In pleasant summer weather, the DTM presented itself in front of a record crowd in the city centre of Düsseldorf. One week before the season opener at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, the sports city played host for the official season presentation of the most popular international touring car championship for the second time running. Not only the weather, but also the crowd meant a new record: according to the police, 180,000 visitors came to the temporary race track at the Königsallee.
“A great weekend for the city. Düsseldorf was the main attraction in Nordrhine-Westfalia“, said mayor Joachim Erwin, delighted with the successful DTM-presentation. Next to the mayor, German actresses Alexandra Kamp and Alexandra Klim, actor Frank te Neues, anchorwoman Collien Fernandes, German Idols-star Mike-Leon Grosch and multiple luge champion Sylke Otto were among the guests.
A diverse and comprehensive action-programme prepared the spectators for the upcoming DTM-season. The extension of the track compared to last year ensured that there was plenty of room for all the spectators, who had a good view of the action. Demonstration laps with the DTM-cars from Audi and Mercedes-Benz were part of the programme, just like pit stop competitions, interviews and autograph sessions with the DTM-drivers, who visibly enjoyed their first public appearance after the long winter break. “The start of the DTM-season couldn’t have been any better. Nice weather and thousands of enthusiastic fans are making me look forward to Hockenheim even more“, said Audi works-driver, Mattias Ekström. Mercedes-Benz-star Mika Häkkinen commented: “When you have the paddock crowded with 35,000 people like at Hockenheim, it is already something special, but the echo among the fans here in Düsseldorf is topping everything I have experienced so far. In the best possible way, that is.“
The support categories Formula 3 Euro Series, Formula BMW Germany, ADAC Volkswagen Polo Cup, SEAT Leon Supercopa and Porsche Carrera Cup presented themselves in front of the impressive backdrop of Düsseldorf’s noble shopping boulevard. The fact that motor sport and music get together very well was once again demonstrated on the show stage. The closing highlight of the day was the 30 minutes’ live act by British band “All Saints”. The “ARD Sportschau”, the sports TV show, in which the focus was on the DTM, was broadcast live from the Königsallee.
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