Audi And Mercedes Pledge Their Future To DTM

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Audi and Mercedes have confirmed that they’ll continue competing in the DTM series beyond the 2006 season.

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Audi motorsport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and his Mercedes equivalent Norbert Haug, confirmed that they will be supporting the championship in the long-term.

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Suggestions of the DTM series demise had been growing ever since Opel pulled out at the end of 2005. However, a field of 20 cars on the grid this year, showed the rumours were unfounded.

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The series attracts big crowds, as well as some great drivers to its series, including ex F1 drivers Mika Hakkinen and Jean Alesi. The championship has also seen it’s younger drivers progress to single seaters, including Giancarlo Fisichella to F1 and Dario Franchitti to the Indycar series in America.

Dr. Ullrich confirmed audi were happy with their decision, and went on to say “The DTM is the most popular international touring car series, the pinnacle in touring car racing. This suits the Audi brand in an excellent way. For a manufacturer, the DTM provides excellent value for money. That means: you get a lot in return for your resources. It has shown that the spectators want to see spectacular touring cars at the highest level and that is what the DTM is offering them.”

Haug commented “The technical regulations provide the basis for justifiable cost and the media coverage guarantees an unequalled cost/performance ratio. Thus the DTM remains an excellent stage for the premium brand Mercedes-Benz. By confirming our engagement for next year together with our competitor Audi today, we provide for consistency of the series and planning reliability for our partners.”

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[Source: Crash]

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