Mercedes showcases the racing version of the new C63 AMG for the DTM touring car championship at the Frankfurt Motor Show, ready to take on Audi and BMW in one of Europe's most competitive racing series.
If you've been scratching your head wondering how – between Audi and Porsche – the Volkswagen Group could possibly support two rival top-tier LMP1 programs at Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship, but stay out of Formula One entirely, you're not alone. In fact, Porsche was said to have been eying an F1 entry if Audi had internally blocked aspirations to return to Le Mans. But according to the latest rumors, it's Audi that's now preparing to shift away from endurance racin
Go back just a few seasons, and Germany's DTM touring car series was a straight-up competition between Audi and Mercedes-Benz. But BMW rejoined the race in 2012, winning both the drivers' and constructors' titles on its first year back and celebrating with a special matte-black M3 DTM Champion Edition. Last season, it won the constructors' championship but not the drivers', and this year it did the opposite. In short, it's been an impressive comeback for the Bavarian automaker, and to celebrate
An automaker like Audi will always have a number of different research and development projects going at the same time, and some of them might take on very different approaches. At one end, you'll have its racing programs, and at what you'd assume would be the other, self-driving prototypes. But Ingolstadt is preparing to bridge that gap by running an autonomous prototype at racing speed around the famed Hockenheimring.
A pit stop is a pit stop, right? The race car pulls in, the crew changes the tires, pumps in some fuel, maybe swaps out a busted body panel or squeegees the windshield, and off it goes for another heat. Only pit stops have become the focus of news lately for a number of reasons, whether it's because of mishaps (like the ones that prompted F1 to ban mid-race refueling), new time records (due largely to said ban) or interesting new ways to film the fast-paced action.
Ever since revealing the M4 on nearly five months ago, BMW has been hard at work getting its new muscle coupe out on the track. It's made a touring-car version to compete in DTM and a safety car to set the pace at MotoGP races, and now it's combined both into a new safety car for DTM as well.
There existed an era in German touring car racing between when the DTM series was revived in 2000 and when BMW rejoined in 2012. During that twelve-season span, the wins were pretty evenly divided between Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the only two manufacturers who took part. Audi won six drivers' titles in that time and Mercedes won six (although Benz won considerably more constructors' titles).
We may not get to enjoy the fruits of it all, but we're in the midst of a golden age in touring car racing around the world. In Northern Europe, rival local series have amalgamated into the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship. In the UK, the British Touring Car Championship is enjoying the largest and most diverse grid in its long history. In Australia, the V8 Supercars series has grown from a Holden vs. Ford battle to include challengers from Mercedes, Nissan and Volvo. And in Germany, the DT
Lexus Racing's booth designers at the Tokyo Auto Salon clearly loved a certain French electronic music duo when they decided to promote the new Lexus RC F racecar from the Super GT series. The Daft Punk-inpsired race team appeared ready for a pit stop in this promo photo, wearing custom double-breasted suits made from race gear as well as top hats, headphones and reflective sunglasses.
Some drivers manage to make the transition from one form of motor racing into another, and some run into trouble. Take Paul di Resta, for example. The promising young Scottish driver dominated Formula 3 racing in Europe in 2006, then moved over to Germany's hugely competitive DTM touring car series where he finished second in 2008, third in 2009 and first in 2010. But things didn't go as smoothly for Paul – cousin to retired Indy champion Dario Franchitti – when he moved in to Formul
For this year's DTM touring car championship in Germany, Audi switched (at least in appearance) from the A5 to the more muscular look of the RS5. But now that it's won the title (the driver's title anyway), it's the base A5 that's getting the celebratory treatment.
Since its return in 2010 as the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, German touring car racing has been largely a game of cat and mouse – the cat being Audi and the mouse being Mercedes-Benz. Or vice versa, take your pick. Because through 2011, each had won the drivers' championship six times (Mercedes still dominating the constructors' championship standings). But then BMW jumped back in last season and won the title in its first year back on the grid.
Fans of BMW performance had two events to keep an eye on this weekend: the reveal of the M4 Concept at Pebble Beach, and the efforts of the Bavarian automaker's DTM teams at the Nurburgring. What ties them together, however, is what BMW has in store for next year.
The producers of Iron Man 3 undoubtedly have the No. 24 Audi RS5 DTM car driven by Adrien Tambay at last week's Hockenheim round to thank for the movie's record-breaking global opening. Not only was Tambay's car wrapped to be a high-speed billboard for the movie, the entire team dressed in Iron Man-themed race suits made by partner Alpinestars and wore themed helmets from Uvex. What other reason could there be?
BMW recently had a little fun with two of the company's past DTM champions. Roberto Ravaglia and Bruno Spengler, winners of the 1989 and 2012 championships, respectively, both showed up at the world-famous Hockenheimring with their title-winning cars. The two swapped seats, with Ravaglia taking the helm of Spengler's BMW M3 DTM racer and Spengler sliding behind the wheel of Ravaglia's first-generation M3 racer in the classic BMW Bank livery, and headed for the track. Spengler got a 23 second hea