Thursday, October 18 2012
Former Grand Prix winner, BBC Formula 1 commentator and DTM racer David Coulthard has called time on his top-level racing career, with this weekend's final round of the German-based championship at Hockenheim to be his last in the series.
Coulthard has been a regular in the series for the last three seasons, joining in 2010, nearly 18 months after taking part in his last Grand Prix. Initially racing an older-specification Mercedes C-Class, he switched to contemporary equipment for the 2012 season, scoring a best finish of fifth place.
The 13-times Grand Prix winner and 2001 World Championship runner-up was unable to record a top ten finish at Brands Hatch, a track he has described earlier this year as "a great venue." However he enjoyed greater success here and at MSV's other circuits with a career that started with Formula Ford in 1989. After taking two championships in the category, he won the inaugural McLaren/Autosport BRDC award. He graduated to Formula Vauxhall Lotus and then Formula 3, where he regularly competed at Brands Hatch: "As well as driving the DTM car I came here has a fan of motorsport to watch the cars. Brands Hatch was always a track that I enjoyed when I was in the lower formulas."
In fact the DTM was not the first time Coulthard had raced a saloon at Brands Hatch. In 1990 he raced a Vauxhall Cavalier in the British Touring Car Championship.
In his parting statement, Coulthard said: "I am looking forward to the final race of what has been an exciting season in the DTM. The weekend will be my final opportunity to compete at this level as I will stop racing in the DTM to concentrate on my developing off-track businesses and of course my family. I will continue to be part of the Mercedes family through my role as an AMG brand ambassador. I would like to thank first of all Norbert Haug and his team at Mercedes Motorsport for providing the opportunity, Deutsche Post for their support and their willingness to allow the Wings for Life Foundation to have promotional space on the car, which has helped raise awareness and funding for the research into spinal cord injuries. Thank you, as well, to the HWA and Mücke teams for patiently helping me with the transition from single-seaters to touring cars, and of course to the people who make professional sport sustainable, the fans. I have enjoyed the last three years and I wish the organisers and competitors in DTM continued growth and success with the championship."