Today the DTM (German Touring Car Seris) kicks off the new season at the Hockenheimring.
The 2016 DTM grid once again impresses with its remarkable quality: Eight former DTM Champions, many established drivers and one rookie want to really go for it, this year. “50 percent of the field must be regarded as serious title contenders and everybody can win races,” says two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström (2004 und 2007).
And the 2015 stats support this statement: 13 race winners in 18 races and more often than not, the gap between the pole-sitter and 24th position on the grid amounted to less than a second.
“Here, the racing always is close and thrilling,” says former Formula One™ driver Timo Glock. When the starting lights are switched off today for the DTM season opener, the racing will be closer than in any other series in the world.
The nine race weekends in Germany and abroad again will feature two races and two qualifying sessions. From traditional to state-of-the-art, from tight and winding to extremely fast – the 2016 calendar has got it all. At the season kick-off at Hockenheim, for instance, the support programme even features a Word Rally Cross Championship round.
Live concerts with national and international music stars, stunt shows with multiple world record holder Terry Grant, interviews and competition make sure that the visitors are perfectly entertained.
This weekend, DJ Antoine will be at the turntables, Austrian pop star Christina Stürmer will entertain the crowds on Sunday.
One of the main attractions are the race-taxi rides. Our friend and brand Ambassador, H.R.H. Prince Leopold of Bavaria loves to get behind the wheel of his historic BMW race car, the fans cue up to get a ride with the Prince, who remembers: “In my active DTM days, there were 120.000 Fans here at Hockenheim. It would be great to have even more car manufacturers, currently there are Audi, Mercedes and BMW. I am looking forward to an exciting DTM season 2016!”
H.R.H. Prince Leopold of Bavaria knows what a tight fight it is on track between the 24 drivers: “Often there are only hundreds of a second between first and 5fifth place. If you are a tenth behind, you could be far at the back. The races are exciting with tight fights. The fans are quite demanding and knowledgeable, they want to see action and here it is guaranteed!”
DTM is known to take good care of the fans: “It is incredible! Here they can visit the paddock, so to say almost the ‘Locker room’! To watch them pouring into the paddock is great. I am sure it is important for the dedication of the DTM-fans that they can experience the paddock wanting to see their heroes, and the cars! I think this is a fantastic idea and of course increases the dedication of the DTM fans that they can experience everything up close and personal. It is importance for them to be able to see the cars and their heroes so close.”
Bruno Spengler for example stopped by and sat in it. He admitted ‘oh, this car is really hard work, it is hard to drive and steer!’
Sometimes they ask for tips, but of course they are all so experienced and are happy to drive such a historic car!”
Then his eyes light up and he shows a big smile, you can see his true love for racing: ”I race two different cars: the 635 doesn’t have a power steering, no ABS, you sit right behind the steering wheel, it is much much louder than modern DTM cars.
I just love it; it is a great memory to the old times when I raced DTM with these cars. I enjoy it every time I drive it, people come to get a taxi ride and are impressed how fast we still go with these cars. The M3 E30 is one of the absolute highlights, a fantastic car! I am at almost all DTM races and am very happy that I can drive these cars!”
With a sympathetic laugh, he adds
“Once a racer, always a racer!”
Neuschwansteiner CEO and founder Christian Seitz said: “We wish all teams and drivers a fantastic start into the 2016 DTM-season. DTM always guarantees exciting races and thrilling wheel-to-wheel action. Our brand Ambassador H.R.H. Prince Leopold of Bavaria has ‘infected’ us with the racing bug and with admiration we follow his busy racing schedule and of course wish him a great 2016 season!”
Last but not least, just before the first race of the season starts, H.R.H. Prince Leopold of Bavaria even has some brand-associated novelty thoughts: ”Being a Bavarian, of course I am a passionate beer drinker.
For us, beer is the mother’s milk that we absorbed all our lives. Why not having a beer spray on the race podium instead of champagne or sparkling wine? Especially our Neuschwansteiner beer would be perfect.
Our bottle has the noble look of a champagne bottle and the beer sprays the same- I could really imagine this!”
Important message: “Always remember: Dont drink and drive!”
Pictures courtesy of DTM, BMW Group, BMW Classic, Neuschwansteiner
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