history to be rewritten
The good old days are back. When the touring-Car Classics will contest their second race meeting of the season at the Lausitzring, the air will be filled with a touch of nostalgia. In 2017, the series with the classic DTM racing cars of the 1980s and ‘90s was part of the DTM support programme for the first time. In addition to the latest and the historic DTM cars, the forthcoming race weekend also will feature the ADAC Formula 4 and the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup.
With Kurt Thiim, Harald Grohs, Olaf Manthey, Christian Menzel, Leopold Prinz von Bayern and Marc Hessel, quite a number of former DTM drivers once again will be back in action, in the state of Brandenburg. “Certainly old memories will be brought back,” says Leopold ‘Poldi’ Prinz von Bayern. “I’m delighted with having the chance of driving my old BMW again after such a long time to meet old companions on the racetrack too. That’s something very special. And it’s particularly nice that we can do so without having to prove anything. You can just enjoy it. I hope there will be more opportunities to race the car.” Currently, the team of Christian Menzel and Marc Hessel make a massive effort to be able to also contest the event in a newly assembled 1988 Group A BMW M3 DTM. The car is supposed to be ready to race just in time for the Lausitzring weekend.
Harald ‘Nippel’ Grohs is particularly delighted with having the opportunity to race at Klettwitz. “Racing at the Lausitzring is very challenging and thrilling. But we rather opt for a conservative approach. The parts for the car are shockingly expensive, today. Therefore, maintaining the car costs heaps of money, let alone having a crash.” The Essener is a big Touring Car Classics fan. “The series is very popular with the crowds. I’d only wish that some of the older Mercedes vehicles and one or two Fords would join it. After all, the DTM grid featured six, seven manufacturers, in those days. And it also would be nice if Volker Strycek would make another appearance with his Opel.”
A winner: Original 1987 BMW M3 on the grid
With Vogelsang Valier, even a DTM team from the 1980s makes its comeback. The authorised BMW dealer from Vest that made history with the drivers Altfrid Heger, Harald Grohs and Olaf Manthey will make a comeback. In a black Vogelsang-BMW M3 (type E30), Grohs won the 1987 season opener at the short version of the Hockenheimring. It was the first official race win for the BMW M3. Furthermore, a 1986 Group A BMW 325i and another 1987 M3 also will be back in action. “Together with Ralf Bahr I will race my original car I used to stir up DTM with, in those days. The car is in great condition and goes really strong. It’s very competitive,” says Grohs who finished fourth in the Touring Cat Classics season opener at Hockenheim.” “Finishing third also wouldn’t have been a problem but I did too much slipstream racing. Therefore, the water temperatures rose and I backed off to make it to the line without damaging the car.”
Thorsten Stadler who races a 1994 Mercedes-Benz DTM C-Class is the reigning champion. He won the season opener for once as team-mate of his long-term rival Jörg Hatscher but at the Lausitzring, the latter is going to again race an own Mercedes C-Class. The Alfa 155 V6 ITC of Stephan Rupp also should be kept an eye on. “We have no chance when fighting against the ITC cars and the later Mercedes generations or the Alfas,” says Grohs. “But that’s not the spirit and purpose of competing in the series. I want to make it to the class podium, with our E 30. I really look forward to meeting Olaf Manthey following the great success his team celebrated last weekend in the Nürburgring 24h Race in extremely demanding conditions. He will race the 325er, my successor car at Vogelsang. He will be a true asset to this event.”
Race with obligatory pit stop on Sunday
To those who want to have the chance of watching the contemporary witnesses and the active drivers of ‘Old DTM’ at close range: The 40-minute Touring Car Classic race will be started on the Sunday of the Lausitzring meeting at 15:00hrs CEST (14:00hrs BST), ends at 15:40hrs and includes an obligatory two-minute pit stop, allowing for a driver swap. Following a practice session on Friday (14:15hrs CEST), the drivers battle it out for the best grid position in two 20-munze qualifying sessions on Saturday (08:40hrs and 15:40hrs).
In addition to the thrilling motor sport provided by the second DTM race weekend featuring – in addition to DTM – the Touring Car Classics, Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup and ADAC Formula 4 – the spectators at the Lausitzring also may look forward to a special live show. On Saturday evening, the DJ pairing ‘Gestört aber GeiL’ will entertain the crowds for an hour with fat beats and driving basses. Afterwards, the visitors can enjoy a public screening of the German FA Cup final, Bayern München vs. Eintracht Frankfurt. On Sunday, former heavyweight fighter Axel Schulz will attend the DTM meeting to witness the race action at close range. To cut a long story short: a packed programme featuring many titbits for the DTM enthusiasts. .
The two DTM races at the Lausitzring will be covered by Sat.1 in their show ‘ran racing’, on Saturday, 19th May, and on Sunday, 20th May, from 13:00hrs CEST each. In Austria, the ORF coverage will begin on both days at 13:15hrs CEST. All the practice session, qualifying sessions and races will be streamed live at the official DTM.com and the official DTM App.