Christian Vietoris & Renger van der Zande have been signed to Mercedes-Benz's DTM programme Mercedes-Benz has finally announced who will fill the two remaining race seats on its books for the 2011 DTM season: German youngster Christian Vietoris and Dutch driver Renger van der Zande.

The pair will join a complete Mercedes-Benz line-up comprising Gary Paffett, Bruno Spengler, Ralf Schumacher, Jamie Green, Susie Stoddart, David Coulthard and Maro Engel. The announcement means that Chinese driver Congfu Cheng is without a drive in 2011.

The two rookies will compete in 2008-spec C-Class cars alongside Stoddart, Coulthard, and Engel, while the rest will use the newer 2009-spec challengers, with Green being promoted into the 2009-spec group after a hugely impressive 2010 season in the older machinery.

Vietoris will dovetail his DTM duties with a full season in the GP2 championship, and the German is confident he will be able to adapt to the demands of two very different categories from week-to-week.

“DTM is one of the most prestigious racing series in the world. The switch from a single seater to a touring car is a huge challenge, but I feel I have adjusted quickly to the C-Class and settled in well with the team during the tests,” he is quoted as saying.

Van der Zande has been on Mercedes-Benz’s books for a while since his days in Formula 3, and he recently completed a season in GP3.

“Obtaining a DTM cockpit with Mercedes-Benz is a dream come true. I know that I face a big challenge, but I will be doing my very best to acclimatise myself to DTM racing and to master the stern AMG Mercedes C-Class in the fastest possible time,” he added.

[Image via Mercedes-Benz]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.