Four weeks prior to the first season round of the 2012 DTM, the three manufacturers Audi, new entrant BMW and Mercedes-Benz presented themselves to the media at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. In a press conference at the occasion of the final test session before the season opener, Audi’s head of motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, BMW Motorsport director Jens Marquardt and Mercedes-Benz’s head of motorsport Norbert Haug reported about the new era in the DTM.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
“This surely has been one of the most exciting winter seasons I have ever experienced in motorsport. All three manufacturers went to the limits of their performance potential. But it was certainly worth the effort, because with the new regulations, we have created a great basis for the 2012 DTM together. In spite of the control parts, there was sufficient room left for every one of the partners to realize its ambitions. From over 4,000 parts on a DTM car, only 50 are identical for all manufacturers.”
“For us as a newcomer in the series, the past 16 to 18 months were very exciting. Time has shown that three manufacturers standing together while considering their own interests, together with the DMSB, have been able to establish common regulations. Safety has been improved, costs have been reduced, that was our goal.”
“With the third manufacturer and the new regulations, we have achieved a good basis for the DTM. The cars in the DTM have always been spectacular, but the coupés just that little bit more dynamic. We are looking forward to the first race of the season, because that is when it counts. Fans can expect a thrilling season. Pre-sales for the Hockenheim season opener is going really well, as usual. Here, we have already had 35,000 fans in the paddock only. Somehow, Hockenheim is the gamete of the DTM.”
Michael Kramp (press spokesman DMSB)
“The new safety cell in the DTM cars certainly is unique. In this area of development, the aim was to optimize safety and to reduce costs. That has been achieved. The safety cell withstands a force of 36 tons. Just to compare this: the FIA requires a resilience of three tons in case of T-bone crashes for sports cars.”
Michael Eckert (Senior Race Tires Engineer, Hankook)
“Contrarily to last year, we had the task of developing an entirely new tyre. This is a ‘real competition tyre’, that combines safety, performance and consistency in an ideal way. After the experience gained last year, the grip of the rain tires was considerably enhanced thanks to a modified profile and a new rubber compound.”
On the first of four test days at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the official starting numbers for the 2012 season were allocated. The first DTM race weekend of the season takes place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from April 27th till 29th. One week before that, on April 22nd, the DTM presents itself to the fans in Wiesbaden.
Starting number – Team – Driver:
1 - BMW - Martin Tomczyk 2 - BMW - Joey Hand 3 - Audi - Mattias Ekstrom 4 - Audi - Timo Scheider 5 - Mercedes-Benz - Jamie Green 6 - Mercedes-Benz - Ralf Schumacher 7 - BMW - Bruno Spengler 8 - BMW - Dirk Werner 9 - Audi - Mike Rockenfeller 10 - Audi - Miguel Molina 11 - Mercedes-Benz - Gary Paffett 12 - Mercedes-Benz - Christian Vietoris 15 - BMW - Andy Priaulx 16 - BMW - Augusto Farfus 17 - Audi - Rahel Frey 18 - Audi - Adrien Tambay 19 - Mercedes-Benz - David Coulthard 20 - Mercedes-Benz - Robert Wickens 21 - Audi - Edoardo Mortara 22 - Audi - Filipe Albuquerque 23 - Mercedes-Benz - Roberto Merhi 24 - Mercedes-Benz - Susie Wolff