The spectacular story of when Alfa Romeo entered the DTM
The Italians took on the Germans, and beat them, during the DTM's 1990s heyday. This is how they did it
The DTM is one of the most popular racing series on the planet, which can be quite a surprise to those who are new to the Germany-based touring car championship. It’s been exclusively filled of German cars for the last two decades, supplied by Audi, BMW and formerly Mercedes-Benz and Opel.
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In the 1990s its popularity saw it becoming the International Touring Car Championship, with Alfa Romeo joining the party with a host of all-star drivers and teams. The cars at the time were truly spectacular, with the Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI frequently spitting out flames from its exhausts, or bursting into a ball of them after a crash. Most noticeably though, Alfa beat the German marques at their own game, and in its four year spell in the series it took 41 victories.
The Davide Cironi Drive Experience YouTube channel has taken a look back at Alfa’s time in the DTM, bringing together important members of the Alfa program and sharing their stories from the time. It wasn’t a German operation using Alfa cars, probably the easiest route to success, but an all-Italian project doing things in a brand new way in the DTM. This means that the video itself is entirely in Italian, but don’t worry, there are subtitles in English and German.
At 50 minutes this is a lengthy running time for a YouTube video, but it means there's plenty to hear from all the contributors, and a lot of eye and ear pleasing clips from on and off the track. Alfa Romeo’s exploits, just like the DTM/ITCC itself, came to an abrupt end in 1996. The Italians had lost that year’s title to Opel by just nine points, but there were far more worrying things for Alessandro Nannini, Nicola Larini, Claudio Chierici and co. to be thinking about.
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