In August 1983, the new 190 E 2.3-16 was on its way to its world record runs in Nardò. By this time, Mercedes-Benz had ceased work on the rally version of the W 201, and was focusing on developing the compact class racing sports cars for the racetrack. The possibility of a return by Mercedes-Benz with this vehicle to international motor sports was already on the horizon in 1984: for the official inaugural race at the new Nürburgring racetrack on 12 May 1984, Daimler-Benz provided 20 identical Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3-16 cars. The new and decidedly sporty compact-class model had had its press trial drive a few days earlier on the redesigned track.
At the wheels were 20 former Nürburgring winners, either in the German Grand Prix or the 1,000-kilometre event – including Jack Brabham, Hans Herrmann, Phil Hill, Denis Hulme, James Hunt, Alan Jones, Niki Lauda, Klaus Ludwig, Stirling Moss, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, Jody Scheckter, Ayrton Senna, and John Surtees.