Formula One World Championship and DTM German Touring Car
Nowhere is Mercedes-Benz’s dedication to high performance more evident than on the famous racetracks of the world. Mercedes-Benz thrives on competition – whether it is on the tight streets of Monaco in the Formula One World Championship, or on the challenging and infamous Nürburgring in the DTM German Touring Car Series.
The West McLaren Mercedes Formula One team represents the ultimate expression of high performance for Mercedes-Benz. Powered by a technologically advanced Mercedes-Benz V10 racing engine, David Coulthard, winner of the prestigious 2002 Grand Prix of Monaco, and his teammate, Kimi Räikkönen, carried the three-pointed star into competition in 2003 in the world’s most glamorous and challenging racing series.
Mercedes-Benz Motorsports has a history of featuring successful and legendary drivers, such two-time champions Mika Häkkinen (1998, 1999), and Juan Manuel Fangio (1954, 1955), who each earned consecutive Formula One championships driving the Silver Arrows. Most recently, Häkkinen led the West McLaren Mercedes team to the constructors’ championship in 1998 and victory in the United States Grand Prix at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September 2001. Fangio’s championships came while driving the now legendary Mercedes W196.
Today, the high-powered West McLaren Mercedes race cars aren’t the only high-tech machines carrying the three-pointed star on the racetrack. An AMG racing version of the Mercedes-Benz CLK competes in one of the most competitive road-racing series in the world – the DTM German Touring Car Championship.
The 2004 DTM German Touring Car Championship Series is based on a set of low-cost technical regulations that specify production-type two-door cars and require that a single 4.0-litre V8 engine per car be used all season. Safety is an important factor in the future-oriented engineering of the DTM cars. In the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM car, a sophisticated airbag system and the Head and Neck Support (HANS) device protect the driver.
Led by Bernd Schneider, two-time champion of the DTM, and Jean Alesi, who made the move from Formula One in 2002, the AMG-Mercedes team competes on some of the most historic and famous race tracks in Europe, including Hockenheim, and the Nürburgring in Germany, the A1 Ring in Austria, and Zandvoort in Holland. Races are also held at Oschersleben, the Sachsenring, the Norisring and the Lausitzring in Germany.
While Mercedes-Benz CLKs compete for the championship in the DTM, one very special Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG actually leads the pack at every race in the Formula One World Championship.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG Safety Car is one of the most important vehicles on the racetrack in Formula One, because the job of its driver is to protect the competitors by making sure they have the safest possible racing conditions. The Safety Car leads the field during caution periods to keep the high-performance Formula One machines at a safe speed during the cleanup of an accident and while the race stewards inspect the track. The Safety Car also is used to test the accuracy of the time-measuring equipment.
The Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG is the latest in a long line of AMG-badged automobiles that have become synonymous with high-performance. With AMG, Mercedes has had incredible success racing production-based cars for the past 17 years, including six manufacturer’s titles and five driver’s titles in the DTM German Touring Car Series since 1988.
About Mercedes-Benz Canada
Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of Mercedes-Benz cars and light trucks in Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada employs approximately 830 people in 22 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 17 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 14,520 vehicles during 2002, representing a 22.2% increase over 2001, setting the highest sales volume in its history.
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