24 Susie Wolff (GB, Persson Motorsport, AMG Mercedes C-Coupe)
Wiesbaden, 22 April, 2012
• Eight drivers from four countries to contest the 2012 season in the Mercedes AMG DTM C-Coupé, the successor to the AMG Mercedes C-Class – the most successful ever DTM car to date
• Two rookies – Roberto Merhi and Robert Wickens – will make their DTM debuts with Mercedes-Benz
• These rookies, together with Jamie Green, Ralf Schumacher, Gary Paffett, Christian Vietoris, Susie Wolff and David Coulthard form a powerful Mercedes-Benz works team in the DTM
• A new Mercedes-Benz Junior Team with Merhi, Vietoris and Wickens. It is modelled on the successful concept from the 1990s – which launched Michael Schumacher, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger
• The eight Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers have a combined total of over 29 years’ experience and 294 DTM races to their credit
• Gary Paffett and Jamie Green – with win rates of 21 percent (17 wins in 81 races) and ten percent respectively (7 wins in 74 races) – are among the four most successful current DTM drivers
• Mercedes-Benz is the most successful manufacturer in the DTM with 165 victories and ten drivers', thirteen team and nine constructors’ championships
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The 2012 season marks a new era in the world’s most popular touring car series with new technical regulations, a new safety concept, plus the new Mercedes AMG DTM C-Coupé and a third premium manufacturer. In 2012, a total of eight Mercedes-Benz drivers will contest ten points-scoring races and a show event in Munich’s Olympic Park. New to the Mercedes-Benz DTM driver line-up this year are Spanish driver Roberto Merhi (21, Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Canadian Robert Wickens (23, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé).
Merhi has been part of the Mercedes-Benz young driver programme since 2008 and secured the Formula 3 Euro Series championship and the inaugural FIA Formula 3 International Trophy in 2011 driving a Dallara-Mercedes. To reward his success, he was given the opportunity to test the new DTM Mercedes AMG Ccoupé at the end of 2011. Wickens secured the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 World Series championship after taking five wins. He gained his first experience in Formula 1 at the end of the year by completing the Young Driver Test with Marussia Virgin Racing and Lotus Renault GP. He finished second in the 2009 Formula 2 championship and achieved the same feat in the 2010 GP3 Series. Mehri and Wickens, plus German driver Christian Vietoris (23, Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) form the new Mercedes-Benz Junior Team in the DTM. The role model for the Junior Team will be Michael Schumacher; the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 driver will offer his experience from seven world championship titles and 91 Grand Prix victories. Schumacher himself also benefited from the Mercedes-Benz programme in 1990 and 1991, when he lined up alongside Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Karl Wendlinger with Sauber Mercedes in the Sports Prototype Championship.
Also joining Vietoris in the HWA team are: Gary Paffett (31, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 2005 DTM champion, DTM runner-up 2004, 2009 and 2010 and Formula 1 test driver for McLaren-Mercedes; Ralf Schumacher (36, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), third most successful German Formula 1 driver to date with six Grand Prix victories; and Briton Jamie Green (29, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 2004 Formula 3 Euro Series champion and seven-time DTM race winner.
Susie Wolff (29, TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and David Coulthard (41, DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) will respectivelystart their seventh and third DTM seasons with Mercedes-Benz. All eight Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers will be driving the new DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. Its predecessor – the AMG Mercedes C-Class – achieved 85 victories in 159 races to establish itself as the most successful DTM car ever. Jamie Green secured the final victory for the AMG Mercedes C-Class at the last race of the 2011 DTM season in Hockenheim.
Canadian Bruno Spengler won two other races last season, plus the inaugural DTM show event in Munich’s Olympic Stadium.
The DTM offer exciting racing that is unmatched by any other touring car championship. The 2011 series was broadcast on TV channels in 221 countries around the world. In Germany last year, coverage of the DTM totalled more than 69 hours, which generated around 450 million TV contacts; on an average race weekend, an average 2.11 million viewers tuned in to watch the qualifying sessions and the race itself on the ARD national network. By comparison, RTL’s coverage of Formula One last year pulled in audiences of 8.04 million viewers for each weekend’s cumulative live broadcasts – so the DTM achieved a healthy 26 percent of the Formula One figure. Worldwide, the DTM accounted for more than 6,997 hours of TV time, with qualifying and races being shown live or recorded on 46 channels in 114 countries. Since the 2012 season, the DTM has been broadcast in high-resolution (1080i50) HDTV format. All trackside and on-board cameras as well as the entire video wireless technology have been upgraded to the new standard.
Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“In 2012, the DTM starts a new era - indeed, its third and most important era. The fact that Audi and Mercedes-Benz stayed the course for six years, putting on fascinating races in competition with each other, created the stable platform for a fresh start with new momentum. We are now welcoming BMW as a new competitor to the DTM. Thanks to Audi, Mercedes, the ITR and its board plus the DMSB and its officials, this unique, outstanding motorsport series has been preserved. Now, the world’s three best and best-known premium car manufacturers are competing against each other in the DTM, with a new and exciting generation of vehicles. Over a quarter of a century, Mercedes-Benz has been the most successful manufacturer in the DTM. In figures, a total of 165 victories from 342 races, ten driver titles, nine manufacturer titles and 13 in the team championship, encapsulate the achievements of our teams over the past 24 years. We will all work on the new chapter of this success story with focus and the highest motivation.”
The DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé
• Mercedes-Benz to debut DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé based on Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé in the 2012 DTM season
• Successor to the most successful DTM car of all time, the AMG Mercedes C-Class (85 victories in 159 races)
• New, improved safety concept with state-of-the-art carbon fibre monocoque, a high-strength steel roll cage and six crash structures
Mercedes-Benz will race eight DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés during the 2012 season. The new Mercedes-Benz DTM car was introduced in September 2011 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The new car is the successor to the AMG Mercedes C-Class, which scored 85 victories in 159 races to become the most successful vehicle in the 27-year history of the DTM.
HWA AG began development, design and construction of the DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé in June 2010. The first chassis was assembled in June 2011, and the first vehicle completed in August. Gary Paffett completed the car’s first tests at the Lausitzring in early September. On 1st March 2012, the DTM cars of all three participating manufacturers were homologated by the German Motor Sports Association (DMSB), so no further major developments are permitted. The DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé has been designed to a new, improved safety concept featuring an innovative safety cell at its core. This includes an optimised carbon fibre monocoque and a roll cage made of high strength steel. In order to improve protection for the driver in an accident, all safety-related components such as the fire extinguishing system and fuel tank are incorporated into the carbon fibre chassis. In addition, each vehicle has six energy absorbing crash structures to provide additional protection for the driver to front, rear and sides. These carbonfibre crash elements (front and rear: 61cm, side: 30cm) gradually absorb the energy in an impact so that the driver is not subjected to excessive deceleration forces. At the same time, other components dissipate the forces in a controlled manner. The new safety concept was developed jointly by rights holder and promoter ITR e.V., the DMSB and the three manufacturers – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In order to verify the performance of the DTM safety concept, the DMSB developed a test programme, which was carried out and analyzed by DEKRA, the independent testing organization. The lateral crash structures can withstand a test load of 360 kilonewtons; equivalent to 36 tonnes acting on the monocoque’s side wall or roughly the weight of 31 small cars.
The new monocoque is one of some 50 standard components used by all three manufacturers. Among other standard components are: brakes, gearbox, drive shaft, the new paddle gear change, fuel tank and rear wing. Costs can be reduced in this way without limiting scope for development of the aerodynamics, chassis and engine. As a result, the manufacturers can demonstrate technical expertise yet simultaneously deliver cost savings. Standard parts comprise around five percent of the car’s components.
The new DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé is based on the latest Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé, which received its world premiere in summer 2011. The C-Class Coupé rounds off Mercedes-Benz best-selling range and is offered with a choice of five engines – two diesel and three petrol units – developing from 115 kW (156 hp) to 225 kW (306 hp). The C-Class Coupé is manufactured at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. It’s the fourth model to be built on a shared production line alongside the saloon and estate versions, plus GLK – a new production method for Daimler.