On the occasion of the fifth race of the 2013 DTM season – the standout fixture at the Norisring – Mercedes-Benz will be celebrating a quarter century of involvement in the series.
To mark the anniversary, Mercedes-Benz will be staging a parade through the streets of Nuremberg of the various models it has entered over the years, driven by members of its squad, past and present. The public display commences at 4.05pm on Saturday, with a repeat showing at 11.50am on Sunday.
The guest drivers will include former Mercedes-Benz DTM stars Klaus Ludwig, Bernd Schneider, Roland Asch, Bernd Mayländer and David Coulthard. Also attending the anniversary event will be the three most successful drivers in the history of the competition: Bernd Schneider (43 wins), Klaus Ludwig (36 wins) and Gary Paffett (20 wins).
DTM anniversary: For the past quarter century, Mercedes-Benz has been involved as a manufacturer in the world’s most popular touring car series, having sent its first works team into DTM action on 3rd March 1988. In the intervening 25 years, the marque with the three-pointed star has won 169 races, ten drivers’ championships and thirteen team titles, as well as finishing nine times as top constructor. This makes Mercedes-Benz the most successful manufacturer in the history of the DTM.
About the track: The Norisring is the only street circuit on the DTM calendar, and at only 2,300 metres in length, it is the second shortest track of the year. The race is held over 83 laps, which corresponds to a total distance of 190.9 kilometres.
Behind the scenes: Just like at the Lausitzring, Mercedes-Benz has invited 100 fans (plus one companion each) to join them in the paddock hospitality suite on the Friday night preceding the race weekend. Those lucky enough to be selected will have the opportunity to meet the Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers in person and in an informal setting. Information about the Mercedes-Benz ‘Fantreff’ can be found on the official website at www.mercedes-benz.com/dtm and on www.facebook.com/MercedesBenzDTM.
Comments on the DTM race at the Norisring
Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- secured his 20th DTM win at the Lausitzring
- won the Nuremberg race in the 2004 and 2005 seasons
“The Norisring is a very special fixture on the calendar and quite unlike any of the other DTM circuits. I enjoy racing around the streets of Nuremberg, and last year, I started from pole position. Unfortunately, I got spun round on the first corner, but after that, I drove a strong race, moving 18 positions up the field, and still finished fourth. Following my victory in the previous race at the Lausitzring, I’m feeling optimistic now about our chances of victory at the Norisring. In the championship, I’m currently in third place. With six races to go, we still have every chance of winning the title this season, which also happens to be Mercedes-Benz’s 25th in the competition.”
Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- the podium at the Lausitzring was his second of the current season
- has already won two races at Nuremberg in the Formula 3 Euro Series (2008 and 2009)
“When I claimed my first pole position and my second podium in the DTM at the Lausitzring, we showed that we have a fast car for both qualifying and race purposes. We always knew that we had a good car and that it was just a matter of getting the setup right. Well, we did that at the Lausitzring. When I got in the car on Saturday morning, it was like driving an express train. That was a great feeling. We intend to build on that at the Norisring. The street circuit in Nuremberg is not exactly one of my favourites, but the atmosphere is perhaps the most electric of the entire year. The Norisring is traditionally a happy hunting ground for Mercedes-Benz. Ten wins in a row speak for themselves, and I think we are contenders for the win yet again this year.”
Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- currently seventh in the standings on 27 points
- scored his first ever DTM points in last year’s race at the Norisring
“The team and I had a really good weekend at the Lausitzring, with a strong team performance on both days. In recent weeks, we have been hard at work aiming to build on this performance after the summer break and to achieve a similar measure of success at the Norisring. My target for Nuremberg is to be battling it out with the front-runners once again and to take up where I left off last year – I had quite a respectable result on this circuit. The standard of competition in the DTM is consistently high each race weekend, but with the Norisring being so short, that makes it even tougher. Here, even the tiniest error is punished in terms of grid position or early elimination. But that just increases my anticipation of the challenge ahead.”
Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- scored his first DTM points with a P6 finish at the Lausitzring
- has stood on the Nuremberg podium twice after Top Three results in the Formula 3 Euro Series
“I know the Norisring from my time in the Formula 3 Euro Series, and I’ve already had the satisfaction of appearing twice on the podium there. After my first points finish in the DTM points in the previous race at the Lausitzring, I want to carry on in the same vein at Nuremberg and finish in the Top Ten again. My race pace has been quite good over the first four weekends, especially on the option tyres which are playing a crucial role in this year’s race strategy. If you can manage your tyres skilfully to stay out on the options for as long as possible, you have a distinct advantage and one that may be especially decisive at the Norisring.”
Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- is already acquainted with the Norisring podium from contesting the 2013 Formula 3 Euro Series
“The Norisring is an attractive street circuit, and it is where I secured my maiden Formula 3 podium last year. After four races, I’ve settled in well in the DTM and at Mercedes-Benz. On balance, I could certainly have scored more points this season. All the same, I’m happy with my performance so far, because I started off without much experience, but I was still reasonably competitive on those first four weekends. As for the races in the second half of the season, I’m aiming to finish in the points on a regular basis – starting with the Norisring.”
Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- finished among the points at the Lausitzring for the second time this season
- has already appeared twice on the Norisring podium as a contestant in the Formula 3 Euro Series
“Nuremberg counts as the home race for my sponsor THOMAS SABO which has its headquarters not far away in the town of Lauf an der Pegnitz. The Norisring track layout may look straightforward, but it is extremely demanding. In order to set a fast lap, you have to drive as close to the barriers as you dare, bearing in mind that the slightest mistake can knock you out of the race. This short street circuit is especially tough on the brakes. In the last race at the Lausitzring, my pace was not at all bad, so I’m hoping to continue our progress at the Norisring and score a few more points in my THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“The race at the Norisring is generally considered to be one of the highlights of every DTM season, and I couldn’t imagine a better venue than this historic circuit at Dutzendteich to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz’s involvement in the DTM. In the quarter century since Mercedes-Benz first entered a works team, we have recorded many a race win on the Norisring, most recently ten in a row. So it would be all the more satisfying if we were to continue this run of results on the occasion of our anniversary, building on the victory posted by Gary Paffett a month ago at the Lausitzring. In Gary, Christian Vietoris and Robert Wickens, we have had three of our six drivers appearing on the podium this year, and the other three have already shown that they too have the potential for top results. I am especially looking forward to meeting up with all the drivers from the past twenty-five years of DTM racing who will revive many fond memories of great DTM high points from the past when they parade their classic cars Mercedes-Benz through the streets of Nuremberg.”