#DrivenBy: Markus Spielmann
There is never any opportunity to relax in the DTM. Whether in the winter, between races or on the race weekend itself, Markus Spielmann (36) and his fellow mechanics always have their hands full. “There isn’t a single minute where we don’t have something to do,” says the number one mechanic on Gary Paffett’s Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. “Even if it’s only checking the equipment or keeping it clean...”
In addition to Markus, there are two other mechanics who work on Gary’s car. Markus is the link between his two workmates and Chief Mechanic Stefan Kalke. “Each of the six cars has a number one mechanic who acts as the intermediary between the other mechanics and Stefan,” explains Markus, who has also worked on Paul Di Resta’s car over the past few years. “We also have meetings with Stefan and talk about what jobs are next and what needs to be done.”
Approximately 50 different tools are used in the garage. Some of them are available in duplicate and triplicate, so that the work is done quicker and a mechanic does not have to wait for his colleague to finish. “Every number one mechanic has a toolbox and a supplies box,” says Markus. They contain all the special tools, equipment and consumables such as bolts and nuts.
Markus describes his greatest challenge as follows: “Ensuring that the car you look after – in fact all of our cars – are reliable and that everything is tightened up properly so that it doesn’t come loose.” With the multitude of parts and tools as well as the time constraints on a weekend, this is no easy task.
Added to which is his role as a motivator for the mechanics he works with on Gary’s car. “You simply have to live and breathe motorsport,” explains Markus. “You have to be passionate about it. It is all the more satisfying when you can motivate your colleagues and workmates. It’s certainly a challenge always giving 100 percent. There are only nine race weekends, and the car must be perfect for every one of them. The only way to win races is if everything is done correctly.”
For Markus, working in the DTM is like a dream come true. “I’ve grown up with Mercedes, and I also met my wife through Mercedes,” says the father of two. “My children always get excited about the races too. My wife sends me pictures of our daughter sitting there with her fingers crossed.”
The support of his family is crucial in helping Markus cope with the inevitable stressful times during the DTM season. He finds further distraction in his hobby – model building. “I always say that I made my hobby into my profession,” says Markus jokingly. “The DTM is also like model building, only on a bigger scale. You’re constructing a new car every year, and you can bring a personal element into it, which is obviously great fun.”