Persson's private affairs

In the 1970s did Ingmar Persson from the small town of Ängelholm race a Fiat around tracks in Sweden without any real success.

25 years later is Persson the most successful private team in the German Touringcar Challenge (DTM).

Not as a driver but as team manager for Persson Motorpsort.

The private teams are the backbone of the DTM, without them there would not be much of a starting grid. They receive good price money,the drivers from the factory teams don't receive any price money at all.

The two German drivers from Persson Motorsport, Uwe Alzen and Olaf Manthey have each earned more then 130 000 Deutsch marks in 1993.

It seems like a lot of money, but Ingmar Persson relative small team (3 employees, 7 during racing) spend around 10 000 000 SEK a season, which is still less then the factory Alfa team spend on one single race.

But how did the Ingmar manage to get involved in the DTM circus?

- Pure coincidence says Persson,i was at the right spot on the right time, but at that time i didn't know that.

In 1982 Ingmar had had enough of Sweden and especially Swedish racing. He and his friend Per Sturesson headed to Europe to race a Volvo 240 Turbo Grp. A.

The two drove a few races in the European championships during 1983 and 1984 with decent results.This eventually lead to a invitation to take part in the newly founded DTM-series at Mainz-Finthen in 1984.

Sturesson won the race 30 sec ahead of some very surprised BMW 635 drivers. Persson Motorsport was established in Germany and the first chapter was written.

In 1985 Per Sturesson won the DTM-series, Ingmar was the mechanic.

- We could only have one driver and Per was the fastest of us two. For me it was never a hard decision i was always comfortable working next to the track.

In 1986 the team only managed a 4th place and in 1987 a 6th, the Volvo had trouble keeping up with the new BMW M3 and Mercedes 190E 2.3-16.

In 1988 Persson Motorsport switched to Mercedes, but had no chance keeping up with the works teams, and the result was also very disappointing.

Sturesson moved back to Sweden and team was sold to Günter Schons/Jochen Mass, Ingmar became technical manager.

- I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. I was the only swede left in the team and my German was really bad. But they took good care of me and i stayed.

The Mass/Schons team also had trouble keeping up with the works teams but they did however have a nose for new talent. Roland Asch drove for them in 1989, Frank Biela in 1990 and Jörg van Ommen in 1991. Asch and van Ommen are now works teams drivers for Mercedes.

By the end of the 1992 season the team was dissolved, Ingmar was out of a job and headed back to Sweden to think about the future.

- I had talked to Mercedes about the possibility to, with their support run my own team, but i didn't get any answers. They were still discussing with Keke Rosberg, so it was all up to him.

But Keke and Mercedes could not agree on his economical compensation for the next season, so all of a sudden there were room in the Mercedes budget.

The telephone rang back in Ängelholm, Sweden, it was from Stuttgart.

- Everything happened really fast, i bought all the parts and my old workshop back from Mass-Schons and I started doing a budget.

- We race the cars from the last season and have less powerful engines then AMG and Zakspeed. Our engines put out around 360-370 Bhp which is 20 less then theirs. But our engines lasts three times longer then theirs. The works engines last around 600 km while our last around 2000km.

Every DTM-weekend means between 500-800 km of hard driving, including testing, qualifying and racing.

Ingmar is the only Swede in the DTM circus, as team manager he has the possibility to affect the choice of drivers. So why no Swedish drivers?

- Because there is no interest in them. Of course i wouldn't mind a Swedish driver. But try to convince a sponsor like Bellheimer Bier that they would get better response with a Swedish driver.

- I would however think it would be fun to take one of the old race cars back to Sweden and enter in the Special Saloons class.

45 year old Persson likes it in his new country, there are no longer difficulties with the German language. For the 1994 season he will most likely get AMGs old cars.


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Tourenwagen Revival
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