Wiesbaden. Appropriate to the anniversary ’30 years of DTM’, the most popular international touring-car series makes for another landmark, in the 2014 season. Never ago in the history of the series created back in 1984, a DTM grid featured seven champions. The previous record was established in 1996 when six former champions contested the season.
’The Magnificient Seven’ of the 2014 season are completed by Paul Di Resta who won the 2010 DTM title and is going to make his DTM comeback for Mercedes-Benz after three years in Formula 1. In the camp of the Stuttgart based manufacturer, he is the second champion and joins the 2005 winner, his compatriot Gary Paffett. Meanwhile, BMW also will be represented by two former champions: Martin Tomczyk (2011) and Bruno Spengler (2012) will even race for the same squad, this year: Schnitzer. Audi’s line-up for the 2014 season comprises - in addition to reigning champion Mike Rockenfeller - two two-time champions: Mattias Ekström (2004 and 2007) as well as Timo Scheider (2008 and 2009).
“The record number of champions underlines the extraordinary appreciation our series enjoys in driver circles,” said Hans Werner Aufrecht, Chairman of DTM rights holder and promoter ITR e.V. “The attraction of DTM increases year by year. The drivers feel in good hands, here, as they know that they secured their cockpit - other than in other series including Formula 1 - solely by their competitiveness and are adequately paid for their efforts.”
Up to this season, 1996 - when six former champions were on the grid - was the record year in the history of the series. In that year, Volker Strycek who won the maiden DTM title in 1984, Kurt Thiim (1986), Klaus Ludwig (1988, 1992 and 1994), Hans-Joachim Stuck (1990), Nicola Larini (1993) and Bernd Schneider (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005) battled it out for the ITC title. Five champions - Volker Strycek, Kurt Thiim and Klaus Ludwig as well as Eric van de Poele (1987) and Roberto Ravaglia (1989) - contested the 1990 season. And the grid of the 2013 season also featured five former champions: Mattias Ekström, Gary Paffett, Timo Scheider, Martin Tomczyk and Bruno Spengler.
This year, ’The Magnificient Seven’ will contest their first battle for points on 4th May in the season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. Afterwards, the calendar features the races at the etropolis Motorsport Arena Oschersleben (18th May), the Hungaroring located not far from Budapest, (1st June), Nuremberg’s Norisring (29th June) and the Moscow Raceway (13th July). The second half of the season begins at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring (3rd August), followed by the races at the Nürburgring (17th August) and the Lausitzring (14th September). DTM’s comeback in China will be held at a street circuit designed extra for DTM in the megacity Guangzhou (28th September), before the season traditionally will end with the season finale at Hockenheim (19th October).