They’re back: Kurt Thiim and “his” DTM racing car from 1991
A legend returns to the track: the original Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II (EVO II) from the 1991 German Touring Car Championship (DTM) is making a return. Now as then, the driver is brand ambassador Kurt Thiim, who in 1991 won a DTM race on the Norisring in the very same EVO II. The touring racer had its second premiere on 23 July 2016 at the Touring Car Classics race as part of the “FIA WEC 6 Hours of Nürburgring” (22 to 24 July 2016). Having acquired the vehicle in 2015 in its original condition from the 1993 racing season, Mercedes-Benz Classic restored and prepared it for use in historical motor sport.
Stuttgart. The Touring Car Classics are an authentic racing experience with vehicles from the era of the first DTM. In June, the new series of historical motor sport celebrated its premiere. Eligible are vehicle models that took part in the German Touring Car Championship (1984 to 1996) or in the Super Touring Car Cup (1994 to 1999). The racing cars must conform to the technical regulations at the time. The organisers also set great store by historical authenticity when it comes to the appearance of the body.
With the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II of the 201 model series, Mercedes-Benz Classic has produced a shining example of how to put these requirements superbly into practice: Kurt Thiim’s original DTM vehicle from 1991 has been restored by the DTM experts from HWA and prepared for use in historical motor sport in conformance with the 1991 regulations. All the safety-relevant components have been completely renewed.
The restorers had excellent “raw material” to work with, as the vehicle, which has been in the possession of the Stuttgart-based brand since 2015, was in the same original condition as at the end of the 1993 racing season. The EVO II was raced for just three years: in the 1991 DTM season, Kurt Thiim achieved one victory (Norisring) and two second places (Norisring and Singen). In 1992 and 1993, the car was then used by Olaf Manthey and Uli Richter in the VLN endurance championship. They posted ten overall victories, 15 pole positions and 13 fastest laps.
On 23 July 2016, the DTM classic racer makes its second racetrack debut – at the Touring Car Classics on the Nürburgring. The Touring Car Classics programme as part of the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Nürburgring begins on Friday (22 July) at 11.25 a.m. with the free practice, followed by the first qualifying at 2.55 p.m. Saturday (23 July) sees the second qualifying at 11.20 a.m., while the race, which lasts 40 minutes, starts at 4.35 p.m.
The driver from Mercedes-Benz Classic at the Touring Car Classics
Born on 3 August 1958 in Vojens, Luxembourg
The Dane Kurt Thiim began his motor sport career in 1974 with kart racing (Danish karting champion in 1985) and outings in Formula Ford 1600. His victories took him up the ladder as far as Formula 3, from where Thiim switched to touring car racing, winning the 1986 German Touring Car Championship in a Rover Vitesse. After that, he firmly established himself in Mercedes-Benz vehicles, going on to drive for AMG-Mercedes from the middle of the 1988 season. Up to 1991, he achieved good finishes and individual victories, first for AMG-Mercedes and then, from 1992, for Zakspeed-Mercedes (1992 vice champion). He later drove for the UPS team in an AMG-Mercedes. In 1991, Thiim also took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Sauber-Mercedes C 11, in a team with Stanley Dickens and Jonathan Palmer. However, the vehicle dropped out in the course of the race. He belonged to Mercedes-Benz’s racing squad until 1997, after which he drove for various teams and in different championships.
The vehicle from Mercedes-Benz at the Touring Car Classics
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II touring racer (W 201)
In 1989, the standard-production Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 as an Evolution model gave rise to a new variant targeted at the German Touring Car Championship. To get down to the regulation weight of 1040 kilograms, almost the entire interior was taken out, with a safety cage being installed instead. The plastic material Kevlar was used for numerous body parts, such as the bonnet, boot lid and spoiler. The new model with the unwieldy name was called “EVO” for short and, from 1990, was also known as “EVO I” to distinguish it from its successor. In August 1989, work began on the second stage of development, EVO II, in an in-house department called Mercedes-Benz sport technik (st). The 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II made its racing debut on 16 June 1990 on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring. The EVO II restored by Mercedes-Benz Classic in 2016 for historical motor sport is an original DTM vehicle from the 1991 season that was subsequently used for two years in long-distance races. Prior to its restoration by the DTM experts from HWA, the vehicle had completed a total of 13,702 documented kilometres on the race track.
Technical data of the Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II touring racer, 1991
Displacement: 2490 cc
Output: 274 kW (373 hp) at 9500 rpm
Top speed: around 300 km/h