For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Burgundy
Trim: 4 door sedan
Interior Color: Tan
Drive Type: rear wheel drive
Milan, Michigan, United States
Some drivers manage to make the transition from one form of motor racing into another, and some run into trouble. Take Paul di Resta, for example. The promising young Scottish driver dominated Formula 3 racing in Europe in 2006, then moved over to Germany's hugely competitive DTM touring car series where he finished second in 2008, third in 2009 and first in 2010. But things didn't go as smoothly for Paul - cousin to retired Indy champion Dario Franchitti - when he moved in to Formula One with the Force India team.
In three years on the grid, he failed to score a single podium finish. Little surprise, then, that Force India opted not to renew his contract for this season. Left without a ride, di Resta is now going back to DTM with longtime supporter Mercedes-Benz, testing the new C-Class touring car today in Portugal. It's good news for Mercedes, which is celebrating 120 years in motor racing this season and, with 2005 champion Gary Paffett also on board, can now count two former champions on its DTM roster.
We wouldn't count Paul out of F1 for good, though. When he won the DTM title four years ago, he was also moonlighting as Force India's test driver, and we wouldn't be surprised to see him pull similar double-duty with the Mercedes F1 team (or another Benz-powered outfit) this year before spring-boarding back into grand prix racing in the future. At 27 years old, he may not have been the youngest driver on the grid this year, but he's still got a good few years ahead of him.
Brazil is the place to be, apparently. Toyota has been investing in the South American country, as has BMW, which announced a $261 million investment in October 2012, on the heels of an Audi factory announcement in San José Chiapa. The high-end immigration is only set to continue, as Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar-Land Rover have both announced plans to set up manufacturing operations there.
Mercedes is the big news here, as its new facility will see the German manufacturer invest 170-million euros for production of its next-generation C-Class and upcoming GLA-Class. "Brazil is an important future market. With our local production we accept the challenge and take on the competition," noted Andreas Renschler, Management Board member for Production and Procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Production is expected to begin by 2016.
Jaguar-Land Rover, meanwhile, isn't so concrete in its plans. The news of its investment in South America comes from a job posting for a plant quality manager in Brazil that was picked up by the UK's AutoCar. "Portuguese language skills will be definite advantage" for interested candidates, according to the job listing. The want ad follows on the heels of remarks by Jaguar Land Rover's Dr. Ralph Speth, who said there are "very intensive discussions" with Brazil's government. Unlike Mercedes, there's no mention of which vehicles will be produced in South America, although AutoCar thinks the Freelander, sold in the US as the LR2, is a leading contender.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #325 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #325
Twin-turbo Cadillac CTS coming