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Gallery: Mercedes DTM cars through the years

As Merc pulls the plug on German touring cars, we look at the very best

  1. Earlier this week, we shared the shocking and sad news that Mercedes will be pulling out of DTM at the end of the 2018 season to go and join the electric revolution over at Formula E.

    It’s a move that could end DTM as we know it. Both Audi and BMW’s big wigs are scratching their heads as to what to do next and there’s a possibility they could pull the ripcord too. Which is annoying, as DTM cars are some of the coolest tin-tops to ever go racing.

    Merc first joined the modern DTM’s predecessor, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, in 1988, and secured its first title with Klaus Ludwig in 1992.

    It took further titles with Ludwig in 1994 and Bernd Schneider in 1995 before DTM closed its door at the end of 1996 due to spiralling costs, but resumed winning ways in 2000 when DTM v2 was launched.

    Schneider secured four further titles in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006, while Gary Paffett, Paul di Resta and more recently Sauber Formula 1 driver Pascal Wehrlein have taken a title apiece for the Silver Arrows.

    It’s not the silverware we’re interested in, but the cars – as they are, frankly, superb. So scroll down through Merc’s tin-top timeline below and let us know what your favourite era of DTM was at the end. And don’t forget to shed a tear for a loss of a great marque in a great championship. Wahhh.

  2. 1988

    Entering with its go-faster partner AMG, Merc began its touring car story in 1988 and won six races.

  3. 1989

    Four wins for the silver arrows in 1989. Kurt Thiim finished fourth overall in the driver’s championship.

  4. 1990

    Merc’s motorsport department is restructured for the 1990 season. It ends up winning five races that year and Kurt Thiim bettered his previous year by finishing third in the driver’s championship.

  5. 1991

    Klaus Ludwig finished the 1991 season second in the driver’s championship, but with the dominant 190E Evo II, Merc notched up five wins and took home its first manufacturers’ championship.

  6. 1992

    In 1992, at the wheel of a Mercedes 190E Evo II, Klaus Ludwig won another German Touring Car Championship for the AMG team with 16 more individual victories.

  7. 1993

    In September of the ‘93 season, Mercedes celebrated the 50th DTM victory of the 190E on the AVUS and won a total of eight races that year. Roland Asch finished runner-up.

  8. 1994

    Driving a new C-Class, Klaus Ludwig clinched the championship title for the AMG team. Mercedes drivers won eleven out of 24 races.

  9. 1995

    Bernd Schneider, took the titles in both DTM and the International Touring Car Championship (ITC). That included nine victories in DTM, eight in ITC. Not bad.

  10. 1996

    Handy man Bernd Schneider finished as the runner-up of ITC in 1996. Mercedes drivers won seven races that year.

  11. 2000

    After a hiatus, DTM is re-launched in Germany. Bernd Schneider hadn’t lost his form over the break. He won six races while Klaus Ludwig finished in third place. Mercedes drivers won eight out of 16 rounds, including six double victories. Mercedes-Benz took home the constructors’ silverware ahead of Opel.

  12. 2001

    Six drivers shared the victories in the ten races of the new DTM. But it was - surprise surprise - Bernd Schneider who clinched his third DTM title and was the first driver in the history of the championship to defend his title.

  13. 2002

    At the end of the 2002 season, Mercedes and Audi had five wins each but the title was clinched by Laurent Aiello who won four races at the wheel of an Abt-Audi TT. With two race victories under his belt, Bernd Schneider finished as runner-up. The other Mercedes-Benz victories were scored by Jean Alesi (his first win in his third DTM race after 201 Formula One races), Uwe Alzen and Marcel Fässler. 

  14. 2003

    Mercedes’ drivers won nine out of ten races in 2003. There were four race victories for Christijan Albers, two each for Jean Alesi and Bernd Schneider and one for Marcel Fässler. Schneider scored points in every race and clinched his fifth (fifth!) DTM title. Which was his third title in the first four years of the new DTM.

  15. 2004

    New boy Gary Paffett had a good year in 2004 with three championship wins plus being on the top step at the invitation race in Shanghai. He finished the season as runner-up behind Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom. Christijan Albers and Bernd Schneider won one race each and finished third and sixth.

  16. 2005

    ‘05 was another good year for Brit Gary Paffett having won five out of 11 races and the driver’s championship. Jean Alesi, Mika Hakkinen and Bernd Schneider took three more race wins for Mercedes. Mika made his comeback after a three-year break and won in his third DTM race. Mercedes-Benz clinched another overall manufacturers’ title.

  17. 2006

    With two race wins and four second places, Bernd Schneider clinched another DTM Championship title. He was the only driver in the pack to score points in every race. Bruno Spengler won four races and was the driver with most race wins that year – ending the season as runner-up. 2006 saw Jean Alesi retire from DTM after 51 races, in which he scored points 30 times.

  18. 2007

    With a new AMG C-Class racer,The Mercedes-Benz drivers won seven out of 10 races in 2007. The Merc achieved 60 percent of all points positions, with nine of the ten drivers scoring points. Bruno Spengler ended the season runner-up for the second time in a row. It was also the year Mika Hakkinen announced his retirement from motor racing. Within three years in the DTM, he participated in 31 races winning three out of them. In the 2007 season, he took victories at the Lausitzring and Mugello.

  19. 2008

    Paul Di Resta and Jamie Green joined Mercedes in 2008 and both took two victories each, with Bernd Schneider taking Merc’s other win. Di Resta ended the season runner-up. Ralf Schumacher was brought into the the Mercedes-Benz team, after 11 years in Formula One. At the end of the season, and after five DTM titles and a suite of victories (43), Bernd Schneider retired from racing. He went on to start a second career with Mercedes-AMG as a brand ambassador, instructor and test driver. Also, he helped develop things like THIS.

  20. 2009

    2009 was the year Mercedes clinched the constructor’s title in F1 (with Brawn), but they also won the DTM crown too. The team took six out of ten races with Gary Paffett winning four times, Paul Di Resta and Jamie Green (in a 2008 car) getting one win each.

  21. 2010

    Paul Di Resta took his first championship in 2010 driving his Salzgitter C-Class, clocking up three wins along the way. Fellow drivers Gary Paffett and Bruno Spengler completed the Championship top three. Utter dominance. With nine wins from eleven races, Mercedes-Benz were the most successful constructor.

  22. 2011

    2011 was the year the C-Class was crowned the most successful car in DTM history. Its drivers achieved three wins and four pole positions in ten points-scoring races and a C-Class driver was on the front row in eight out of ten races that year. At the season finale in Hockenheim, Jamie Green secured its 85th victory in 159 races.

  23. 2012

    2012 started well, with Gary Paffett and Jamie Green achieving a one-two victory at the season opener. Paffett went on to win his home race at Brands Hatch and Green notched up his fourth victory at Norisring.

  24. 2013

    Not really a year of note, 2013. But Canadian Robert Wickens achieved his first DTM victory in tricky weather conditions at the Nürburgring. And the C-Class learned to wheelie, as you can see above.

  25. 2014

    Christian Vietoris, Robert Wickens and Pascal Wehrlein won three races during the 2014 season. Vietoris and Wehrlein claimed maiden DTM victories. While Wehrlein rounded off a perfect week with a win at the Lausitzring (within days of testing for Merc’s Formula 1 team) and became the youngest ever DTM pole-sitter and the youngest winner in the history of the competition.

  26. 2015

    Hotshot Pascal Wehrlein bagged a DTM championship in 2015 at the season finale at Hockenheim, becoming the fifth challenger to win a DTM title at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz, following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors Klaus Ludwig (1992, 1994), Bernd Schneider (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006), Gary Paffett (2005) and Paul Di Resta (2010). 

  27. 2016

    New season, new car in 2016. And what an angry car. A bewinged beast with a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 that’s still being used to this day. Well, until Mercedes leaves the championship in a years time. Boo.

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