2015 Team launch: ART Grand Prix.
Setting for a beginning.
The Champs-Elysées in Paris has already witnessed many sporting highlights. It is one of the world’s grandest boulevards and normally marks the finish of the Tour de France. For a change, though, ‘Les Champs’ was the setting for a beginning and not an end on Wednesday, April 8th, as French racing team ART Grand Prix prepared to take a new direction with their first season in DTM. The new Mercedes-Benz team led by Fréderic Vasseur was launched at the Mercedes-Benz Gallery on the Champs-Elysées in the run-up to the start of the season on May 3rd in Hockenheim. The two drivers Lucas Auer and Gary Paffett were also present. This year marks the first season in DTM for both Austrian Auer and for ART Grand Prix, while 2005 DTM champion Paffett will be acting as team leader for the French outfit and starting his twelfth season in DTM.
ART Grand Prix completed their first two tests with the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM last month in Portimão and Estoril. The partnership with Mercedes-Benz goes back many years, though. ART Grand Prix and the brand with the three-pointed star have jointly won six team and six drivers’ titles in the Formula 3 Euro Series. A number of drivers, including Formula 1 aces Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hülkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Paul Di Resta all competed in Formula 3 for Fréderic Vasseur’s team during their early careers. The Mercedes-Benz Gallery on the Champs-Elysées gives visitors a fascinating glimpse into the world of the marque, enabling Mercedes-Benz to continue a long tradition on the magnificent Parisian boulevard.
The first showroom, the stately Mercedes Palace, was opened there at the beginning of the 20th century. Daimler vehicles, bearing the name Mercedes appeared for the first time in France in 1901. German driver Wilhelm Werner secured the maiden victory for a Mercedes in the inaugural Nice-Salon-Nice road race.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal ART Grand Prix: “The DTM is a fresh challenge for our team, and I am very pleased to be tackling it with our longstanding partner, Mercedes-Benz. We have worked very hard over the past few months in order to be well prepared for our DTM debut, so I am extremely delighted to hold our team’s launch at the Mercedes Benz Gallery on the famous Champs-Elysées in our native France. The DTM in Paris! A moment to savour which will only be topped when the lights finally go out for the start of the race in early May at Hockenheim.”