New DTM drivers: Oliver Jarvis, Katherine Legge… and Ralf Schumacher

Oliver Jarvis, Katherine Legge, Markus Winkelhock, Audi DTM, 2008

Three new names have been confirmed for this year’s DTM championship.

The headline grabber is F1 refugee Ralf Schumacher, who will drive a one year-old Mercedes C-Class.

Oliver Jarvis (pictured above with team mates Legge and Markus Wikelhock) joins Audi in a one year-old A4, which really disappoints me. Jarvis has had some excellent results in Formula Three – second in the British series in 2006, third in Japan last year after suffering mechanical failure in the final round, and winner of the prestigious Macau Grand Prix.

He’s also raced in A1 Grand Prix and scored the first win for the British team. He’s a cracking single-seater racer, and I can’t imagine he would have picked touring cars if he’d been able to get a budget to go into GP2 or World Series by Renault.

One can only assume that it’s the usual story of an excellent British driver not being able to find sponsorship, which is particularly disappointing at a time when F1 is commanding a massively increased television audience in Britain thanks to the exploits of Lewis Hamilton.

Joining Jarvis at Audi is Katherine Legge. Legge has been racing in Champ Car for the last two seasons with some fair results and one enormous accident in her d?âăĆ?é?®but season. Last year was something of a nightmare for her as she switched to the uncompetitive Dale Coyne team.

Although she’ll only have a two year-old car at her disposal I think she has a far better chance of shaking off the ‘token female driver’ label that was stuck to her underwhelming predecessor Vanina Ickx.

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