Honda website

DECEMBER 20, 2004

Russia opens up to DTM

Formula 1 has been talking about racing in Russia for several years but the DTM has got there first and is to race on the streets of Moscow in 2005. The German-based racing series, which next year will feature former F1 racers Mika Hakkinen, Jean Alesi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Allan McNish, is to hold a race on the streets around Moscow State University and the event has the backing of the Russian government. The launch of the race was attended by Vyacheslav Fetisov, a former world class ice hockey player who is now the Russian Minister of Sport.

The DTM is trying to fight back against the growing competition from the FIA World Touring Car Championship and will visit five rounds outside Germany, including events at Spa, Avignon, Zandvoort and Istanbul.

The WTCC on the other hand will be helping racing expand in Mexico with a race scheduled for the Miguel E. Abed International Racetrack in Puebla in June. The race is being organized by local promoter Julian Abed, who was previously associated with the Mexican GP. Mexico is now the only American country hosting two FIA World Championship events (the other being the World Rally Championship) and plans for an F1 race in 2006 are pushing ahead. There is talk that Mario Dominguez may become an F1 driver in 2006 with Midland F1. At the time, however, it is worth noting that some of the Mexican drivers in the US are struggling for funding, notably Adrian Fernandez who recently lost two important sponsors and is struggling to find the cash to run an IRL team in 2005. Herdez has also reduced its involvement in Champ Car.