by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

DTM Nürburgring 2012: Preview

• Mercedes-Benz has won almost half (29 out of 59 = 49.1%) of all the DTM races at the Nürburgring since 1988
• As the second half of the 2012 season gets underway, Mercedes-Benz leads all three DTM championships – drivers’, team and constructors’
• The next race will be contested on the 3.63km circuit. The race distance is 49 laps (= 177.82 km); the mandatory pit stops must be completed between laps 12 and 37


Comments on the sixth race of the season at the Nürburgring from:

Gary Paffett (31, England, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- leads the DTM drivers’ championship at the halfway stage on 95 points
- in 2004 at the Nürburgring, claimed the treble consisting of pole position, race win and fastest race lap


“The first half of the season was nearly perfect from my perspective: two wins, two podiums and a P4 finish after starting from last on the grid. I’ll be delighted if the second half continues in the same vein. My THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé ran superbly well in the first five races of the season, and I intend to carry on where I left off. I’ve already won one DTM race at the Nürburgring, and in recent years, I’ve had some very good results on this challenging circuit. Even in the wet, I’ve been consistently fast, and as we all know, rain is not an infrequent phenomenon in the Eifel. My victory in the 2004 season is quite a few years ago now, so I wouldn’t mind starting the second half of the season in the same way as the season opener at Hockenheim – with a win.”

Jamie Green (30, England, Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- occupies second place in the 2012 DTM drivers’ championship on a score of 69 points after five out of ten races
- completed the podium in the 2008 DTM race at the Nürburgring


“I’ve had a good start to the season. Now I want to carry forward the momentum from my first win of 2012 – my fourth Norisring victory – just before the summer break into the second half of the season. The Nürburgring is technically very demanding and well known for its changeable weather conditions – it usually rains at least once per race weekend at the Nürburgring. The section before the back straight consists of some medium-fast downhill corners – that’s always a lot of fun. I’ve only made one podium appearance in a DTM race at the Nürburgring, so I’ll be delighted if I can repeat the experience this time round.”

Christian Vietoris (23, Germany, Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé):
- finished on the podium as runner-up in Race 2 of the Formula 3 Euro Series at the Nürburgring in the 2009 season
- qualified for pole position at the Nürburgring in the 2008 and 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series


“My second DTM season has gone reasonably well so far, but I’m keen to improve my performance in the second half. If we sharpen up our act and if we can avoid driver, car and team error, we should be able to turn in some good results in the remaining races. The Nürburgring offers a nice combination of slow and fast turns. However, you’ve got to keep an eye on the weather forecast to avoid getting caught out by the characteristic Eifel rain showers. I’m especially looking forward to the great atmosphere at the track and in particular to all the fans in the Mercedes grandstand who cheer us on, come rain or come shine.”

David Coulthard (41, Scotland, DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- set the fastest race lap at the Nürburgring in 2011
- qualified for pole position in two European Grands Prix at the Nürburgring (in 1995 with Williams and in 2000 with McLaren-Mercedes)


“The second half of the DTM season starts with another high-profile race at the Nürburgring. The circuit at the foot of the Nürburg with its ancient castle is world famous. It is also extremely challenging, as it makes great demands on the brakes. I hope that I can carry on with another strong performance after doing so well in the last race at the Norisring. Fifth place was a great result both for myself and for my team; it has given us an extra boost for the second half of the season.”

Ralf Schumacher (37, Germany, Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):
- won the first DTM team competition with Jamie Green in Munich’s Olympic Stadium
- won the 2003 European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring


“Coming from the town of Kerpen, I obviously regard the Nürburgring as my home track. I’ll be glad to get back behind the wheel of my Mercedes AMG C-Coupé after the summer break. I have many fond memories of the Nürburgring, especially my Grand Prix victory in 2003 and my first DTM points in the 2008 season. In the DTM show event at the Munich Olympic stadium in mid-July, Jamie and I won the first ever DTM team competition. Although there were no points at stake, it still gives me added motivation for the Nürburgring race and for the second half of the season.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“There are a number of encouraging indicators as we go into the second half of the 2012 DTM season: the first five races attracted crowds that were 35 percent up on 2011; so far, TV ratings in Germany have amounted to 11.87 million viewers; plus the next race at the Nürburgring is sold out already, which means that we are about to set a new record attendance for a DTM race at the Ring.

“Of the five races contested so far, Mercedes-Benz has won three with its new C-Coupé. Two of the victories have gone to championship leader Gary Paffett and one to Jamie Green. In fact, Jamie’s win at the Norisring was the tenth in succession for Mercedes and his fourth at that venue in the last five seasons. Our formidable rivals at Audi and BMW will undoubtedly have been using the five-week break since the Norisring to set themselves up for the second half of the season in terms of engineering excellence, driving skills and race strategy. Both of our competitors will be going all out to beat us.

“Rest assured, though, that our people haven’t just been sitting around congratulating each other on leading the standings. On the contrary, we have all been working very hard and have carried out some extensive testing. Everyone in the team is pleased that the long summer break is over and that we can go on the offensive again. I am confident that we are just as well prepared for the challenge ahead as we were at the beginning of the season.”


* Official photo and details courtesy of Mercedes-AMG GmbH *

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