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How DTM keeps its RVs alive

Whenever historic Formula 1 cars hit the track on a Grand Prix weekend, modern cars are always at risk of being preempted. Think Fernando Alonso’s demonstration at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix driving the 2005 championship-winning Renault R25, or Ralf Schumacher’s demonstration at the Austrian Grand Prix Ride his 2003 Williams FW25 at decent speed on the delightful Legends Parade section. Masters Historic Formula 1 has supported F1 in the past, but is unlikely to do so on a regular basis.

Not so with DTM, which advertises its own historic title as its fixture to support the bill. The new DTM Classic Cup for 2022 allows machines that raced the DTM from 1984 to 2007 (including its Class 1 machines known as the International Touring Car Championship, and the STW Super Touring Car Series that filled the gap between ITC 1996) crashes and The 2000 rebirth of the DTM). European Touring Car Championship cars from the same era, as well as super touring cars that have participated in the British Touring Car Championship, are also eligible. Participated in series organizer ITR even after switching its platform to GT3. As DTM Classic Director Peter Oberndorfer explained, ITR sees its historic product as a major attraction to increase foot traffic, with 10 races in five rounds, most recently at Spa earlier this month. held.

“Gerhard Berger [ITR owner] realized that these old cars really had an audience, many of whom grew up with them and saw them as children on the fence or on TV ,” said Oberndorfer, who finished fifth in the 1985 DTM. “Even young people are interested in these cars. Maybe they’re more approachable technically, so we decided this would be a regular part of the DTM platform.”

DTM Classic joins GT4-based Young riders DTM Trophy, DTM Esports and the DTM Electric range planned for 2024 are the mainstays of the range. Oberndorfer, who also organized the Classic DRM Cup for cars from the pre-DTM era, called the machines a “fairly successful” one-off at the 2021 Red Bull Tour. This year’s schedule is limited, with only three rounds.

Oberndorfer describes Classic DRM as a “market niche” with no other platform specifically for these cars. At the Imola premiere, both races were won by former Klaus Ludwig 1981 DRM champion Zakspeed Capri, owned and operated by Mucke Motorsport, with father-son pair Peter and Stefan taking turns driving while overseeing the family team’s one-car DTM and two-car DTM Trophy s hard work.

At the Nurburgring, Stefan drives a BMW M1 Procar and wins after a long scuffle with his father in dim light, which is great for those who have a fog delay to stay behind. Down. Mucke Sr wins the second race at the DRM Cup at the Nürburgring, prevalent with the latter’s BMW M1 Procar

Photo by Marc Boels

“Having a different experience with other series, we decided to do it ourselves,” continued Oberndorfer, who took over the rival Tourenwagen Classic series “in a very friendly way” to compete at DTM in 2021 Realizing the ITR’s mission after the Tourenwagen Legenden race: “Who would promote an old DTM car than a platform DTM?”

Fittingly, the first race of the DTM Classic at Lausitz was run by a The name is immediately familiar to enthusiasts won. After the success of early leader Stefan Mucke’s Opel Calibra, Yannick Trautwein led Kris Nissen to a 1-2 lead over the newly formed Schnitzer Classic team. Owned by Trautwein’s father Stefan, it recently acquired the car, spare parts, equipment and naming rights from the fabled Schnitzer BMW team, which folded for 2020. Another Mucke entry was Ronny Scheer’s former Robb Gravett 1990 BTCC champion Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, who won the second race.

The DTM Classic Cup team expands from 16 cars at Lausitz to 24 at Norris, with stars including Hans-Joachim Stuck and Walter Rohrl Heading into the grid, Stuck was on the podium in his second race in the 1992 Audi.

“The audience can see all the periods of motorsport history and I think it’s important to have it. A lot of people remember these cars from childhood, now they’re a little bit older and have children, they wanted to show them the cars of the day” Stefan Mucke Father and son, Peter and Stefan Mucke, enjoyed an entertaining scrap in the DRM Cup at the Nurburgring with the latter's BMW M1 Procar prevailingFather and son, Peter and Stefan Mucke, enjoyed an entertaining scrap in the DRM Cup at the Nurburgring with the latter's BMW M1 Procar prevailingFather and son, Peter and Stefan Mucke, enjoyed an entertaining scrap in the DRM Cup at the Nurburgring with the latter's BMW M1 Procar prevailing

Bruno Spengler, DTM winner with Schnitzer in 2012 and five times at the Norisring In the DTM, he is also one of the stars on the BMW Classic circuit, winning with him The chief mechanic of the year of the championship is aptly reunited. Driving Johnny Cecotto’s 1998 STW Champion BMW 320i, he says “it’s like Christmas to me”.

“These cars are fantastic,” the BMW factory driver gushed. “This DTM Classic is amazing because there are so many different cars, car variants. You have recent cars that are faster than me, but seeing all these different cars and this history, it’s really a part of it It was fantastic.”

Spengler joined Stuck and Audi 200 driver Anthon Werner on the race’s two podiums. Gerhard Fuller’s ex-Uwe Alzen Opel Vectra STW won the opener, profiting from the loose bonnet of the Jo Winkelhock Opel Astra before Klaus Hoffmann’s 2000 Norisring winning.

Stefan Mucke also appeared in the predecessor – Gerd Ruch Ford Mustang from 1994, but quit due to rear axle issues. But Guido Momm was out again at the Nurburgring old timers meeting, which was part of the championship. There, 1993 DTM runner-up Roland Asch took pole position in the first race in the Mercedes 190E he drove that year before a mechanical failure boosted Scheer’s Sierra. BMW driver Steffen Lykke Gregersen won the second race.

Past DTM champions Spengler (2012) and Stuck (1990) on the Norisring’s DTM Classic podium with Audi driver Anton Werner

Photo: DTM

Oberndorfer thinks it is right to admit that the cars are not strictly DTM machines, “because they are real station wagons, they are very close to some DTM cars”, and because “real Parts are not easily available for DTM cars.”

Former Aston Martin and Ford GT ace Mucke agrees, citing the rare opportunity for fans to compare the performance of cars built under different sets of rules in the same race.

“The audience can see all the periods of motorsport history, and I think it’s important to have it,” said Mucke, who raced the DTM from 2002 to 2006. “A lot of people remember these cars from childhood, and now that they’re a little older and have kids, they want to show them what the car was like back then.”

“Our feedback has been excellent,” Oberndorfer report. “[Clients] are sure they can have a good time here. And the old pros who never stopped driving, they love to drive these old cars and are still racing the same way they were 30 years ago.

“Also I think the DTM platform attracts a lot of people, so you have all the action of the DTM, you have a good track like the Norisring, like we do at Imola. We have a good field [24] there, so I think it’s a market gap for older DRM cars. “

Oberndorfer recognizes the growth behind the DTM Classic Cup and is determined to maintain a focus on quality in the field – “We’re not using Porsches or sports cars, we’re using station wagons” – — while maintaining the wave of interest. He called the English-language coverage of live portal DTM Grid and the broadcast TV deal “the best way to market our series” thanks to riding on DTM’s existing TV infrastructure.

“People see the field, they see the game, and of course people who are in the game will tell their friends, ‘We’re happy, the atmosphere is great,'” he said. “If you have a good product , it will explain everything. I try to look at it from the point of view of the competitors, the drivers and the teams and do everything to [make sure] they have fun here. ”

Peter Oberndorfer (right) and ITR boss Gerhard Berger see the potential of the growing DTM Classic platform

Photography: DTM

Mucke added: “We can see huge potential there. A lot of clients want to go there because it’s a great platform, it’s professional motorsport, it’s a great environment with a lot of spectators. Of course, when you have a car that isn’t cheap – like the Calibra, you need a lot of team people and the engine doesn’t have a lot of mileage – then you want to spend your money on an obscure series, you want to be in good Display your car in the environment. The DTM platform is important to us.

Mucke believes that even if unlikely, active DTM drivers will do double duty “because DTM should always be focused”, but the appeal will always be there for Spengler in his spare weekends People like that stay there. Oberndorfer is passionate about bringing a high-profile secondary driver to events for owners.

“I’ve raced a lot of professional races over the past 20 years. , but driving these historic cars is sometimes more challenging than driving a GT3 car with lots of electronics and ABS,” Mucke said. “It’s not easy to drive a historic car from the 1990s, but it’s a lot of fun, and that’s what what the driver wants. ”

Mucke says the limits of racing-era DTM cars are more challenging than driving modern GT3 cars

Photo: DTM

Running Challenge a Class 1 tin-top

Technological advancements mean more and more sophisticated cars competing in “historic” races. Perhaps the best example is the 2011 Peugeot 90X, run by Bob Berridge’s BBM Sport in Masters Endurance Legends. But On the other hand, consider the four-wheel-drive Class 1 beasts of the International Touring Car Championship. So extreme that manufacturers thought they were too expensive, causing the series to implode in 1996, and in the years that followed, they didn’t become so as low as they already qualify for the historic competition.

1995 ex-Keke Rosberg Opel Calibra currently restored by Mucke Motorsport Classic for the annual DTM Classic in Lausitzring In the first race, it was driven by Stefan Mucke and led until the head gasket failed. As Mucke said, even in a period when the factory team was frequently servicing and replenishing parts, its finish record was not exemplary…

“The Calibra is a very difficult car, with all the hydraulics and electronics, and it takes a lot of development to make it reliable,” he said. “There’s a big job list! “

“I believe next year will be the year of the car. We’ll get there, but it’s a complicated car” Stefan Muck

The process of rebuilding the engine and transmission and obtaining spare parts for normal use— – Every 500km in some cases – “In progress, from now on you can’t say next week, you’ll get all these parts”.

“There are a lot of parts needed Made,” Mucke explained. “There’s some old stock on the market, but you never know what you’re getting. “

The Calibra won’t be in the hands of customers or compete again with Mook behind the wheel until a sufficient stockpile of spare parts is built – although he practices at Spa. Its complexity makes it impossible for gentleman drivers to Properly understood and optimized without professional setup.

“We understand it better, most systems work now, but it’s still a way to go],” Mu “I’m sure next year will be the year of the car. We’ll get there, but it’s a complicated car. “

But, he said, the response it got at Lausitz was worth it.

“It was great from the audience,” Mook added. “A lot of people just come to the track just to see that car…”

Mucke leads the Lausitzring in Calibra before bursting headrest and forced to retire

Photo by Marc Boels

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