|February 7, 2006
DTM to Race at Le Mans
Wiesbaden. October 15, Le Mans will be the venue for the ninth of ten rounds of the 2006 DTM. This was agreed upon by the French circuit management A.C.O. and the promoter of the DTM, ITR e.V. This means that the DTM will be racing in France for the first time since the series’ revival in 2000. “Ten rounds, four of which abroad and three new circuits are elements of an excellent calendar for the 2006 DTM season”, says Hans Werner Aufrecht, chairman of the ITR e.V. “With Le Mans and the other new foreign circuits, the DTM is continuing its venture into further interesting European markets, underlining the international focus of the series.”
The ten rounds of the 2006 season will be held in five European countries. Next to the legendary circuit of Le Mans (F), Brands Hatch (GB) and Barcelona (E) are also new venues on the calendar. The race at Zandvoort in The Netherlands has already become a tradition, just like the German venues EuroSpeedway Lausitz, Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Nürburgring and the Norisring street course in the city of Nuremberg. The season opener and final will be taking place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. At Hockenheim, the Nürburgring and at the “Circuit de Catalunya” in Barcelona, the DTM will be racing on the Grand Prix-track, which is also being used for Formula 1.
The penultimate season round at Le Mans will be the DTM’s first outing in France since the series’ revival in 2000. In 1995 and 1996, the ITC had two races at Magny Cours in France, For quite a long time, the DTM has had close links with France. In 2002, Frenchman Jean Alesi became the first former Formula 1 star to join the ranks of the DTM. The stalwart of 201 Grands Prix already won his first DTM race after three attempts, an achievement that after him was only matched by double world champion Mika Hakkinen. Also in 2002, Frenchman Laurent Aiello won the DTM title with an Abt-Audi TT-R. Alesi, who received the highest civil honour in France by being called into the Legion of Honour a fortnight ago, is looking forward to his forthcoming DTM home round. “Racing in front of your home crowd is always something special. Doing so at the legendary circuit of Le Mans makes it an even more extraordinary challenge. I will do my utmost to bring across the excitement of the DTM to my French countrymen. Of course, success in France would be the greatest thing for me”, says the winner of four DTM-races.
Next to Alesi, a Dane is also rightfully referring to Le Mans as his “home”: with his seventh victory, Tom Kristensen became the sole record winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours last year. “For me, Le Mans will always remain something special. Here, I have scored my biggest successes in sports cars and I hope that I will also be successful in a DTM car“, the Audi works-driver says.
DTM calendar 2006
1st round 9 April, Hockenheim (D)