In the 2006 season, 23-year-old Susie Stoddart from Scotland and Austrian Mathias Lauda, 25, will debut with AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars in the DTM. Susie Stoddart, born at Oban, Scotland (near Glasgow) will race for the Berlin-based team MÃ¼cke...
In the 2006 season, 23-year-old Susie Stoddart from Scotland and Austrian Mathias Lauda, 25, will debut with AMG-Mercedes C-Class cars in the DTM.
Susie Stoddart, born at Oban, Scotland (near Glasgow) will race for the Berlin-based team Mücke Motorsport. The blonde Scotswoman, who now lives at Northampton, started her motor sport career driving karts. After five years in this category, from 1996 until 2000, she made her race car debut in the 2001 Formula Renault Winter Series.
In 2003, Susie ended up ninth overall in the British Formula Renault Championship and improved to fifth overall in this series in 2004. One year later she moved to the British Formula 3 Championship, however, she participated in only two races due to injury.
In both 2003 and 2004, she was one of the six finalists competing for the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award. Winners of this prestigious award have been Grand Prix driver David Coulthard, McLaren Mercedes test driver Gary Paffett and DTM driver Jamie Green, the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series Champion.
Sport plays an important role in Susie Stoddart's life. Apart from her fitness programme she likes water sports such as water skiing, jet skiing and swimming. She is the first woman at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz touring car in the DTM after ten years.
Previously, Ellen Lohr was the only woman to drive for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM and ITC from 1991 until 1996. Ellen is also the only woman ever to win a DTM race, when she beat team mate Keke Rosberg, the 1982 Formula One World Champion, at Hockenheim 1992.
"It's great that I got this opportunity. The invitation to test a DTM car at Barcelona was really a surprise. I tried hard to make a good impression. I know the DTM very well from TV. Last year, Mika Häkkinen's pole position lap at Spa and his race win were particularly impressive for me."
"I will push as hard as I can in the DTM field with so many stars, and I really look forward to my first race at Hockenheim. Of course, I have to learn a lot and it's clear that in the beginning this will happen at the back of the field rather than at the front."
Mathias Lauda, born at Salzburg and living at Barcelona, will race for Ingmar Persson's team. Only four years ago he had his motor sport premiere participating in the Formula Nissan. He finished 12th overall in his first season and improved to eighth in 2003.
In 2004, Lauda took part in the International Formula 3000 Championship and in the Euro 3000 series. Last year, he raced in the GP2 Championship held as supporting races during Formula One weekends. In addition Lauda represents Austria in the A1 Grand Prix series.
Mathias Lauda likes sport also in his free time: Moto Cross, jogging, surfing and snowboarding. The Austrian speask German, English and Spanish. He is managed by his brother Lukas.
Mathias' father Niki Lauda, the three-time Formula One World Champion, has watched the DTM for many years with great interest and drove DTM cars on several occasions. The last time was at Austria's A1 Ring in 2003.
"I'm very happy that Mathias gets this opportunity from Mercedes-Benz to drive in the DTM. For me this series with its professional organization, huge attendance and impressive TV ratings is the most competitive after Formula One. Mathias has selected not an easy task to impress in the top-class DTM field."
"I'm proud to drive in the DTM for Mercedes-Benz. I have no experience with touring cars at all and certainly have to learn a lot. My first tests with the AMG-Mercedes C-Class went well. It's my aim to attract attention with good results after a learning phase. I know, however, that there will be no "I came, I saw, I conquered". First, I have to make my mark within my immediate surrounding."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"With Susie Stoddart and Mathias Lauda we have two likeable newcomers in our DTM team. During her career so far, Susie Stoddart performed well and was a finalist in the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award what distinguishes her."
"Mathis Lauda gained experience in his short career so far in several singleseater series and he now wants to go his own way in a touring car. He's a nice guy who started racing late and has gained comparatively little experience so far. The DTM and its environment will help him to improve. Susie and Mathias are a gain for the DTM. They have set themselves a great task and they can expect the support from all of us to resolve it."