138,000 celebrate the start of the DTM-season in DÃ¼sseldorf The DTM, the most popular international touring car series, could not have hoped for a better start. In excellent spring weather, 138,000 spectators came to the official pre-season ...
138,000 celebrate the start of the DTM-season in Düsseldorf
The DTM, the most popular international touring car series, could not have hoped for a better start. In excellent spring weather, 138,000 spectators came to the official pre-season presentation at the Königsallee in the city centre of Düsseldorf.
"I have never seen such a great start. This promises something for the first race of the season at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from April 7 till 9", said Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman of the DTM-organisation ITR e.V.
The mayor of Düsseldorf, Joachim Erwin, also was impressed. "The DTM has an incredibly great appeal in Düsseldorf. We have already commissioned a feasibility study and we are seriously considering organising a DTM-race. After all, we in Düsseldorf are known for turning outrageous ideas into reality."
Extensive show programme excites racing fans
In Düsseldorf, the DTM once again lived up to its reputation as a spectator-friendly race series. With direct access to cars and drivers, fans could eat their hearts out and almost every autograph and photo requirement could be fulfilled.
Among the highlights were show acts by former Spice Girl Melanie C. and the Irish/German band "Reamonn" on the Vodafone stage. As a world premiere, "Reamonn" performed the new official DTM-song "Starting to live" for the first time.
Sporting highlight were the demonstration laps with DTM-cars from Audi and Mercedes-Benz on the specially installed 800 metres long track along the Königsallee. The official DTM safety cars could be seen in action on the track as well, while an original Auto Union Type D "Silver Arrow" race car from 1938 added nostalgic flair.
On the evening before, a DTM party at the "Altes Kesselhaus" already served as an appropriate start. Among the guests were actress, Veronica Ferres, presenter Verona Pooth and Cora Schumacher, who will be racing in selected rounds of the DTM's partner series SEAT Léon Supercopa this year.
Quotes about the DTM season presentation in Düsseldorf
Joachim Erwin, Mayor of Düsseldorf:
"This is the fastest event of the year and an absolute highlight for Düsseldorf. We didn't expect such a crowd. The spectators are impressed, and so am I!"
Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman ITR e.V.:
"This was an excellent event. Thanks to the city of Düsseldorf, the mayor and everybody involved. We could not have hoped for a better start!"
Mattias Ekström, Audi:
"I find it cool that the DTM is going into the cities, like in Hamburg in the years before and now in Düsseldorf. The atmosphere is great, there were so many fans here!"
Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Audi:
"For me, this was a great home event. Driving a race car along the Königsallee is something quite special. Now, I am looking forward to the first race even more!"
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, motor sport director Audi:
"We have been given a great reception by the city of Düsseldorf. The atmosphere was fascinating and this event has shown once again that the DTM really has a very good appeal to the fans."
Mika Häkkinen, Mercedes-Benz:
"My hand is hurting. Not from driving, but from signing autographs!"
Bernd Schneider, Mercedes-Benz:
"A great home event with a home win for my sponsor Vodafone"
Norbert Haug, vice president Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"The concept of the DTM, going into city centres for its presentation, has worked. After Berlin and two times in Hamburg, Düsseldorf has set a new standard with their event "Vollgas auf der Kö" ("Flat out at the Königsallee"). Our drivers were pushed more by the crowd than at any race. After their autograph-marathon, I can hardly imagine that there still are visitors without an autograph of one of the drivers..."