DTM goes back to the future: 75-year old Harald Grohs competes at Zolder

DTM goes back to the future: 75-year old Harald Grohs competes at Zolder

16.05.2019: • Winner of first ever DTM race participates in ‘Tourenwagen Classics’ race • Eric van de Poele and Marc Hessel – title rivals from 1987 – reunited at Zolder

•    Winner of first ever DTM race participates in ‘Tourenwagen Classics’ race

•    Eric van de Poele and Marc Hessel – title rivals from 1987 – reunited at Zolder

•    Father and brother of BMW star Marco Wittmann join the action



The DTM’s second event of the 2019 season will mark something of a journey back in time.




For starters, the touring car racing series returns to the Circuit Zolder, where DTM’s first ever race was held, in 1984. More notably, the driver who took the laurels at that very race will compete at Zolder this weekend. Aged 75, Harald Grohs joins a packed DTM support programme behind the wheel of a legendary BMW M3 in the ‘Tourenwagen Classics’ race.



Sadly, he won’t be reunited with his winning car from 1984 – a sleek BMW 635 CSi – but nonetheless will get to grips with another former car, the M3 that he raced back in 1987.



“I can’t wait,” says Grohs, looking forward to his mission: “I’ve competed in numerous races in Zolder. Besides the Nürburgring, Zolder is my home track.”



Grohs isn’t the only driver travelling back in time for the ‘Tourenwagen Classics’, which features popular racing touring cars of the 1980s and 90s. The starting list includes former DTM drivers Armin Hahne (GER), Kris Nissen (DEN), Eric van de Poele (BEL), Marc Hessel (GER) and Volker Schneider (GER), who will also be at the show stage in the Fan Village on Saturday at 12:30 local time, to meet fans and sign autographs.




An old rivalry rekindled: van de Poele and Hessel race again



As best friends, local hero van de Poele and Hessel compete in Zolder’s ‘Tourenwagen Classics’ event. Both were BMW juniors in the 1987 season and, as Zakspeed team-mates, fought hard for the title, which was narrowly won by van de Poele.



Now, 32 years later, the two share a BMW M3, the 315hp cult car, at the weekend.



Fun fact: The former factory car was faithfully rebuilt by ‘2.0 Automotive’, the Düsseldorf-based company founded in 2012 by former football professional and car lover Martin Stranzl (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and business partner Sebastian Küppers.



“I am very grateful to 2.0 Automotive for enabling Eric and I to reunite as team-mates,” says Hessel.





Wittmann family affair



A family affair is also on the cards for two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann. The 29-year-old, who won the opening race of the new turbo era at Hockenheim in his BMW M4 DTM two weeks ago, will follow the outcome of the ‘Tourenwagen Classics’ closely. His father Herbert and brother Nico will compete under the banner of ‘Wittmann Motorsport’ – in a BMW, naturally. The Wittmann M3 from 1989 was formerly driven by professional driver Dieter Quester (AUT) in the DTM.



“The ‘Tourenwagen Classics’ series has got better and better, and features some fantastic cars and very prominent drivers,” says Marco Wittmann. “And it’s funny to think that, during the race weekend in Zolder, my father and my brother will also be out on the circuit. Three Wittmanns on the track in the same race weekend – I’m really looking forward to that, and I’m curious to see who will come out on top!”



A total of 29 touring cars from the 1980s and 90s are registered for the season opener of the ‘Tourenwagen Classics’ in Zolder. The bulk of the BMW M3s (E30) are from the ’80s, but fans can also look forward to classics such as the Ford Sierra RS500, the Mercedes 190E 2.5-16 and an Opel Astra DTM.




Tickets available on DTM.com



On a crowded support roster, the new W Series will follow up its Hockenheim debut with the second round of its women’s single-seater series. The Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux and the Belcar Endurance Championship also feature on the bill.



Away from the track, superstar French DJ and producer Bob Sinclar will entertaining the crowds in the DTM Fan Village on Saturday evening. His song ‘Love Generation’ was a summer club smash in the summer of 2006, eventually becoming Germany’s best-selling single of the year. He also experienced huge success  with singles ‘World, Hold On (Children of the Sky)’ and  and ‘Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)’.



He was named World’s Best DJ at the World Music Awards in London in 2006.



Advance ticket bookings for all 2019 DTM race meetings can be done quickly and easily via the official site: DTM.com/tickets. DTM fans around the world can watch the races live on TV or streamed live via DTM.com.








ITR GmbH- photos DTM

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16.05.2019 / MaP

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