When the DTM resumed amid much fanfare in 2000, it wasn't Audi that took the fight to that year's dominant manufacturer, Mercedes. And it certainly wasn't BMW - the only marque left in the DTM as it stands next year following Audi's decision to withdraw - as it wasn't until 2012 that it made its long-awaited return.
Rather, it was Opel, which had won the last edition of the DTM under class one rules in 1996 with Manuel Reuter, that posed the biggest threat to Mercedes dominance. Reuter won four times in 2000 - only two less than runaway champion Bernd Schneider - to finish the season as runner-up, while fellow Astra Coupe drivers Joachim Winkelhock and Uwe Alzen added a further four between them, amounting to exactly a 50/50 split with Mercedes over the 16 races.
It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race
Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did
It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?
The Opel Vectra GTS was the last in the line of the marque's DTM challengers, but failed to hit the lofty heights of its predecessors when financial constraints hit
DTM boss Gerhard Berger was an ardent detractor of Formula E and was reluctant for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. But this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure the DTM's existence in the future of motorsport
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