The DTM championship has been honoured as the European race series of the year at Cologne's Professional World Motorsport Expo following an extraordinary season.

The popular tin-top touring car series was voted as Europe's premier series for 2012 by a jury of international motor racing experts, including former WRC star Armin Schwartz.

Evidently, the title winning comeback of BMW against the might of Mercedes and Audi along with the ferocious on track combat thanks to the new generation of rules has gone far in proving the DTM is back to its best following a difficult couple of seasons.

"We are really proud of having been awarded the Best European Race Series Award in the first year of a new DTM era", said Walter Mertes, board member of DTM rights holder and promoter ITR.

"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," Mertes added.

Mercedes works team HWA was also a recipient of honour after being awarded 'Motorsport Team of the Year' award thanks to teams 'consistent high standards' despite losing the DTM title this year.

by Simon Evans