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Maximilian Götz Born February 4, 1986 in Ochsenfurt Place of Residence Darmstadt Height 5’ 9” / 1.76 m Weight 157 pounds / 71 kg Hobbies Tennis, fast cars, classic autos Role models Bernd Schneider, Michael Schumacher Occupation Instructor and co-founder of the Schlawiner-Bar (“Rogues Bar”) in Uffenheim Career highlights (selected) Winner, Blancpain Sprint Series 2014; Winner, Spa 24 Hours and 1000 km Race on the Nürburgring 2013; Overall winner, ADAC GT Masters 2012 Maximilian Götz had long since finished with professional motorsports. Instead of stepping on the gas, he stood behind the counter of his bar and mixed cocktails. But then he got his second chance No engine thunders, no fans cheer when Maximilian Götz experiences what is perhaps the greatest triumph of his career. Only the squeak of rubber soles on the highly polished floor disturbs the peace as three mechanics push a touring car through the DTM Hall of HWA AG in Affalterbach. Maximilian Götz sits down on a tool cabinet and silently surveys the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, then a wide grin forms on the face of the 29-year-old. A grin that comes from within and can still be felt long after the corners of his mouth have dropped again. “A mega-feeling, a new beginning,” says Götz. “I’m seeing the car assembled for the first time. And my name is on it!” With his fingers he strokes the sky-blue line that runs from the A-pillar to the roof of the car. “It must be true,” he murmurs. “I can touch it.” Maximilian Götz had actually long since finished with professional sports. In his hometown of Uffenheim in the southern provinces of Germany he opened the Schlawiner-Bar (“Rogues Bar”) in 2009. “I thought I’d had it,” he says. But then between 2011 and 2014 he sped meteorically through the AMG Customer Sports program – back into the racing world at its best. “The fact that I now race in the DTM makes me very proud,” he says. The driver who pulled up to the starting line for Mücke Motorsport this season was a karting virtuoso as a child. In his youth, Maximilian Götz was neck and neck with Nico Rosberg, and in 2003 he won the Formula BMW ahead of Sebastian Vettel. In 2005 he led Lewis Hamilton’s team in the Formula 3 to the podium once. But success was intermittent because Götz rarely had optimal equipment at his disposal. He nevertheless became a Volkswagen factory driver – and in 2008 he hit rock bottom at RC Motorsport: Following brake problems and disputes with those in charge, Götz packed it all in. Götz had had enough of racing. He started the bar with one of his two brothers and thought about learning a normal profession: “Something with cars,” says Götz, “but then I abandoned that, thank God.” Instead the young restaurateur got by as an instructor and drove sporadically in amateur races, supported by long-time sponsors. “I didn’t think about a professional career anymore. That was just for fun.” But then Götz benefited from the GT racing boom in Germany: Ambitious private individuals began to assemble top teams and place their faith in drivers like him. From 2011 onwards Götz enjoyed success in the Customer Sports program offered by Mercedes-AMG. In 2012 he won the drivers’ championship of the ADAC GT Masters. In 2013 he won the Spa 24 Hours among other races with H.T.P. Motorsport. In 2014 he won the Blancpain Sprint Series, also in the SLS AMG GT3. As a reward, he was invited to test drive a DTM car a total of three times, most recently in Jerez de la Frontera, where in December he went up against five competitors for a cockpit in the DTM 2015. “I knew I wouldn’t get this opportunity a second time,” says Götz. He was to receive an answer prior to Christmas. Götz counted down the days: four, three, two ... On December 23, his phone finally rang. He was with his girlfriend, with whom he’s been together for eleven years. The conversation with Uli Fritz, head of the Mercedes-AMG DTM team, was short, and Götz waited until Christmas Eve to announce the good news. “It was tearful. For my girlfriend, my father, my mother. For all of us.” On the front wall of the motorsport factory in Affalterbach are floor-to-ceiling glass showcases. In one are glittering trophies that tell of great victories. Great victories by great drivers. Legends. Maximilian Götz goes up to the showcase. He looks at the trophies, reads the names: Clemens Schickentanz, Johnny Cecotto, Klaus Ludwig, Bernd Schneider. Maximilian Götz remembers Bernd Schneider well. In the summer of 1996, the 10-year-old Maximilian visited the 200 Miles of Nuremberg on the Norisring with his father. “Since then, the DTM has been a dream of mine,” says Götz. This season, it is a reality. 82


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