DTM

This site is mainly about the racing series that lead to the biggest development of the 190 E 16v as we know, the DTM (GTC), former DPM. Information about the 190 E 16v in racing – especially the years 1984-1988 – is very scarce and not very consequent and reliable. Besides that, raceteams didn’t communicate all specifications and developments of course and development went so quick that conditions and specifications changed every month. The chance is therefore present that not all the information I’ve gathered is 100% reliable. The main storyline however is definitely true, so enjoy reading it and if you have any info that could be added to the story send me an email.


1984 – First year DPM

In the beginning of the 80’s the biggest and most important championship in Germany was still the prestigious Deutsche Rennsport-Meisterschaft (DRM). In 1982 this championship changed from Group 5 to Group C cars. The (expensive) Group C cars were divided in classes up to 1.6, up to 2,5 and over 2,5 cc. But because high costs, ailing economy the number of participants decreased which then again led to less spectators and publicity.

Therefore the ‘Oberste Nationale Sportkommision’ (ONS) introduced a sort of 2. Division (DPM). This championship was designated for Group A cars – and the most surprising thing – without classes but with handicap-regulations. Big powerfull cars received more weight and smaller cars were allowed to have wider tyres. This made it attractive for a lot of teams and cars to participate and especially nice for spectators. Group A cars have minor changes to standard roadcars only demand is a minimum production of 5000 roadgoing vehicles. This new championship was called the Deutsche Productions Meisterschaft (DPM). The premiere of this new championship was at Zolder (B) in March 1984. The different sorts of cars and a full startinggrid made the DPM already a succes. Because the Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 went in production in 1984 it was not ready in time to participate in racing during this season. The championship was a fight between the BMW 635 CSi, Volvo 240 Turbo, Rover Vitesse and the upcoming Ford Sierra XR4Ti.


1985 – First participation in DTM for 190 E 2.3-16

The DPM was getting more and more successful. It’s name got the addition ‘International’. The only thing missing in the DPM was the fact that real top star racing drivers weren’t present. But it was already clear that the DPM wasn’t a second division anymore. Therefore during the season famous racing drivers like Gerhard Berger, Roberto Ravaglia and at the end Klaus Ludwig made the step to the DPM. The fact that 12 different brands gained points during the season also showed the succes of the concept. Per Stureson won the season with the Volvo 240 Turbo. From half the season Leopold Gallina was the first driver to start with a 190 E 2.3-16 in the DTM with an engine prepared by Hartmann Motorsport. Driver and car were present at round 4 in Mainz-Finthen on June 2nd, only a month after the homologation of the Mercedes 2.3-16, but they did not start. Three starts followed over the remaining season but they never finished.


1986 – DPM becomes DTM / More teams using 190 E 2.3-16

In 1986 the name International Deutsche Productions Meisterschaft (DPM) changed in Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM). This season also more teams started racing with the 190 E 2.3-16. Different teams like Carlsson and Snobeck drove the 190 E 2.3-16 in the ETCC, 24h race of Spa and Nürburgring and some national championships across Europe. Because of the potential of the 190 that Snobeck showed in 1985, more 190 E 2.3-16 cars started racing in Germany. Team Marko of the Austrian Dr. Helmut Marko put two 190 E 2.3-16 cars at the start in cooperation with engine builder AMG. Drivers were Franz Klammer and Peter Oberndorfer. After 3 races Peter Oberndorfer got replaced by Volker Weidler. Also team Scuderia Kassel with Johannes Breuer drove a Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 and in race 5 Kris Nissen drove a second car for Scuderia Kassel. Later in the season Peter Oberndorfer that started the season in the Marko Mercedes drove the second car of Scuderia Kassel. Johannes Breuer became team captain instead of driver at the 7th race in Nurburgring. Jorg van Ommen started later in the second car again for Kassel. At the end of the season in Zolder was Scuderia Kassel very fast and competitive in the series. Later in the season also Leopold Gallina came to the start with a 190 E 2.3-16.
First race a lot of problems gave a lot of problems for the Mercedes, especially with the engines. But the Mercedes teams took a lot of time and effort in developing the car so it was soon getting much better. Only the suspension needed some clear improvement. From the start the brand new Mercedes cars from especially the Marko team surprised everyone. Because they were even getting more and more good results, other teams were demanding a weightpenalty for the Mercedes, but the organisation said that penalty weight is based on training times and there the Mercedes wasn’t superior at all, so no extra weight for Mercedes. At half the season and at the end also the Mercedes was the car to beat. But turbo cars like the Ford Sierra XR4Ti raised questions because of the huge power delivery of the turbocharged engines.
Kurt Thiim won the DTM this year with the Rover Vitesse, Volker Weidler of Marko team came 2 in the championship with the Mercedes 2.3-16, in it’s 1st year! This ‘only’ second place had mainly to do with the fact that he started the season at race 3 (he replaced Peter Oberndorfer), otherwise he would probably have won the title. The Marko team was a private team, but because of the success they achieved with the 190 E 2.3-16 more and more empolyees of the Mercedes Benz company were spotted in the paddock to make preparations for a factory team.
#8 Marko – Peter Oberndorfer/ Volker Weidler
#9 Marko – Franz Klammer
#33 Scuderia Kassel – Johannes Breuer / Jörg van Ommen
#40 Leopold Galina
#64 Scuderia Kassel – Kris Nissen/ Sepp Haider / Peter Oberndorfer

Technic: The Mercedes 190 made good progress this season. It had the Getrag 5-speed gearbox, Sachs- race-clutch, a 40% limitied slip differentialmt, Bilstein- Gasdruckdämpfer suspension, Pirelli racetires, Ronal rims, 16 inch tires, 1010 kg according to regulations.

Capacity
B/H
Max power
Max torque
2299cc
95,6 x 80,25
240/ 7250
260/ 5800


1987 – Turbo power / new BMW M3

The use of turbo’s – which was alowed because there were no engine divisions but a handical reglement – became a big problem. These cars had so many bhp, for example the Ford Sierra’s were even reaching up to 500 bhp and drove therefore with 370kg penaltyweight! The normaly aspirated engines were only reaching a max. of 300bhp. The Mercedes 190 was only reaching aprox. 260bhp and was therefore no title candidate. Especially because BMW introduced the BMW M3 this season which was in fact especially developed for motorsport, where the Mercedes 190 was in fact a normal roadgoing car that they took racing. Also Ford introduced a new car, the Sierra Cosworth. Instead of penalty weight the regulations were changed and turbo’s were getting air restriction instead of penalty weight. Because DTM was booming there were more factory teams, better professional media and more new sponsors. Mercedes used this season for preparation of the officially factory team that they would introduce in 1988.
#11 Marko – Jörg van Ommen
#12 Marko – Franz Klammer
#13 Marko – Heiner Weiss
#29 Format Fahrzeugteile GmbH – Ludwig Weber
#28 Leopold Gallina
#32 Sachs Sporting – Jürgen Weiler
#57 Franz Klammer/ Peter Oberndorfer
Costas Los / Stanley Dickens / Andreas Mark

Technic: The technical development of the first 1986 season continued, 270bhp…

Capacity
B/H
Max power
Max torque
2299cc
95,5 x 80,25
260/ 7750

1988 – Mercedes officially in DTM

This year 4 official factory teams were participating in the DTM: BMW, Ford, Mercedes and Opel.
Mercedes participated with 5 teams: AMG, Snobeck, Marko, IPS and BMK with in total 14 Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16. This year Mercedes officially entered the DTM as a factory team and AMG became an official partner of Mercedes. However AMG became partner of Mercedes, they weren’t capable of developping the 190 E 2.3-16 to a winners car because they were experiencing problems enough with their tuning activities. However the Mercedes teams were officially factory teams, Mercedes itself didn’t do all the development work. Therefore in the winter of 1987/ 1988 Mercedes developed in co-operation with Snobeck a racing kit for the Mercedes 190. Further development was left for the teams. Mercedes only tested and developed parts and shared experience with the ‘private’ teams. Snobeck (already 3 years in competition with the 190 E 2.3-16) was pretty experienced with the 2.3-16 and was located at the Magny-Cours circuit in France and was therefore – maybe even more then Mercedes Benz self – capable of making and testing a competitive car. In fact AMG and Snobeck were mainly financially supported and provided with free parts by Mercedes to develop the 190 E 2.3-16. The engine came from Untertürkheim untill 1988 when AMG took over. Testing and development was done by a team lead by Gerhard Lepler from Mercedes and testdriver Roland Asch, often every week. They tested new parts and settings. For example a new front axle which was tested to see if it made the car faster and how reliable it was.

This year Johnny Cecotto and Kurt Thiim brought the first successes for AMG Mercedes. Mercedes won 6 races and Roland Asch became second in the championship. The fact that Asch became second was a special one. Only 3 weeks before the 1st race his participation in the DTM was definate. He was a privateer and bought the car himself. But because Asch did development work for Mercedes for the new 2.5-16 he had the best suspension setup for the car and was therefore very competitive in the series.

This season the Mercedes engine matched the others because the 190 was now also reaching 300bhp. This because the DTM allowed fargoing changes to the engine in contrary to the International Group A reglement where the 190 engine wasn’t competitive enough against the strong (standard) M3 engine. But Mercedes and BMW were very challenged to eachother. The Mercedes had a pretty complicated rear suspension, but when that has a good set-up it is able to beat the M3 which was in fact pretty pure and simple and didn’t have the possibilities of changing set-up. According to Asch the ’88 season was very friendly and even very supporting between competitor brands.

But however Mercedes worked hard on developing the car and was getting stronger and stronger during the season, the turbo powered cars were again superior and won the championship with the Sierra Cosworth. This year was a big (first) learning year for Mercedes. Mercedes saw the importance of the DTM and also saw that the current pretty standard 190 E 2.3-16 wasn’t able of winning the championship. Therefore Mercedes presented a new 190 E 2.5-16 in august 1988. This bigger engine would make the car more competitive. But Mercedes had plans for victory and therefore a further development of an Evolution model was necessary. Making this wild roadgoing car was necessary because the racecar had to use the same exterior shape as the roadcar it was derived from. Also the interior panels needed to be original and the dashboard mostly thesame. And so the EVO 1 model was born.

Another rule of the DTM was the fact that cars were only allowed to produce 100db, – to make the environmetalists happy – this to disappointment of the fans. But the teams found a solution. The loudness was measured at the back of the car at the exhaust. To make the cars legally louder the teams made the air intake and engine louder to make fans happy after all. This year unleaded fuel was introduced, some teams were even already driving with catalic converters because in 1989 these became required.
#10 IPS – Per Stureson
#12 IPS – Siegfried Müller Jun.
# 15 RSM Marko – Jörg von Ommen
#16 RSM Marko – Franz Klammer
#17 Schwaben Motorsport – Thomas von Löwis
#27 Snobeck – Dany Snobeck
#28 Snobeck – Alain Cudini
#31 AMG – Kurt Thiim
#41 BMK Motorsport – Roland Asch
#42 BMK Motorsport – Norbert Brenner
#43 BMK Motorsport – Ralf-Werner Müller
#44 AMG – Johnny Cecotto
#45 AMG – Marc Hessel
#46 AMG Heiner Weiss
#47 Bob Wollek
#52 Leopold Gallina
#53 Ludwig Weber
#65 AMG – Jean Louis Schlesser

Technic: New speedline tires instead of Ronal, lighter and better cooling for the brakes, front brakes from Gruppe-C Sportprototyp, aprox. 5.2 sec 0-100kmh, Mercedes had no power steering, rev limiter now up to 8.800rpm.

Capacity

B/H

Max power

Max torque

2299cc

96,0×80,25

300/ 8500

270/ 7000


1989 – Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution 1

Mercedes reorganized it’s motorsport activities and founded ‘Mercedes ST technik’ where the activities with the Group C and DTM were joined.

Klaus Ludwig was factory driver at Ford and won the ’88 DTM season. But he was looking for a new challenge. Therefore he joined the AMG team with sponsors König-Pilsener and Boss. But because Ludwig joined Mercedes and Mercedes already had Roland Asch and Kurt Thiim under contract, sombody had to leave the team. It became Asch, but he started with MS racing with Manuel Reuter. The 3 official teams were AMG, Mass-Schons (MS) and Snobeck. The Marko team didn’t get factory support anymore because of he new structure with ST technik. But the team started still. But it soon became clear that it was impossible to succeed without factory support. The competition became tough and the championship more and more expensive.

In march 1989 the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution 1 got official presented at the Geneva Motorshow. After a couple of months all 502 EVO1’s were produced and the first evolution made it’s debut on the circuit on 14 may 1989 in Mainz-Finthen. Roland Asch even won the first race the EVO1 came at the start! This car had the new 2.5-16 engine, the roadgoing 2.5-16 EVO1 had 16″ wheels, in the DTM the racecar was allowed only max. 2″ bigger wheels then streetversion, therefore they were now allowed to drive with 18″. Mercedes also developed a carbon fibre boot lid that weighs 1kg!. This development was neccesary because BMW made good progress with the M3 of which they engine could run up to 10.000rpm. But Mercedes hit back with an engine that had especially more torque at lower revs because of the bigger cylinder capacity. But the biggest change off course was the handling because of the changes to the wheelbase, wider track and rims. The improvements showed off. When testing the EVO1, lap records fell one after the other. But all teams made big progress this season, all previous lap records fell.

Mercedes was clear favourite this season. At the start in Zolder they had to start with the ‘old’ 2.3-16 instead of the new EVO1 because of problems with suppliers. Because Mercedes didn’t have a constant performing driver, the best Mercedes driver became Kurt Thiim with a 4th place in the championship. Development continued during the season and was even necessary to stay competitive. Therefore In augustus 1989 Mercedes already began with the development of the famous Evolution 2 model.

Technic: EVO1, exterior parts Mercedes ordered in Heilbronn at ‘Autoschmiede’, Aluminum parts were developed by Snobeck. Snobeck did suspension development

Capacity

B/H

Max power

Max torque

2496cc

97,9×82,8

315/ 8500

285/ 7000


1990 – Mercedes 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution 2

The DTM became more famous every year, 581.000 spectators over 11 races and 153 million tv viewers worldwide. This year was the first year where turbo’s weren’t allowed anymore, therefore Ford stepped out the DTM. But therefore Audi entered the championship with the Audi V8 with a 3,6 ltr V8 engine and 4WD. Problem however was how to deal with this car with handicap regulations? According to BMW and Mercedes the penalty weight was too less to compensate the 4WD and more powerfull engine. BMW introduced the first Evolution version of the M3, with a 2.5 ltr engine and some exterior changes to take advantage in the championship. Opel introduced the completely new Omega but this car seemed not competitive from the beginning.

Mercedes started the season with 8 cars and 3 teams: AMG, Snobeck and MS-racing. They started the season with the Evolution 1 and were still very dominant at the beginning of the championship. Mercedes however worked hard on a second Evolution model of the 190, the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution 2. But Mercedes was waiting with the introduction of the new Evo 2 in the championship because at the end of the season the competitors would have penalty weight and this would make the new EVO2’s even more succesfull. In may 1990 the latest homologationversions of the EVO2’s were produced in the factory in Bremen (D). Therefore the premiere of the car was half the season in DTM.

The EVO2 made it’s debut at the Nordschleife circuit and it looked like the introduction of the EVO1 a year before. Best trainingtime, leading in the race, however both cars of ludwig and Thiim broke down. During the season all factory teams changed to the EVO2 model. The season started with ca. 333pk/ 8500rpm but at the end the egines reached up to 360bhp, especially because some teams used special fuels that was used in the F1 as well.

1 Oktober the AMG company became a part of the Mercedes-Benz company. AMG cars were then to be sold via the Mercedes network worldwide. From then AMG became also responsible for the development of Group A cars on behalf of Mercedes. Bad luck this season for Mercedes and strong competition of the M3 Evo and new Audi V8.

Technic: Seat EVO2 was placed a bit back for better weight balance, 45m of rollover cage goes in the EVO2, 110liter tank instead of spare wheel for lower weight point, no power steering, ABS, ASD instead of mechanical lsd, electronic regulated hydrolic slip between 35 and 100% in road car, racecar was set at 75% permanent, brakes fron 355mm, back 278mm, tires 235/605 and 240/ 620/18, weight 1040kg, wheelbase 2655mm, length 4430mm, width 1712mm, height 1322mm, track front/rear 1470/1455 mm

Capacity

B/H

Max power

Max torque

2490cc

97,8 x 82,80

333/ 8500

290/ 7000


1991 – New records

Because Audi won the 1990 championship ‘pretty easy’ in the first year, BMW and Mercedes demanded more weight for the Audi. But at the end Audi’s weight remained thesame and BMW and Mercedes were allowed with 60kg less. But to bring the Mercedes 190 down in weight would be very expensive.

Opel brought a new Omega at the start based on the new Evo 500, but still no good results because the competition made a lot of progress too. Big factory teams with big budgets, privateers no chance. In 1991 there were 4 official Mercedes factory teams in the DTM. Mercedes started the season with 4 teams MS-racing, Snobeck, AMG and new team Zakspeed. It was a very exciting season and close fights between the different brands. A lot of damage too because the differences were very small. Mercedes had lot of bad luck this season, too bad because the car was competitive. Audi won the season and Ludwig became second in the championship with Mercedes. This season lead again to new records, 652.000 spectators, 216 million TV viewers in Germany and 100 million abroad.

Technic: Track front/ rear 1470mm/ 1455mm, wheelbase 2665mm, length 4563mm, width 1706mm, heigth 1300mm, weight 980kg, 9800 revs/ min max. and 360 bhp end of the season

Capacity

B/H

Max power

Max torque

2490cc

97,8 x 82,8

340/ 8800

300/ 7000


1992 – Mercedes DTM champion

Opel with the Omega EVO was still no match for the competition, therefore they were concentrating on developing the Opel Calibra for the upcoming Class 1 reglement.

3 official Mercedes teams were participating this season, AMG, Mass-Schons and Zakspeed with 8 cars at the start. 2 Privateers with Armin Bernhard and Olaf Manthey. Snobeck started in France with 2 EVO2’s driven in the Super Tourisme Championship.
Audi was soon out of the title race and even stopped half the season. Therefore the battle was between the only 2 brands left in the series BMW and Mercedes. Mercedes got power steering and power-assisted brakes, a new six speed transmission where you don’t need to use the clutch to shift up. 380 bhp. Mercedes was very strong this season. But differences were so small that tires were determinative. Ludwig won the season and it was a very succesful year for Mercedes.

Technic: Engine produced aprox. 373bhp at 9500rpm. but therfore every 600 km the engines needed a revision for aprox. 12.000 Euros. Track front/ rear 1470mm/ 1455mm, wheelbase 2665mm, length 4563mm, width 1706mm, heigth 1300mm, weight 980kg, privateers 950kg

Capacity

B/H

Max power

Max torque

2490cc

97,9 x 82,8

373/ 9500

300/ 7750


1993 – End of handicap regulations

This season meant the end of the once so successful handicap regulation. There was decided not to use the common 2ltr regulations that was populair in Europe but the 2.5, max. 6 cylinder Class1 regulation. No homologation cars were needed, only the model of which the racecar was based on should be manufactured at least 25.000 times.

BMW stepped out, they disagreed with the Class 1 regulations. Also Audi and Opel didn’t participate in the ‘new’ championship. Only factory teams were Alfa Romeo with the new 155 and Mercedes with a ‘new’ Class 1 Mercedes 190. Mercedes participated with 6 cars instead 8 last year. There were 2 teams, AMG and Zakspeed. There were though more privateers and more drivers support. Manthey and Uwe Alzen drove for the Persson team, There was also a ‘DTM junior team’ with Sandy Grau and Stig Amthor. At the end of the season Opel came with the Calibra V6. Lot of private drivers to fill the starting field.

Alfa won the championship convincing with Nicola Larini, the Alfa 155 was a strong new car with 4WD and a V6 with 420 bhp that could rev up to 11.500 rpm.

Technic: Track front/ rear 1590mm 1555mm. wheelbase 2665, length 4562mm, width 1757mm, heigth 1300mm, weight 1000kg

Capacity

B/H

Max power

Max torque

2490cc

97,8 x 82,8

375/ 9500

300/ 7500


1994New C-class DTM

This season the completely new C-class DTM car was introduced. Only the DTM Junior Team and some privateers were driving the 190 Class 1 and EVO2.

 

Last but not least a video showing the difference between an EVO 2 DTM car and a modern DTM car.