This weekend (September 17 till 19), the Auto Motodrom Brno near the Czech city with the same name will be hosting the ninth and penultimate season round of the 2004 DTM. The race is also the first appearance of the new DTM in Eastern Europe. The...
This weekend (September 17 till 19), the Auto Motodrom Brno near the Czech city with the same name will be hosting the ninth and penultimate season round of the 2004 DTM. The race is also the first appearance of the new DTM in Eastern Europe. The 5.403 kilometres long track is not only the longest circuit on the DTM-calendar, it is also a challenge for the drivers.
Works-driver Manuel Reuter: "The lay-out has a lot of variety. On the long straights, you need top speed, whereas you can never have enough downforce in the corners. That makes finding the right set-up a rather difficult affair." The Austrian-based driver adds: "Because of the proximity to Austria, I am expecting a lot of Austrian fans. Even more so, as we are no longer racing at the A1-Ring. For me, the race in Brno is something of a home race."
Although the DTM remains a German race series, events outside of Germany have a long tradition in Europe's premier touring car championship. For instance, the first-ever DTM race took place in March 1984 at the circuit in Zolder, Belgium.
"The DTM is a German series", motorsport director Volker Strycek emphasises. "Nevertheless, it has been a goal from the very beginning to bring the fascination of this category across to foreign motorsport fans as well." Zolder remained a regular venue on the DTM-calendar for many years. In the following years, there were also races at Kyalami (South Africa), at the Salzburgring, the Hungaroring and at the circuit in Brno, where the DTM raced in 1988, 1991 and in 1992.
In the early 1990s, the ITR Gold Cup included races at Donington/GB and Mugello/I. In 1995, the International Touring Car Series (ITC) took place alongside the DTM, with races at Mugello, Donington, Magny-Cours/F, Estoril/P and at a street course in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.
In 1996, the calendar of the International Touring Car Championship (ITC) also included races at the Grand Prix-circuits of Sao Paulo in Brazil, Silverstone in England and Suzuka in Japan. After the re-birth of the DTM in 2000, the series made the step across the German border in 2001 with races at the A1-Ring in Austria and at the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort. The Adria International Raceway near Venice was included for the first time in 2003, while this year, the series also raced at Estoril and in the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai with an invitation race.
Volker Strycek: "The foreign races show a constant increase of spectator figures. Media coverage in foreign countries is growing rapidly, too. This proves the international status of the DTM. And we have had an international drivers' field for a long time anyway."
The Czech city of Brno has a long motorsport heritage. Back in 1930 already, a Grand Prix race was held at the Masaryk road course. The winners' list includes names of great racing drivers like Rosemeyer, Stuck and Caracciola. Single-seater race fans can watch plenty of action at the Czech DTM-event as well: in Brno, the Formula 3 Euroseries will once again be joining the DTM.