Archive for June 2011

Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011: The stories

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1. Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - I

2. Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - II

3. Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - III

4. Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - IV

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Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - IV


Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 28, 2011

Driver profiles

John Surtees OBE
Born on: 11 February 1934

John Surtees is a virtuoso driver on both two and four wheels: the Brit remains the only person to have won World Championships on a motorcycle (many times over) and in Formula One. He was 500cc motorcycle World Champion in 1956 and from 1958 to 1960, as well as 350cc World Champion from 1958 to 1960. He won the Formula One World Championship in 1964. The son of a London motorcycle dealer, he enjoyed early success in sidecar racing with his father Vincent. He worked as an apprentice at Vincent's firm prior to joining the competition, Norton, as a works rider in 1955. Following his major triumphs on motorcycles, he switched to four wheels in 1960, at the age of 26, and seamlessly continued his successful career. In the late 1960s, he formed the Surtees Racing Organisation team, which was active in Formula One from 1970 to 1978. Due to his services to motorsport and charity, Surtees has been awarded an MBE and an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. In 1996, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Paul Stewart
Born on: 29 October 1965

Former Formula racing driver Paul Stewart and the son of three-times Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart achieved his initial motorsport successes in Formula Ford 2000. In 1988, he formed the Paul Stewart Racing team and competed in the British Formula Three Championship from 1989 to 1990 and in Formula 3000 from 1991 to 1993. During this period, he was the teammate of Marco Apicella in 1991, David Coulthard in 1992 and Gil de Ferran in 1993. Paul Stewart then retired from actively competing, instead focusing on various tasks as team manager from 1994. The team was Team Champion in Formula Three eight times (1992 to 1994 and 1996 to 2000). In 1996, he and Jackie Stewart formed Stewart Grand Prix, which competed in Formula One from 1997 to 1999. At the end of 1999, Ford took over the team, which was named Jaguar Racing for the 2000 season and ultimately continued as Red Bull Racing from 2005.

Bernd Schneider
Born on: 20 July 1964

Five-time DTM champion Bernd Schneider was born in 1964 in St. Ingbert (Saarland), Germany. He celebrated his initial racing successes in karting and Formula Three. Schneider also raced in Formula One and the Le Mans 24 Hours and took part in the FIA GT Championship (1997 title). DTM was the stage on which he achieved his most glorious victories. From 1992, Schneider drove for the AMG-Mercedes team. Having finished third in the overall ranking of the German Touring Car Championship in both 1992 and 1993, he finally won the 1995 championship title with the team. After DTM changed its name to the German Touring Car Masters in 2000, Schneider was champion in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006. He was also runner-up in 2002. Schneider is currently a test driver and brand ambassador for Mercedes-AMG.

Klaus Ludwig
Born on: 5 October 1949

Nicknamed “King Ludwig” by his fans, the German racing driver and three-time DTM champion Klaus Ludwig was born in Bonn in 1949. He began his motorsport career in the early 1970s by taking part in slalom racing , orienteering and touring car racing. His initial major successes included championship titles in the German Racing Championship ( DRM ) in 1979 and 1981 as well as victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1979, 1984 and 1985. It was in 1985 that Ludwig switched to DTM, where he raced initially for Ford, winning his first title in 1988. In 1989, he joined the AMG-Mercedes team, with which in the years up to 1994 he won two championship titles (1992 and 1994, runner-up in 1991) with a total of 19 victories. In 1995 and 1996, he drove in the DRM for Opel Team Rosberg, after which he rejoined AMG-Mercedes and, together with Ricardo Zonta, won the driver's and team trophies in the 1998 International FIA GT Championship. Although he thereafter officially ended his motorsport career, Ludwig again raced in the new German Touring Car Masters in 2000, where he finished the season − and his racing career − in overall third place in a Mercedes-Benz CLK.

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Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - III


Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 28, 2011

The vehicles at the Mercedes-Benz exhibition

Benz patent motor car, 1886 (replica)

On 29 January 1886, Carl Benz was granted a patent for his “vehicle with gas-engine drive”. Patent certificate DRP 37,435 is therefore considered to be the birth certificate of the automobile and gives the patent motor car its name. It was the world's first automobile to represent an integrated whole with the engine and chassis forming a single unit. Benz made it a three-wheeled vehicle because he was not convinced by the fifth-wheel steering system widely used in four-wheeled carriages at the time. Carl Benz's crucial achievement was the systematic way in which he made his vision of a horseless carriage a reality: he had the idea for a motorised vehicle, designed it, built it, obtained the patent, tested it, brought it to market, put it into series production, developed it further and thereby made his invention useable. The Benz patent motor car heralded a new era in personal mobility.

Year of production: 1886
No. of cylinders: 1
Displacement: 984 cc
Output: 0.9 hp (0.66 kW)
Top speed: just under 10 mph (16 km/h)

40 hp Mercedes-Simplex, 1902

The 40 hp Mercedes-Simplex was launched in March 1902, replacing the legendary 35 hp Mercedes. The suffix “Simplex” was intended to indicate how easy the new model was to operate for its time. Its predecessor, which was also the first vehicle to bear the Mercedes name, had become an icon as soon as it appeared in December 1900. It defined a distinct shape for the automobile in general and is still regarded as a masterpiece of technical sophistication and beauty. Characteristic features include the long wheelbase, the light and powerful engine fitted low down and the honeycomb radiator integrated organically into the front end, which was to become distinctive for the marque. The 35 hp Mercedes marked the end of the carriage style that had dominated the industry and is thus considered to be the first modern car.

Year of production: 1902
No. of cylinders: 4
Displacement: 6558 cc
Output: 40 hp (31 kW)
Top speed: 46 mph (75 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet B, 1936

In 1934, the Mercedes-Benz 500 K took over from the legendary S and SS models which had shaped the performance image of Mercedes-Benz since the 1920s. The 500 K – the K here denotes the Kompressor (supercharger) – coupled a previously unknown level of refinement with what for the time was sensational performance. The 500 K could handle crawling traffic with ease yet reveal a temperament on demand that simply took people's breath away.

Pressing slightly more firmly on the accelerator pedal induces 60 percent more output because then the compressor clutch kicks in and the Roots blower forces air at 0.3 bar into the twin carburettor, thereby unleashing an extra 60 hp (44 kW). As was standard for Mercedes-Benz in the mid-1930s, the resulting 160 hp (118 kW) was transferred to the road surface by a swing axle with coil springs.

The impressive technology on the 500 K was complemented by masterpieces in body construction from Sindelfingen. Buyers of the 500 K could choose from no less than nine variants, with the majority opting for the Cabriolet B.

Year of production: 1936
No. of cylinders: 8
Displacement: 5018 cc
Output: 100 hp (74 kW)
With supercharger: 160 hp (118 kW)
Top speed: 100 mph (160 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198), 1954

In 1954, Mercedes-Benz presented the 300 SL Gullwing derived from the successful 300 SL racing sports car, simultaneously making it quite simply the European dream car of the 1950s. For the first time on a passenger car, the brand put its faith in direct petrol injection on this model instead of the traditional engine with carburettor. The complex tubular frame of the 300 SL (the components of which are only in tension and compression with no bending loads) and the ingenious dry sump lubrication stemmed directly from experience gained in motorsport.

Based on the 300 model premiered in 1951, the six-cylinder engine was canted at a 45-degree angle to the left to give the car a particularly flat and aerodynamically efficient front end. The suspension – wishbone at the front, dual-joint swing axle at the rear – was adopted from the racing 300 SL (W 194). In 1952, this W 194 model series notched up a one-two victory in both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana across Mexico and also came second in the Mille Miglia. As a consequence, the 300 SL prepared the ground for the unparalleled winning streak enjoyed by the Mercedes-Benz brand in international motorsport during the 1950s.

In the 1955 Mille Miglia, the W 198 model series was driven to victory by the German-American Fitch / Gsell team in the category for GT vehicles with a displacement in excess of 1.6 litres (fifth overall).

Production period: 1954 to 1957
No. of cylinders: 6
Displacement: 2996 cc
Output: 215 hp (158 kW)
Top speed: 146–161 mph (235–260 km/h) depending on rear axle ratio

Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Cabriolet, 1967

On incorporating the new 2.5-litre injection engine of the fintail W 108 successor model series (Mercedes-Benz 250 SE), the 220 SE Cabriolet left the factory as the Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Cabriolet from August 1965 onwards. The simple design of the 220 SE, which had entered production in September 1961, proved to be so timeless that both the Cabriolet and Coupé were able to exist alongside the totally new S-Class.

The self-supporting frame and flooring assembly with double-wishbone front suspension and single-joint rear swing axle were derived from its 2.2-litre predecessor. The four disc brakes were new, though, for exemplary deceleration compared to the previous disc/drum brake combination. This braking system was only available for the 300 SE model of the first fintail generation.

The 150 hp (110 kW) injection engine helps give the Cabriolet a striking temperament: it takes just 12 seconds to sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) and the top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h) was one of the best in the mid-1960s. The roof is carefully constructed so that there is no noise disturbance even at high speed.

Production period: 1961 to 1971
No. of cylinders: 6
Displacement: 2496 cc
Output: 150 hp (110 kW)
Top speed: approx. 120 mph (193 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz 280 SL, 1968

The “Pagoda” W 113 SL model series, so-called by enthusiasts due to its pagoda-shaped hardtop, bridged the tricky gap between high-performance sports car and comfortable touring car. It combined the best qualities of the two predecessor vehicles – the uncompromising 300 SL (W 198) and the highly civilised 190 SL (W 121). Armed with such virtues, the W 113 model series drove straight into the hearts of an ambitious clientele who wanted to see the exceptional performance and characteristics of a thoroughbred sports car combined with the spaciousness and ride comfort of a luxury vehicle.

The top version of the 280 SL (W 113 E 28) produces 170 hp (125 kW) at a displacement of 2.8 litres – 20 hp (15 kW) more than the two preceding models, the 230 SL (W 113) and 250 SL (W 113A). Thanks to higher elasticity, this displacement and additional output has benefits in terms of operating comfort and the refinement of the in-line six-cylinder engine. It is no wonder therefore that the 280 SL model in the Pagoda series also took the crown when it came to sales, attracting almost as many buyers as the 230 SL and 250 SL models combined.

Year of production: 1970
No. of cylinders: 6
Displacement: 2778 cc
Output: 170 hp (125 kW)
Top speed: 124 mph (200 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9, 1980

In 1972, the luxury model series with which Mercedes-Benz had been setting automotive standards for decades, officially got its name. The new S-Class (W 116 model series) – like the 350 SL sports car unveiled in 1971 – stood out for its holistic safety concept. For example, the fuel tank was placed above the rear axle to protect it in the event of a collision and there was a four-spoke safety steering wheel, generously sized headlamps, more conspicuous indicators, as well as side windows and ribbed tail lights designed to minimise the build-up of dirt. The powerful and exceptionally comfortable 450 SEL 6.9 appeared in 1975 as the flagship model in the series with a large-displacement V8 engine and hydropneumatic suspension. In 1978, the S-Class became the world's first production vehicle to be available with ABS, which helps to retain steering control in the event of full brake application. At the time a world sensation, thanks to the pioneering work of Mercedes-Benz, ABS is now standard across the automotive industry.

Year of production: 1980
No. of cylinders: V8
Displacement: 6834 cc
Output: 286 hp (210 kW)
Top speed: 140 mph (225 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, 2010

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG caused a furore as soon as it was unveiled at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. That is because the sports car with its gullwing doors does not deny its design affinity with the legendary 300 SL (W 198, 1954) and 300 SLR (W 196 S, 1955) models. It is the first vehicle to be developed entirely by AMG, the performance arm of Mercedes-Benz.
This super sports car from Mercedes-Benz and AMG features an exciting and unique technology package: aluminium spaceframe body, AMG 6.2-litre V8 front mid-engine with dry sump lubrication, maximum output of 571 hp (420 kW), 650 Nm of torque, seven-speed dual clutch transmission in a transaxle configuration and sports suspension with aluminium double wishbone, plus a 47:53 weight distribution. This combination guarantees driving dynamics of the highest order. The gullwing model accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 197 mph (317 km/h).

In Formula One, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has acted as the official safety car since the 2010 season.

Production period: 2010 onwards
No. of cylinders: V8
Displacement: 6208 cc
Output: 571 hp (420 kW)
Top speed: 197 mph (317 km/h)

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Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - II


Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 28, 2011

The vehicles at the hillclimb

Mercedes-Benz W 165, 1939

The W 165 formula racing car was developed by Mercedes-Benz in just six months to accommodate new rules which were changed at short notice for some Italian Grand Prix in 1939, including the prestigious Tripoli Grand Prix in Libya, then an Italian colony. These rules stipulated that the maximum displacement would be just 1.5 litres (rather than three litres).

The engineers around Max Sailer decided on a V8 engine (M 165) for the W 165. The right-hand cylinder bank of the short-stroke, 90-degree engine is arranged 18 millimetres forward. The design of the frame and suspension is based on the three-litre W 154: an oval tubular frame with cross-members made of chromium-nickel-molybdenum steel, a De Dion rear axle with torsion bar suspension and a wishbone suspension with coil springs at the front. Visually, the smaller-scale Mercedes looks like its big brother (the W 154) although for reasons of space the driver in the W 165 sits slightly to the right.

Two W 165 cars raced at Tripoli, resulting in a famous double win for the marque with Hermann Lang coming first with an average speed of 122.9 mph (just under 198 km/h) and Rudolf Caracciola finishing in second place.

Year of production: 1939
No. of cylinders: V8
Displacement: 1495 cc
Output: 256 hp (188 kW)
Top speed: over 168 mph (270 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 194), 1952

On 15 June 1951, Daimler-Benz started work on a three-litre sports car with an aluminium body. By March 1952, a prototype of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL originally only intended for racing was presented to the press. It is the forefather of the legendary 300 SL series.

The 300 SL's complex tubular frame made conventional doors impossible. Technical director Rudolf Uhlenhaut saw the potential for gullwing doors, which extended only as far as the lower edge of the side windows on the first prototypes. The sixth of the ten original 300 SL vehicles was the first to be given the larger doors to comply with regulations for Le Mans.

On its first race outing, the 1952 Mille Miglia, the 300 SL managed a remarkable second place. That same year it scored a one-two victory at Le Mans, as well as a double win in the Carrera Panamericana Mexico endurance event over 1930 miles (in excess of 3000 km). The first series-produced specimens of the 300 SL (W 198 series) appeared in 1954.

Year of production: 1952
No. of cylinders: 6
Displacement: 2995 cc
Output: 170 hp (125 kW)
Top speed: approx. 149 mph (240 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6-16V Evolution II, 1994

The W 201 model series saw Mercedes-Benz returning to competing on the race track in the late 1980s for the first time since the 1960s, joining forces with AMG in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM). In order to have the best chance of success, Mercedes-Benz developed a special version of the regular 190 E 2.5-16 model according to Group A regulations in 1989 – the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution. There was no doubt about the sporting credentials of this particular Mercedes-Benz saloon: wheel-arch flaring, a low front spoiler and a high-mounted rear spoiler – ingredients that met regulatory requirements and were therefore permitted in racing. For homologation, a minimum of 500 vehicles needed to be produced – ultimately 502 would be made.

Whilst the Evo I version of the 190 E was racking up its first wins, work had already commenced in August 1989 on the second stage of development – the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II, which would deliver a higher engine output of 373 hp (274 kW) rather than the 333 hp (245 kW) previously. It was also the first DTM racing car with ABS braking. In May 1990, the last of the 502 cars built left the factory in Bremen before heading to AMG for completion. The Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II made its racing debut on 16 June 1990 on the north loop of the Nürburgring. From the final DTM run on 15 October 1990 at the Hockenheimring, all factory-supported teams were on a par with the Evo II, as the vehicle became known.

Roland Asch won the DTM race in Kyalami in 1990 with the Evo II being used at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011.

Year of production: 1989/90
No. of cylinders: 4
Displacement: 2490 cc
Output: 373 hp (274 kW)
Top speed: up to 185 mph (300 km/h)

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, 2010

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 was unveiled in the autumn of 2010. It was developed as a racing car according to the GT3 regulations laid down by FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) and designed as a customer sports vehicle for sprint and long-distance racing. As defined in the regulations, the AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine is virtually identical to that of the series-produced vehicle.

Thanks to its low weight however, the GT3 significantly improves on the already outstanding acceleration statistics of the production vehicle (0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds). These figures, as well as the top speed, vary for the GT3 depending on the final-drive ratio used. The V8 engine on the racing vehicle also has dry sump lubrication to ensure reliable lubrication given the high lateral acceleration experienced on the race track.

In contrast to the production vehicle, the SLS AMG GT3 is equipped with a six-speed racing transmission with sequential shift. The driver changes gear using two shift paddles on the steering wheel.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 has been used successfully in various races in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Production period: 2010 onwards
No. of cylinders: V8
Displacement: 6208 cc
Output: 571 hp (420 kW)
Top speed: over 186 mph (300 km/h) depending on final-drive ratio

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Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011 - I


- Classic and contemporary Mercedes-Benz cars on the hillclimb circuit
- “Racing Revolutions” is the theme for the 2011 event
- Mercedes-Benz Classic themed exhibition on “125! years inventor of the automobile” complements the festival presence

Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 28, 2011 – Speed, power and style, visionary technology and an awareness of history, but not least elegance and luxury: those are the strengths of the Mercedes-Benz brand. And they are facets that add up to pure automotive fascination, drawing thousands of visitors to the Festival of Speed year after year. Mercedes-Benz Classic is a regular at the Festival of Speed and will also be participating at this year's event, which is scheduled to be held from 1–3 July 2011 under the theme “Racing Revolutions – Quantum leaps that shaped motor sport”. Its line-up of landmark racing cars is set to negotiate the 1.86-kilometre-long hillclimb circuit. And in 2011 Mercedes-Benz Classic will also be presenting the exhibition “125! years inventor of the automobile” which celebrates milestones of the brand's history, right back to its origins with Carl Benz's Patent Motor Car from 1886.

Motorsport revolutions

The concerted will to innovate embraced by Mercedes-Benz and the predecessor brands is thus reflected on the racetrack as well as in the exhibition. After all, Mercedes-Benz “Racing Revolutions” are the brand's racing cars with a string of victories to their name. And these successes were not just down to the drivers' skill but essentially also fruit of the engineers' tireless determination to come up with new solutions for the racing cars. Such developments have consistently been those “quantum leaps that shaped motor sport”, as echoed in the 2011 festival theme.

This year Goodwood will be host to legendary racing cars that are all set to tackle the hillclimb circuit. The line-up includes the W 165 Silver Arrow designed specifically for the Tripoli Grand Prix in 1939, the 300 SL (W 194) racing sports car from 1952 (claimed victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours) and the 190 2.5 16V EVO II touring car used in the DTM from 1990. The current Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, which will line up on the starting grid in the FIA GT3 Championship, will represent contemporary high-performance cars.

In keeping with the Festival's tradition, high-profile racing drivers such as Sir John Surtees, Paul Stewart, Klaus Ludwig and Bernd Schneider will take the cars around the hillclimb circuit.
The “125! years inventor of the automobile” exhibition starts with the foundation of automotive history – the Benz Patent Motor Car from 1886. Among the exhilarating engineering and style icons also on show in the exhibition will be the Mercedes Simplex 40 hp from 1902, a Mercedes-Benz 500 K Cabriolet B (W 29) from 1936, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupé (W 198), a Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Cabriolet (W 111), a Mercedes-Benz 280 SL Roadster (W 113) from the 1960s, a Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9 (W 116) launched in 1975 and the very latest Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé (C 197).

From art to the top flight of motorsport

The Festival of Speed, which was inaugurated in1993, was the brainchild of Charles Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara. The dedicated motorsport fan and Goodwood host bears the title Lord March. His grandfather, the former Earl of March and 9th Duke of Richmond, laid the foundation for the Festival. He was well-known in England as the car designer, engineer and racing driver Freddie March. In 1936 he organised the very first private hillclimb circuit in Goodwood Park. His grandson would rekindle this tradition more than 50 years later.

The Festival has developed from the inaugural event in 1993 into one of the unmissable highlights in the international cultural calendar for automotive fans. Racing and sports cars from across the ages play the symphonies of speed on the circuits for three whole days. Even the top flight of motorsport is represented: at least nine of this season's Formula One teams are scheduled to participate in Goodwood in 2011, including Mercedes GP and McLaren-Mercedes. A 2.5-kilometre-long rally course was added in 2007 to supplement the hillclimb course.

Leisurely afternoon stroll and automotive fascination

The Festival of Speed is just as much an exhilarating motorsport event as it is an opportunity to stroll along in style and lap up some automotive culture: from the pits, open to all visitors, through vehicle exhibitions in the park grounds, to the automotive works of art created every year by British sculptor Gerry Judah. His temporary sculptures, which are located right in front of Goodwood House, always centre around a single brand and its particular vehicles. In 2001 the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was the subject of the work of art at the then Festival of Speed.

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DTM Norisring 2011: Preview


Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 29, 2011

Preview: Fifth round of the 2011 DTM Season at Norisring

• Mercedes-Benz have won the last eight races in Nuremberg and Mercedes-Benz drivers have scored a total of 13 victories on this track
• Jamie Green has won the last three DTM races at the Norisring (2008, 2009 and 2010)
• Three members of the current Mercedes-Benz DTM driver line-up have won at the Norisring: Jamie Green (3 wins), Bruno Spengler (2 wins) and Gary Paffett (2 wins)

Comments on the fifth race of the 2011 DTM season from:

Bruno Spengler (27, Canada, Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class):
- has won twice at the Norisring (2006 and 2007)
- scored his first DTM victory in Nuremberg at the age of 22 years and 334 days, which makes him one of the youngest winners in DTM history
- started the 2007 and 2008 races in Nuremberg from pole position

“The Norisring is one of my favourite tracks – I’ve won here twice and had five podium finishes. That’s why I’m thrilled to be racing again in Nuremberg. As always, I’ll be preparing thoroughly for the weekend and going all out to get a good result. In the overall standings, I’m only one point behind Martin Tomczyk. With such a competitive field as we have in this year’s DTM, the situation at the top can turn around very quickly, so I don’t feel under any pressure. Instead, my team and I are focused on the job in hand and we’ll be on the attack again in Nuremberg.”

Ralf Schumacher (35, Germany, Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- claimed his first DTM pole position and his first DTM fastest lap in last year’s race at the Norisring
- finished the 2009 race in Nuremberg in sixth position
- celebrates his 36th birthday on Thursday 30th June in the run-up to the Norisring weekend

“I have fond memories of the Norisring which is always a highlight on the DTM calendar. Obviously, I had hoped for more in last year’s race, but in retrospect it was a good performance to get my first pole position and my first fastest race lap in DTM. So if I carry on making similar progress this year, it will be great. With my two podium finishes at Hockenheim and Spielberg, I’ve shown that I’m comfortable driving the C-Class and that I’ve made the adjustment to DTM racing. After my pole last year at this circuit, I want to be battling it out at the front again in this year’s race.”

Jamie Green (29, England, AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- has won the last three races at the Norisring (2008, 2009 and 2010)
- started the 2006 race in Nuremberg from pole position

“I always feel like I’m in my element at the Norisring – and my three wins in the last three seasons would seem to bear that out. This year, I’m no longer in the same C-Class which I won with from 2008 to 2010, but that shouldn’t make a difference. Now I’m aiming to celebrate a victory in my current AMG Mercedes C-Class. In the past eight seasons, a Mercedes-Benz driver has always won in Nuremberg, and that gives me the confidence that we’ll be competitive again this year. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Gary Paffett (30, England, THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- won the 2004 and 2005 races in Nuremberg
- drove the fastest race lap on the Norisring in 2005
- won both races in the 2002 German Formula 3 Championship at the Norisring

“In the last race at the Lausitzring, I got closer to the front than in the first three races of 2011. That’s a good sign for the rest of the season because it means we are heading in the right direction. This is a trend we want to continue at the Norisring, where I’m hoping for my first podium finish of the year. I like the street circuit in Nuremberg with its very special characteristics, and I’ve already won there twice. However, my two wins date back to 2004 and 2005, which was quite a while ago, so it would be great if I could add my first win of the 2011 season here. That would also be a nice way of saying ‘thank you’ to my sponsor THOMAS SABO in their home race, as their headquarters are located close to Nuremberg.”

David Coulthard (40, Scotland, Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- will compete at the Norisring for only the second time
- has crossed the finish line in all four races of the 2011 season
- won the Monaco GP in 2000 and 2002 (also staged on a street circuit)

“Even after one and a half seasons in DTM, the series still keeps springing surprises. I’m learning from one weekend to the next, and understanding more and more how to set up the C-Class for optimum performance. In Nuremberg, you especially need good brakes and a good front end to cope with all the cornering. The Norisring is quite unlike any other track we drive on – almost like a DTM version of Monaco. This brings back good memories for me, because after all, I won the Grand Prix there twice. But actually, I can’t think of a circuit that I don’t feel good at. If my team and I can find the right car balance, we’ll hope to reward the fans with a good result.”

Christian Vietoris (22, Germany, Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class):
- is driving the AMG Mercedes C-Class that won the last three races at the Norisring
- won the 2008 and 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series races in Nuremberg

“It’s nice to know that Jamie won each of the last three races at the Norisring driving the C-Class car that I’m in now. Of course, that doesn’t automatically mean that I’m set to continue the sequence this season, but maybe driving the legendary Norisring winner will bring me a bit of luck so that I can score my first DTM points. I know the Norisring from my time in the Formula 3 Euro Series – I’ve even won here twice. The track layout looks pretty straightforward, but as a street circuit, it has a bumpy surface, and the race is usually staged in very hot conditions. Anyone aiming to make their mark here needs to be fully focused and in top physical shape. I feel confident on both those points.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“The Norisring is one of the highlights on the DTM calendar. With the sheer quality of the current field, it may well be that the difference between the fastest and slowest lap times in Nuremberg this year is down to less than half a second. We have won at the Norisring eight times and, most recently, Jamie Green triumphed three times in succession, driving the same C-Class. That achievement is unique in the history of the DTM. This time, we’re trying for win number nine, but I’m sure that more than half a dozen of our competitors will be doing their best to prevent us from achieving it. They have a realistic chance of doing so, but that doesn’t diminish our chances at all.”

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Daimler Expands Activities in China


- Framework agreement covering investments of about 2 billion euros signed with joint venture partner BAIC:
* Production of several models of the new compact cars and the GLK
* Construction of an engine plant for passenger cars and vans and expansion of its technical capacity to 250,000 units
* Foundation of an R&D center
- Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “With this framework agreement, we are laying the essential strategic foundations for our long-term and significant participation in the growth of the key market China.”

Berlin, Germany, Jun 28, 2011 – Daimler AG and its Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) today signed a strategic framework agreement to further expand their cooperation in China. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Attending were Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Ulrich Walker, Chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia, and Xu Heyi, Chairman of BAIC.

With this agreement, Daimler is further expanding its activities in China and the successful cooperation with BAIC. About 2 billion euros will be invested in the Joint Venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co, Ltd. (BBAC).

Dr. Dieter Zetsche: “With this framework agreement, we are laying the essential strategic foundations for our long-term and significant participation in the growth of the key market China. The projects agreed upon are further central elements of our China strategy for the sustainable development of our business. As early as 2020, at least one in five premium compact cars is expected to be sold in China. In the light of this enormous growth potential, we are resolutely switching to attack mode with the local production of our new compacts.”

The agreement includes the following projects:

Local passenger car production for the Chinese market will be expanded to include the GLK compact SUV as of 2011 as well as three models of the new generation of Mercedes-Benz premium compact cars. The first of these models will be produced as of 2013; the two others will follow step by step.

Current production capacities of about 80,000 units for the C-Class and the E-Class long version will be further expanded in line with market demand.

As of 2013, a new engine plant will produce 4-cylinder gasoline engines, which will be used in locally produced Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and vans. The planned technical capacity of this engine plant will be expanded to 250,000 units, of which up to 100,000 units per year will initially be utilized. Further capacity utilization can be ramped up in line with further sales growth.

A new R&D center will be established, which will mainly focus on vehicle testing and adaptation as well as R&D activities with suppliers.

These investments are part of the overall investment program, according to which Daimler and its partners will invest a total of about 3 billion euros in China in the next few years.
Especially in China, there is an enormous growth potential in the premium compact segment. While in 2010 some 770,000 Chinese customers decided to buy a vehicle of that segment, the company expects this market to grow to more than 2 million units annually by 2020. This would boost China’s share of global premium compact sales to more than 20 percent from the current 12 percent and make it the largest market for premium compacts worldwide.

“We laid the foundation of our success in the premium compact segment in China when we successfully introduced the current B-Class to the market. Responding to the immense growth of demand, we lately also brought the current A-Class to China. Together with the C-Class, the GLK, and the smart, the A-Class and the B-Class constitute the ‘Young Mercedes’ product family in China, which today accounts for about 40 percent of our sales,” adds Ulrich Walker. “With these projects now agreed upon — especially those related to our passenger cars business — we are forging ahead with our clear strategy for profitable growth.”

Says Xu Heyi, Chairman BAIC: “BAIC and Daimler are long-term strategic partners. These projects are important steps of the two partners to expand local production in China, and will become a benchmark of Sino-German economic cooperation.”

About Daimler Northeast Asia

Daimler Northeast Asia, located in Beijing, includes Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd, Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance Ltd, Daimler Northeast Asia Parts Trading & Services Co., Ltd., the Joint Ventures Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC), Fujian Daimler Automotive (FJDA), Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd., as well as sales organizations in Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan.
Local production of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars began in 2006 at the 50/50 joint venture BBAC with the predecessor of the current E-Class. In spring 2008, the C-Class joined local production as the second model. Since May 2010, BBAC is producing the current E-Class as a long-wheelbase version especially customized to meet the requirements of the Chinese market.

On the sales side, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars are represented in China with the full product portfolio. In 2010, more than 148,000 vehicles were sold, surpassing 2009 sales by 112 percent. From January through May 2011, 75,896 vehicles sold — an increase of 62 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2010. The sales network included more than 160 dealerships in about 80 cities and will grow by more than 30 new dealerships in 2011. The brand is thus continuing to strengthen its presence — also outside of tier-1 metropolitan areas.

Other activities in China include the joint venture Fujian Daimler Automotive Ltd., which started production of Mercedes-Benz vans in April 2010. Also in 2010, Daimler expanded its industrial activities with the signing of a joint venture agreement with the Chinese truck manufacturer Foton Motor to produce medium and heavy-duty trucks. Since 2009, Daimler Financial Services has offered vehicle leasing through Mercedes-Benz Auto Finance China. In addition, Daimler and BYD maintain the joint venture Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd for the development of an electric vehicle for the Chinese market. The joint venture was officially approved in March 2011.

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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Bringing fascinating technology into the classroom: The shape of mobility tomorrow


- Member of the Board of Management from Daimler AG to visit Wirtemberg Gymnasium high school in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim
- Pupils to receive an insight into future drive technologies
- tech@school project intended to encourage an interest in engineering occupations among pupils throughout Germany

Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 27, 2011 – For some years now, Daimler's tech@school project has been actively encouraging young people to take an interest in the engineering profession by staging experiments in which pupils can be involved and presenting talks. As part of the project, Dr Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research and Head of Development, Mercedes-Benz Cars, will be the guest of the Wirtemberg Gymnasium high school on 30 June.

"It is the young people of today who will continue to write the history of mobility tomorrow," says Dr Weber. "It is thus all the more important to encourage them to take keen interest in the technologies of the future while they are still young. We need an up-and-coming generation of qualified and committed young people who are interested in technology and able to evolve and develop innovative ideas on their own initiative. The necessary foundations should be laid while these young people are still at school."

On 30 June, Dr Weber will present a talk to the pupils of the Wirtemberg Gymnasium on the growing importance of alternative drive systems and Daimler AG's commitment to sustainable mobility concepts. A special focus of the talk will be on zero-emission drive technologies and the attendant development of electric vehicles with fuel cell and battery. Daimler AG already has four different electric vehicles on the road today – ranging from a small city runabout to a van. After his talk, Dr Weber will be available to answer questions from the pupils and to inform them about the need for young people to take up technically oriented occupations.

On his own choice of occupation, the doctor of engineering observes: "Not once have I regretted my decision to become an engineer. There are few things in the world that move people as much as the car. Actively shaping the future of individual mobility is an incredibly exciting and fascinating task."

The tech@school project of Daimler AG is part of the Genius initiative which has been offering and developing educational activities for children and young people since 2009. The Genius knowledge community seeks to instil an enthusiasm for technical careers in young people as a means of heightening the interest in science and technology in the long term. In particular, Genius is also intended to encourage an interest in the engineering profession among girls and to provide them with a better understanding of technical disciplines.

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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More than 700,000 B-Class Cars Delivered to Customers Worldwide


- Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Although its successor is about to be introduced, the B-Class is still extremely popular with customers, especially in Germany and in its second largest market, China. We want to further increase our market share in this segment through the launch of the successors to the current A-Class and B-Class as well as of two other sporty and emotional variants.”
- New B-Class to celebrate its world premiere at the IAA in September
- Peter Wesp, Head of the Mercedes-Benz plant Rastatt: “The great demand for the B-Class also reflects the outstanding performance of the team at the plant. We are now focusing on the production of the new B-Class with the same passion.”

Stuttgart, Germany, Jun 27, 2011 – More than 700,000 B-Class cars have been delivered to customers worldwide since the vehicle was launched on the market in 2005. “The B-Class enabled Mercedes-Benz to set new benchmarks in the premium compact segment,” says Dr. Joachim Schmidt. “Although its successor is about to be introduced, the B-Class is still extremely popular with customers. Since the beginning of the year, the vehicle has been posting especially strong growth in its two main markets, Germany and China.”

The future B-Class, which Mercedes-Benz will present at the IAA in September will be the first vehicle of a new generation of compact cars. The first units of the new B-Class will be delivered to customers in Western Europe later this year. “We want to further increase our market share in this segment through the launch of the successors to the current A-Class and B-Class as well as of two other sporty and emotional variants,” adds Dr. Schmidt. “We also want to tap new customer groups and additional markets. In the process, we will demonstrate that premium status is not a matter of external dimensions; it is primarily a question of perceived value, quality, and style. We will also be setting new benchmarks in the premium compact segment when it comes to safety. The new B-Class, for example, will be fitted with an emergency braking assistant as standard.”

With regard to comfort, safety and perceived value, the future B-Class will meet the customers’ premium requirements in every way. In addition, the latest Mercedes-Benz powertrains will ensure that the car is equipped with an extremely effective and appealing range of engine and transmission variants.

Current B-Class continues to be successful on the market

A total of 52,640 customers worldwide have opted to buy a B-Class car since January, representing an increase of 26.8% from last year. In Germany, sales rose by 31.5% during the first five months of the year, to 17,826 units. The most important market for the B-Class is Germany, which accounts for about one third of the series’ sales worldwide, followed by China and Italy. In 2009, the B-Class was introduced to China, where it has met with great success, with sales rising by 140.3% last year, to 12,217 units. Sales have continued to be very dynamic this year as well, rising to 5,966 units (January-May 2010: 3,030).

Production of the B-Class

Since June 2005 the B-Class has been produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, which is Daimler Group’s competence center for compact vehicles. The A-Class has been rolling off the assembly line there since 1997. The approximately 6,000 employees at the plant produced a total of 238,351 vehicles last year. “The great demand for the B-Class also reflects the outstanding performance of the team at the plant,” says Peter Wesp, Head of the Mercedes-Benz plant Rastatt. “We are now focusing on the production of the new B-Class with the same passion.”

The new compact cars from Mercedes-Benz will be manufactured in a production network encompassing the Rastatt plant and a new facility in Kecskemét, Hungary. Three of the four new models will roll off the production line in Rastatt, while two will be manufactured in Kecskemét. The new B-Class will be produced at both locations. This approach significantly increases the production network’s flexibility, as it enables capacity to be optimally utilized at both plants. Production of customer vehicles will commence in Rastatt this fall and in Kecskemét in the first quarter of 2012.

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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European F1 Grand Prix 2011: Race Report - Lewis 4th, Jenson 6th (VMM)


Valencia, Spain, Jun 26, 2011

- MP4-26A-03
- Started: 3rd
- Finished: 4th
- Fastest lap: 1m42.947s (+1.095s, 6th)
- Pitstops: Three: laps 12, 24 and 42 (Op-Op-Op-Pr)
- 2011 points: 97 (4th)

“I got a poor start and lost out to both Ferraris.

“After that, it was a long race – the team asked me to stay out for as long as I could, and I was pushing all the way, but I struggled with oversteer and to be honest didn’t feel totally comfortable with the tyres.

“To be able to finish fourth is still a good result though – and 12 points is a decent haul after the last two races – so I can’t really complain. However, in terms of performance, we weren’t as quick today as we’ve been in the last three races.

“But I want to say a big thank-you to the team for some amazing pitstops today – we’ve really made some positive improvements in that area and it’s really appreciated. So, thanks again, guys.”

- MP4-26A-04
- Started: 6th
- Finished: 6th
- Fastest lap: 1m42.340s (+0.488s, 3rd)
- Pitstops: Three: laps 14, 30 and 48 (Op-Op-Op-Pr)
- 2011 points: 109 (2nd)

“I got a reasonable start, but the field bunched up into Turn Two and I was stuck on the outside, where I lost out to Nico [Rosberg]. I didn’t have enough straightline speed to be able to overtake him easily, but I braked really late and got him into Turn Two, which I don’t think he was expecting. That was the highlight of the race for me.

“I had decent race pace after that, and I pushed the Option tyres for as long as I could. Then halfway through the race I lost KERS Hybrid, which hurt me not only on corner exits but also under braking. So it wasn’t a fun race, all told – but, given the way the car felt, it’s a pleasant surprise to finish only eight seconds behind one of the Ferraris.

“Nevertheless, we’ve got a bit of work to do before Silverstone.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Some you win, some you don’t.

“Lewis and Jenson both lost positions at the start, while some of their rivals made excellent getaways. That left our drivers in pretty heavy traffic, and it’s always difficult to look after your tyres when you’re following other cars at close quarters.

“Having said that, Lewis and Jenson both drove well this afternoon – Jenson hampered by a KERS Hybrid failure – and the result was a useful haul of 20 world championships points.

“Next, the Formula 1 circus travels to the UK for the Santander British Grand Prix, which is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ home race. We had the fastest race car in Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Montreal, but we didn’t have the fastest race car here in Valencia today. However, you can take it as read that we’ll be working flat-out over the next 10 days to do our utmost to ensure that we have as fast a race car as we possibly can for Silverstone.”

* Official photos and report courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

Copyright © 2011, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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