The fairytale first season of the new DTM-Era was officially recognised at the recent Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, as a panel of selected motor-racing experts and journalists bestowed the most popular international touring-car series with the accolade of “European Race Series of the Year Award”.
Some of the panelists included Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Jost Capito and former WRC ace Armin Schwarz, who decided on a race series that faced some stiff competition, in the form of the other nominees. The other race series that were nominated for the award included the following:
- Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship – won by Scott Malvern.
- Superstars International Series – won by Johan Kristofferson.
- Blancpain Endurance Series – won by Christopher Haase, Stéphane Ortelli and Christopher Mies.
It was truly the icing on the cake for all involved with the DTM, as ITR e.V board member Walter Mertes, received the award during the Tuesday evening gala. Mertes went on to say that it was a very proud moment for the promoters: “Thanks to the comeback of BMW and our new technical regulations that have made for extreme competitiveness between the three manufacturers – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – we witnessed a season that virtually can’t be bested when it comes to close racing, excitement and fascination and that was big fun for both all those involved and the DTM enthusiasts.”
“Even a Hollywood director wouldn’t have been able to make for a better showdown than the season finale at Hockenheim that ended with the triumph of Bruno Spengler and BMW,” Mertes added. “In addition, the massive popularity with the crowds and the esteem by the expert jury represent a major boost for the coming season.”
Capito, who now is the man in charge of the efforts of VW’s heavy involvement in many motorsport disciplines, explained the jury’s decision on why it was selected for this prestigious award: “DTM has been standing for great motor racing in an absolutely professional environment for many years now. Over the years, it has established as standard and benchmark for many other race series. We are delighted that we will continue to race in this environment in the coming years, with our Scirocco R-Cup.”
Wolfgang Sievernich, who is currently the editor of ‘Motorsport-Guide,’ and part of the panel that made this decision, said: “DTM is the only European race series that combines professional motor sport and long-term marketing in its most targeted form. With BMW back on board, the battle between the three brands succeeded in winning back lost spectator appeal. In addition, the new cars set new standards in terms of safety and prototype technology that go far beyond FIA demands. For these reasons, I believe that DTM currently is the most complete European race series.”
And in addition to this award, HWA, Mercedes-Benz’s works team, received the “Motorsport Team of the Year Award,” in recognition of its accomplishments in DTM, being of a very high and consistent standard, even though they lost out to BMW Motorsport’s Team Schnitzer this year, by the narrowest of margins. The jury went on to also explain the following, in respect of the decision made: “The consistently high standards set by HWA have been recognized by the awards jury, both in terms of its operational performance as a race team and its technical expertise in race-car design, construction and support. HWA remains the benchmark team in DTM.”