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Mercedes aims for C-Class swansong
19 October 2011
Mercedes arrives at Hockenheim for this weekend's DTM finale confident of giving its C-Class machine the send-off it deserves by winning the 'home finale' along with claiming the teams' championship - something which is high on the agenda after Stuttgart's finest failed to retain the drivers' crown.
This weekend's race marks an end of an era in the DTM with the championship undergoing a major overhaul that makes next year's championship highly anticipated as the German series heads back to its roots. The combination of a reduced aero package and the comeback of BMW promises to be an exciting prospect.
Mercedes, naturally, has made its home circuit Hockenheim into a bit of a fortress, with a Three Pointed Star driver winning the previous four races there, and the C-Class winning 17 of the previous 27 races at the F1 venue, helping the car to become the most successful DTM car in history.
A win this weekend would be the perfect send-off as Bruno Spengler acknowledges.
"Unfortunately, the title race was decided early in Valencia, but even so, I'm really looking forward to our home race at Hockenheim," the Canadian said, "As this is the last race for the DTM AMG Mercedes C-Class, we're aiming to send our fans home happy with a victory and to win the team championship."
Englishman Gary Paffett heads to Hockenheim as one of the favourites with a record of six podiums, including three victories, during his DTM career.
"Hockenheim has always been a successful track for me, [and] this year we'll be saying a fond farewell to the most successful car in DTM history, the AMG Mercedes C-Class, in which I've won 17 races over the past few years," he noted, "I'd like one more podium finish before the season ends."
Former F1 ace David Coulthard also shares a wealth of experience around the Hockenheimring, be it in a grand prix car or in his current DTM machine. The Scot is also looking forward to putting on a great show for Mercedes faithful after his strong showing at Valencia.
"Of all the tracks we race on in DTM, Hockenheim is the one I know best, not just from my time in F1 but also from the three DTM races I've contested here during the past two seasons," DC commented, "I also enjoy the great atmosphere at our home race in Hockenheim - the support and enthusiasm shown by the fans in the Motodrom and the Mercedes-Benz grandstand are always fantastic.
"After my strong performance in the last race in Valencia, I want to finish the season with an equally good result."
Meanwhile, vice-president of Mercedes Motorsport Norbert Haug promises some 'surprises' on and off track for the fans during the weekend.
"We want to finish our season on a high in this year's finale, so we'll have a number of surprises on and off the track, especially for the spectators in the Mercedes grandstand," he concluded.
by Simon Evans
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