gave a foretaste to the ARD's live broadcasts of the 2008 DTM season when they will show all 11 Saturday's qualifyings from usually 13:30 until 14:30 h and all Sunday's races from 13:45 until 15:20 h.

Representing the Mercedes-Benz driver team, five-time DTM Champion Bernd Schneider, six-time Grand Prix winner and DTM rookie Ralf Schumacher and racing lady Susie Stoddart summed up the event:

Bernd Schneider (43 years/Germany), 2008 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class: "This was my ninth presentation since the DTM's re-launch at Berlin in 2000. Every year, the programme has become more attractive and entertaining and after the big successes in 2006 and 2007 here in Dusseldorf we offered even more to the audience and my hand hurts from signing autographs."

Ralf Schumacher (32/Germany), 2007 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class: "Never before I have experienced such an atmosphere in motor racing. This event exceeded everything I have heard before about the DTM presentation. This was also a great debut for myself."

Susie Stoddart (25/Scotland), 2007 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class: "With this crowd I feel like being in the biggest and most enthusiastic city."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport (live in the DTM press conference via TV from the Bahrain Grand Prix): "The third consecutive season premiere in Dusseldorf at the Konigsallee was again a great hit -- as my colleagues at site reported enthusiastically. It is good to see that the DTM with its drivers, teams and cars can produce such a great enthusiasm. It's a pity that I wasn't able to attend myself; however, I saw fascinating LIVE pictures here in Bahrain and of course I also watched the press conference live."

-credit: daimler.com

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Paul di Resta , Jamie Green
Teams Mücke Motorsport