Following the series debut at the Moscow Raceway in Russia, the DTM returns to one of the traditional German race venues. On the weekend of 17th/18th August, the Nürburgring hosts the seventh round of the 2013 season.
The track: The DTM race will staged over the 3.629km variant of the Nürburgring. It will be 49 laps in duration, equivalent to a distance of 177.821 kilometres, making it the shortest race of the entire season.
Mercedes-Benz and the Nürburgring: Mercedes-Benz can look back on an illustrious history at the Nürburgring – it was here in 1934 that the legend of the Silver Arrows was born. In the current season, Mercedes-Benz and AMG have now secured their first ever victory in the 24-hour endurance race at the circuit. Co-driving the winning #9 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 was record DTM title holder Bernd Schneider. The squad members who drove the SLS GT3 customer sports cars to victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring and at Spa-Francorchamps will be the guests of Mercedes-Benz this weekend.
Behind the scenes: As on several previous weekends this season, Mercedes-Benz welcoming 150 fans to the team hospitality suite in the paddock on the preceding Friday evening. This is an opportunity for fans to meet the Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers in a relaxed atmosphere. 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 Nürburgring
Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- is third in the championship on 57 points
- completed the treble (i.e. pole position, victory and fastest lap) in 2004 at the Nürburgring
“I’ve already been to the Nürburgring this year for the Formula 1 weekend. My team-mate Christian Vietoris laid on a very special treat for me here, taking me for a trip round the legendary ‘Nordschleife’ in a Mercedes AMG C63 Performance Car. Even for an experienced driver such as myself, this was an incredible experience. You really get to understand why the ‘Nordschleife’ exerts such a magical power. I’m looking forward to the race weekend at the Nürburgring with confidence. Moscow was new territory for everyone, whereas we all know the Nürburgring inside out from many years of competing there. That’s why I’m convinced that we can rediscover the form that we were showing in previous races. I’ve already won one DTM race at this track, and I’ve also made three podium appearances. That victory in 2004 was quite a while ago, though, so I would like to refresh those pleasant memories with a second success in the Eifel. I’m third in the championship and I firmly believe that results in the last few races have not ruled me out of contention.”
Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- is fourth in the championship on 56 points
- secured two pole positions in the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Nürburgring
“When they staged the F1 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring a few weeks ago, I was here at my home track with Gary, and I really enjoyed taking him out for a lap of the ‘Nordschleife’. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I think he learnt something from me that day! The Nürburgring counts as my home race; in fact, the town where I grew up – Gönnersdorf – is barely any distance away. The track is technically very demanding, and the Eifel has a reputation for unpredictable weather. It usually rains at least once during the Nürburgring weekend. The last race in Moscow didn’t quite go as I would have wished, but by finishing tenth and taking a single championship point, I at least managed some measure of damage control. With this being my home race, I’m obviously hoping for more – preferably a podium here in front of my home fans.”
Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- is sixth in the championship on 45 points
- finished in the points for the second time in his DTM career in the 2012 Nürburgring race
“The DTM premiere in Russia was a difficult weekend, and unfortunately I was unable to build on my previous run of successes. Nevertheless, I learnt a lot in Moscow and now feel extra motivation to go back on the attack at the Nürburgring. I had my second points finish in the DTM in last year’s race in the Eifel, and that was the springboard for a successful second half of my rookie season. This time round, though, I’d like to do far better than seventh place – my two podiums earlier in the campaign have shown that this is possible.”
Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- secured two wins at the Nürburgring in the Formula 3 Euro Series
- started from pole position four times at the Nürburgring in the Formula 3 Euro Series
“The Nürburgring has a lovely combination of slow and fast corners. The medium-fast downhill turns in the sector going into the back straight are especially good fun. I just can’t wait to drive my first DTM race on this circuit. Up to now, my knowledge of the track has been based on the Formula 3 Euro Series which forms part of the support programme for the DTM. I already have two winners’ trophies from the Nürburgring in that series. I’m looking forward to the great atmosphere generated by the spectators, especially in the Mercedes grandstand. No matter what the weather, the fans there cheer us on with such tremendous enthusiasm.”
Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- has previously won two Formula 3 Euro Series races at the Nürburgring
- has made four podium appearances in the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Eifel circuit
“I associate the Nürburgring with many fond memories of my time in Formula 3, which included two wins and four podiums. Consequently, I’m fully familiar with the track, even though I’ve only competed in one DTM race here so far. One thing I know for sure is that you always have to keep an eye on the weather monitor – even the best-laid strategy can be thwarted by a short rain shower. My objective for this weekend is to forget the disappointing race in Moscow and to improve my qualifying performance. If I can just start from a better position, I know that a decent result is achievable.”
Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- his first Formula 3 Euro Series race win was at the Nürburgring
- won twice in the Eifel in the Formel ADAC series
“I’m preparing for my first DTM race at the Nürburgring this weekend. I know the track from the Formula 3 Euro and the Formel ADAC series – in fact, I’ve won races in both junior competitions there. From my own point of view, the Moscow weekend could have gone better, but I just missed out on the points by finishing eleventh. The last few races haven’t produced any points, so I would like to score some with a better result at the Nürburgring.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“There is a long tradition that links Mercedes-Benz with the Nürburgring, starting with the birth of the Silver Arrows and culminating most recently in the first win in the 24-hour endurance race at this track for a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. After a difficult weekend from a sporting perspective at the Moscow Raceway in Russia, we would like to revive our fortunes at this historic circuit in the Eifel and to regain the form we showed at the Lausitzring and the Norisring. After six out of ten races, Gary is the best placed Mercedes-Benz AMG driver and he is trailing the current championship leader Mike Rockenfeller by 37 points. In such a highly competitive racing series as the DTM, a margin of that magnitude is certainly not a trifling matter, but at the halfway point of last year, Gary had precisely the same lead over the eventual champion Bruno Spengler. I am sure that everyone in our team will give his best in the remaining races of this season.”
Source: Mercedes-Benz Motorsport