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Maro Engel amazed by current Mercedes machinery

Photo: Daimler AG

It’s been four years since Germany’s Maro Engel drove up-to-date Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) machinery, but the sportscar driver was able to enjoy his time in the C63 AMG at the recent three-day test at Circuito de Jerez.

“First of all, many thanks to the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team for this test opportunity. It was marvellous to be driving a current DTM car again after an absence of four years and to see the advances that the DTM has made in the meantime,” said the 30-year-old, who won the inaugural FIA World GT Cup at Macau in November.

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Engel, who has been with Mercedes since 2008, made his début in the DTM, competing in 42 races, securing nine top eight finishes during his four-year tenure.

“I’m very impressed. The test was a lot of fun and was definitely a great experience. I enjoyed every lap in the car and got more and more accustomed to it with every lap.”

Engel was joined by ex-McLaren test and reserve driver, Kevin Magnussen, who is searching for pastures new, having left the Woking-based outfit earlier this year.

The 23-year-old, who has made his way up the traditional single-seater ladder, thanked the Stuttgart manufacturer for the chance to test the car that helped Pascal Wehrlein take the drivers’ title at the DTM season finale in Hockenheim.

“It was a really good day, and the test was a lot of fun. The DTM is a completely new experience for me,” said the Dane.

“It was a totally new experience to test a touring car. The car has very high downforce and much more grip than you would expect. I can imagine that racing in one of these cars is really enjoyable.”

Along with Engel and Magnussen, Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar, who has links with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, said that it was “a very special day for me to be allowed to drive a DTM car bearing the Mercedes-Benz badge,” stating that the car was “enjoyable.”

“The downforce and also the way the team work are very special. I completed my programme and learned a lot in the process. Hopefully, I can have similar experiences more often.”

GP2 driver Rafaelle Marciello took part in his second DTM test with Mercedes, having already had the opportunity to do so back in 2013, after winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Denmark’s Mikkel Jensen and GP3 racer Martin Kirchhöfer also enjoyed their turns behind the wheel of the Mercedes, around the 4.428-km Spanish track in glorious sunshine. Luca Ludwig and Sebastian Asch, who tested the car on Monday (30th November), were also joined by their famous fathers Roland and Klaus, who both competed in the DTM in the 1980s and 1990s.

Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM, Ulrich Fritz, explained that it was a “special treat to sense the sheer delight” from the veterans, who did not want to vacate the car after the test was over.

“The old adage holds true: once a racer, always a racer,” he said, as the pair had their turns in the C63 AMG, before their sons took to the track.

Merceces-AMG DTM have yet to announce their line up for the forthcoming season, as Wehrlein recently took part in the end-of-season GP2 test at Abu Dhabi. The youngest chsmpion in the series’ history has been rumoured to potentially be moving to Formula 1 for 2016.


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