DTM

Mercedes confirms driver line up

Drivers from Seven Nations with the AMG-Mercedes C-Class Mercedes-Benz will participate with ten AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars in the 2006 DTM. Two times Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen, DTM record winner and Champion Bernd Schneider,...

Drivers from Seven Nations with the AMG-Mercedes C-Class

Mercedes-Benz will participate with ten AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars in the 2006 DTM. Two times Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen, DTM record winner and Champion Bernd Schneider, Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler will race the new AMG-Mercedes C-Class for the HWA team and are the core of the squad.

Jean Alesi and Alexandros Margartitis for Persson Motorsport as well as Stefan Mücke and Daniel la Rosa for Mücke Motorsport will be at the wheels of last year's cars. Susie Stoddart (Mücke) and Mathias Lauda (Persson) will race 2004 models.

On 9 April, Mika Häkkinen (37) will start into his second DTM year. The Finn crowned his comeback 2005 winning the season's third race at Spa. The winner of 20 Grands Prix ended up fifth overall with 30 points. This year he will race the silver C-Class with AMG sponsorship.

Bernd Schneider (41) will again be at the wheel of the Vodafone AMG-Mercedes. He is the most successful DTM driver with four championship titles and 39 wins out of 200 races. He clinched his last victory in the 2005 season finale at Hockenheim and finished the championship fourth overall with 32 points.

2004 Formula 3 Euro Series Champion Jamie Green (23) will drive again the Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes. The Brit changed from Persson to HWA. Last year, he started from pole position twice and his second place at Hockenheim in October was his best result. He ended up sixth overall with 29 points.

Canadian driver Bruno Spengler (22) was also a member of the Persson team. He changes from a last year's car to the latest AMG-Mercedes C-Class. Last season, Spengler impressed posting the fastest qualifying lap at Istanbul with a 2004 model and taking third on the grid in the single-lap qualifying.

The 22-year-old finished in the points three times with sixth place at the Lausitzring being his best result. 2006 he will race the "fast safe", the DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes C-Class with the livery of a safe.

Mika Häkkinen: "I have learned a lot during my first year in the DTM. In 2006 I aim to win more than one race and want to fight for the championship. With the new AMG-Mercedes C-Class we have a perfect basis. However, I expect tough competition not only from the Audi drivers, but also within our own team."

Bernd Schneider: "Winning last year's final race at Hockenheim in October was a good motivation for 2006. During the winter break I had an optimum preparation for the new season and I want to show the young guns and the older drivers that I still have what it takes to win."

Jamie Green: "With two pole positions and two fastest laps in my first DTM season I showed my potential, however, I want more. This year, I hope to drive more consistently and to end up in top positions. If I can manage that I will be able to fight for the championship."

Bruno Spengler: "I'm proud to move up to the HWA team and to drive a new AMG-Mercedes C-Class after one season with a last year's car. Of course I still have to learn a lot, but I want to finish on the podium as often as possible and to fight for victories."

Jean Alesi (41) and Alexandros Margaritis (21) will drive for Ingmar Persson's team. After 201 Grands Prix Jean Alesi Alesi will already start his fifth DTM year. He won four races so far and clinched his last victory in the 2005 season opener. The German-Greek Margaritis was the youngest DTM driver in 2005. Like Alesi he will race a last year's AMG-Mercedes C-Class. Their team mate will be Mathias Lauda (25), son of the three times Formula One World Champion.

Stefan Mücke (24) and Daniel la Rosa (20) will drive for the Berlin-based team Mücke Motorsport. Stefan, son of team owner Peter Mücke, will start into his fifth DTM season. Since his debut in 2003, he took part in 41 races and ended up in the points with last year's cars three times.

Daniel la Rosa will race in the DTM for the first time at Hockenheim. He moved up from the World Series by Renault. In 2004 and 2003 he had raced in the Formula 3 Euro Series and scored a third place as his best result. The team will be completed by Scotswoman Susie Stoddart (23). She is the first woman in a Mercedes-Benz touring car since Ellen Lohr who drove in the DTM and ITC from 1991 until 1996.

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"It's part of the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport tradition, that our team is a mixture of young talents and experienced drivers. Therefore the composition of our 2005 squad is no surprise. In the forthcoming championship I expect about a dozen drivers capable of winning, and our four HWA drivers will certainly be among them."

"Mika Häkkinen, Jamie Green and Bruno Spengler have shown in their respective first seasons 2005 that they belong to the fastest drivers in the field. The two times World Champion has managed his change to the DTM brilliantly and the fans have enjoyed it. Winning last year's season finale at Hockenheim Bernd Schneider has proved that you always can count on him. That was why we announced the extension of his contract early last year."

"Also the drivers of last year's cars will be able to fight for top positions. The new technical regulations which require to maintain significant car components will close the gaps within the field even more. The spectators can look forward to some surprising results."

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Ellen Lohr , Bruno Spengler , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Stefan Mücke , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green , Alexandros Marga
Teams Mücke Motorsport , Persson Motorsport