Sunday, July 10, 1983, Touring Car Grand Prix: The future of production car racing begins on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. It has long been recognized that the costs of Group C, which was newly introduced on the world market in 1982, will not have to be borne at national level. The economy is in a recession, the endurance world championship alone can raise the budget for the futuristic prototypes. The German Racing Championship, which was still flourishing until 1980, fell to the ground. Only a handful of racing cars now take part in the former elite championship. The motto is: back to being closer to the series, down with the sprawling budgets! Group A touring cars are considered the new royal road. The BMW motorsport department bills 150,000 Deutschmarks for a 635 CSi that competes for victories in the European Touring Car Championship with Jaguar and Rover. At the home race on the Nürburgring, after a six-hour battle, the Schnitzer copy of the works drivers Manfred Winkelhock and Dieter Quester prevailed. Jaguar drivers Tom Walkinshaw and Chuck Nicholson recorded the fastest lap in 8:02.44 minutes. However, the twelve-cylinder coupé does not hold out in the race, the BMW in-line six-cylinder proves to be more resilient in the unusually high temperatures.
Ruch bites his way through, modifies his car more and more, brings Fred Räker and his brother Jürgen Ruch on board in a second Mustang – and the DTM remains as a Ford driver until 1994. No other type of vehicle has been represented in the DTM for longer: a lonely record, to which Jürgen Feucht also contributed with a third vehicle from 1992 to 1994. In 2021 Manfred Trint’s ex-chassis will return to today’s DTM environment at the Norisring. Kai Ringshausen, son of the racing team owner who died in 2014 and who is now active with a revival team, examines the automotive contemporary witness on the spot after the restoration. He brings prominent reinforcements with him: Klaus Niedzwiedz, who immediately tries out a seat behind the steering wheel and reminisces: “Really – was that 38 years ago?”, “Niedzwiedz” asks the group and at this point appears again in front of his mental eye to drive the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Back then, in the hot summer of 1983. Possible motto: Everything back to the beginning – it was nice!
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