DTM championship (1984-1996)
The DTM championship (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft) was German touring car series which was active from 1984 until 1996. The DTM was re-established in 2000 but under a different name (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) and under a new set of rules. However, for any racing enthusiast the original DTM from ’84 to ’96 was one of the best touring car championships ever.
The original DTM series was established under a former FIA Group A set of rules. This means that early DTM cars was very close to stock specifications. At first, only private teams participated but soon, the factory teams stared to appear. Since it was German championship it was natural that domestic manufacturers were most common but in early DTM races there were some almost forgotten race cars like Ford Sierra, Rover SD1, Volvo 240 Turbo and even a third generation Ford Mustang. In a few years time, the series started to become very popular. The main reasons were fierce track battles with cars that audience can relate to and famous drivers behind the wheel. Even if the DTM was German racing series, very soon lot of European drivers started participating and the race events were held in Hungary, Austria, Belgium…
The DTM become top notch racing spectacle in late eighties and early nineties when factory teams of Mercedes, Opel, Audi and BMW started participating. German manufacturers were fighting over supremacy among themselves on their own turf. The cars become more and more sophisticated and faster and the series started attracting some of the biggest names in motorsport like Keke Rosberg, Jacques Lafitte, Johnny Cecotto, Emanuele Pirro, Nicola Larini, Alessandro Nannini, Stefano Modena, Michele Alboreto and Hans Joachum Stuck.
In 1993, Alfa Romeo entered the championship and the rules were changed according to FIA Class 1 standards. The races were becoming more and more popular rivaling even a Formula One events. The new set of rules allowed use of latest technologies and materials and very soon, the DTM cars started look like F1 cars with the body work. Kevlar chassis, ABS, all wheel drive systems, space age materials and much more. But the DTM stared to become a victim of its own success. The cars were more and more complicated and detached from its original specifications and the small teams left the series since it become to expensive. Even the factory teams realised that the DTM is to expensive to participate. That all was enough to close the original series after the 1996.
Here is the list of all DTM champions from 1984 until 1996 with their cars:
1984 Volker Strycek (Germany/BMW 635 CSi)
1985 Per Stureson (Sweden/Volvo 240 Turbo)
1986 Kurt Thiim (Denmark/Rover Vitesse)
1987 Eric van de Poele (Belgium/BMW M3)
1988 Klaus Ludwig (Germany/Ford Sierra RS500)
1989 Roberto Ravaglia (Italy/BMW M3)
1990 Hans-Joachim Stuck (Germany/Audi V8)
1991 Frank Biela (Germany/Audi V8)
1992 Klaus Ludwig (Germany/Mercedes Benz 190E)
1993 Nicola Larini (Italy/Alfa Romeo 155)
1994 Klaus Ludwig (Germany/Mercedes C-Class)
1995 (DTM) Bernd Schneider (Germany/Mercedes C-Class)
1996 Manuel Reuter (Germany/Opel Calibra)