The initial plans from Mercedes with the 190 E were to compete in international rallying, but because in the meantime this got already dominated by all-wheel-drive cars the RWD Mercedes would’t stand a chance so Mercedes shove these plans aside. Therefore when the 190 E was presented Mercedes didn’t have concrete plans to go racing with it. But with the 190 E 2.3-16 Mercedes had a perfect car for motorsport it only had to be homologated and therefore Mercedes had to sell 5000 of these cars. Because the car was pretty expensive Mercedes wasn’t sure that they would sell 5000 but as soon as sales began it was clear that 5000 wasn’t a problem at all. Officially Mercedes didn’t take the initiative to make the 190 E 2.3-16 suitable for the track, but they did however support teams that were doing so.
The first one that took the 190 E 2.3-16 racing was the Frenchman Dany Snobeck with his Snobeck Racing Services team. He drove 2 cars in the 1985 French Production Championship and European Touring Car Championship (ETCC). The Mercedes 190 E was at the beginning of it’s long career in motorsport. The current developed of the car was completely done by the Snobeck team. The engine already had a big power increase to aprox. 240bhp instead of the 185bhp of the standard engine. Because there weren’t much materials developed yet for motorsport there were a lot of material failures during the season. This first year was a real learning year with enough problems with the rear axle, clutch, oil pressure, etc. However good results hold off the car showed that it had a lot of potential.
Because of the potential that Snobeck showed the Mercedes 190 16v was soon to be seen in the race- and rallyscene. However the Mercedes 190 is mostly known from the DTM series I will also add other motorsport series in which the Mercedes 190 E 16v took part on this page. For the DTM I have created a separate page that you can find in the site navigation.
In 1990 and 1991 the DTM also drove on the Kyalami circuit in South Africa. More pictures and info will come.
Macau Grand Prix Guia Race
Through history the Macau Guia race went through different regulations. Between 1991 and 1993 the race ran under DTM regulations which caused that the line up of cars and drivers from the DTM were participating in the Guia race. I will add more info and pictures soon.
Dutch Touringcar championship
French Production championship
European FIA Touring Car championship (ETCC)
In the ETCC there was a Gr. A regulation. Some teams participated with the Mercedes 190 E 2.3-16 in the Div. 2.