DTM to stage invitation race in Shanghai The Shanghai government has invited the DTM to stage a city race through the streets of the Chinese metropolis with its 17 million inhabitants. The race by Europe's most popular touring car series will...
DTM to stage invitation race in Shanghai
The Shanghai government has invited the DTM to stage a city race through the streets of the Chinese metropolis with its 17 million inhabitants. The race by Europe's most popular touring car series will take place on the weekend of July 17/18 in downtown Shanghai on the "Shanghai Pudong Circuit Cina" in the city district of Pudong and as an exhibition race will not count towards the championships. The initiators of the event include Shanghai municipal government and Federation of automobile sports of China. Broadcaster CC TV (China Central TV, technical coverage of 80 million) will broadcast the DTM races this year.
Hans Werner Aufrecht, ITR Chairman: "The DTM is pleased to accept the offer to stage a city race in Shanghai. We would like to thank the Shanghai municipal government, Federation of automobile sports of China as well as the promoter Brilliant Culture Group for this invitation. This is a decisive step in the development of the DTM."
"This is certainly the most significant race in the series outside Germany. For Shanghai is a fascinating metropolis of the utmost economic significance and personifies the rapidly growing Chinese market. It is something quite special to be able to stage a DTM race in this exciting place in front of tens of thousands of spectators."
"The invitation underlines the increasing international significance of the series as the blue-riband event of touring car racing. This undertaking will also transform the series into an ambassador for German car manufacturers and German technological know-how."
China is the world's third largest country after Russia and Canada and is the most populous with a population of 1.3 billion. China is one of the most important export markets for Germany's car industry. Last year, German manufacturers produced and sold around 700,000 cars in China. That represents a market share of 36 percent among a total car volume of two million. In the first quarter of 2004 alone the Chinese car market registered growth of 48 percent. For the full year it is forecast to increase by 20 percent.
Audi Motorsport Director Dr Wolfgang Ullrich: "That the city of Shanghai has chosen the DTM as partner for this new motorsports highlight proves the significance of the series. For Audi, China is one of the most important markets with immense growth potential. It is a great opportunity for us to be able to present the fascinating engineering of the Audi A4 DTM to a completely new public. We already experienced how big interest can get last year when we staged demo runs of our Le Mans winning car R8. We are looking forward to this certainly very special race."
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Director Norbert Haug: "The premiere of the DTM in Shanghai represents a good development for the series and motorsports. This will be the first time that a high-calibre automobile sports series is staged in Shanghai. The city with its 17 million inhabitants is one of the fastest growing international cities. The city is a window for China's economic capability and a gate for the West's industry to the growth market of Asia."
"DaimlerChrysler AG agreed a contract with China on May 3 and will start production of Mercedes-Benz cars of the E- and C-class in 2005. The race on the new city track in the centre of Shanghai is therefore the perfect stage to show off the competitiveness of the C-class. We just hope that the organisers' ambitious plan can be implemented by July 18 and that there will not be any delays in the building of the city race track. If all goes according to plan, this will probably be the DTM's biggest exhibition to date."
Opel Motorsport Director Volker Strycek: "This undertaking of an invitation race in China continues a good tradition in the DTM. The DTM is a series with German roots and a German foundation, and it should remain that way. Since the 1990s, a tradition of invitation races has also been established alongside which has brought the DTM closer to fans in countries such as South Africa. The invitation by the Shanghai government underlines the significance of the DTM, which will now be the first international racing series, even before Formula 1, to make a guest appearance in Shanghai."