At MERCEDES GP PETRONAS, the preparations for the tenth race of the season – the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring – are in full swing. While the F1 outfit gets ready for its second home race in a row, the Mercedes-Benz DTM team were in action at an unusual venue: the Olympic Stadium in Munich was hosting the first ever DTM show event.
For this two-day spectacular, the interior of the stadium was transformed into a 1,192-metre track on which the drivers competed against each other in a series of head-to-head mini-races. Conversion work at the Olympic Stadium commenced on 12th April. Within three days, the grass had been removed from the stadium. Next, 8,000 cubic metres of aggregate were spread over an area of 18,000 square metres.
No championship points were at stake during the show event. Even so, current DTM championship leader Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) gave the competition everything he had got, progressing to the final on both days. On Saturday, he prevailed over Mercedes-Benz DTM rookie Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) in an internal semi-final showdown before taking on Audi driver Edoardo Mortara in the final.
In a thrilling duel over ten laps, including two pit stops, Spengler finished runner-up on the day. The Canadian was able to get his revenge on Sunday, however, when he once again encountered Mortara in the final. This time, the Mercedes-Benz man got the upper hand and was crowned overall winner of the DTM premiere in Munich.
“It’s great to have won the first ever DTM show event held at the Olympic Stadium in Munich,” said a delighted Bruno. “It was tremendous fun racing on this track with the fantastic atmosphere generated by the fans.”
Nico was determined not to miss out on such a spectacular occasion and was present for the Sunday programme. He even clambered into the cockpit of his Formula One Silver Arrow and thrilled the 40,000 fans (total 54,000 spectators across the weekend) by performing demonstration laps and donuts.
“The entire DTM show event in Munich – and especially the demo laps in my Formula One Silver Arrow – was highly enjoyable,” said Nico. “The DTM races were very exciting, and it was great to see how close the drivers were hugging the barriers.” His attention now turns to the next highlight of the F1 season – the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.