The date was 11th March 1984. The newly founded “German Production Car Championship”, now the DTM, entered its maiden season at the ‘Circuit Zolder’. The very first DTM race was 24 laps, and a total of 102.288 kilometres and spectators witnessed plenty of drama at the debut. Hans-Joachim Stuck, also in a BMW 635 CSi, led the field until two laps before the end, when he lost one of his front wheels and was forced to retire from the race. That cleared the way for Harald Grohs, who crossed the finish line with a lead of more than 25 seconds over his pursuers and went down in history as the first ever DTM winner.
“I must say that I was jolly glad to bring home the win in the face of strong competition,” reminisced Grohs 35 years later. It means a great deal to him having won that historic race: “But I didn’t just celebrate that win in the DTM. I won every opening race with all four cars that BMW developed and built for various categories such as the DRM or DTM. That makes me proud and happy.” Back then at Zolder he was disqualified shortly after the race for technical reasons and lost the relevant points in the championship standings, but he was granted the win.