- Finale to a great season: DTM gets underway again at Hockenheim from 4th to 6th October
- Audi driver René Rast enters final races as two-time DTM Champion
- Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button starts for Honda at DTM season finale
- DTM finale stays in Hockenheim until 2021
Although driver and brand standings championships have already been decided, the two DTM 2019 finales promise plenty of excitement. After all, for the final confrontation of the DTM drivers in their 600-plus hp Audi, BMW and Aston Martin cars at Hockenheim the now two-time DTM Champion René Rast and his rivals will have no more worries about their place in the standings. Although yet another impressive performance at the Nürburgring has given the 32-year-old from Minden a 56-point advantage over Swiss driver Nico Müller, Nico could close theoretically catch up to his Audi brand colleague with two victories and two pole positions at Hockenheim. However, if they actually were to end up tied for points, the number of wins would decide, with Rast’s six wins to date putting him definitively out of reach. Audi had already secured the brand standings championship at the Lausitzring.
Rast thus joins an illustrious line of multiple champions. Mattias Ekström, Timo Scheider, Marco Wittmann and Gary Paffett had all already been crowned champions twice before Rast. DTM legends Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig even managed to pull off this feat five and three times respectively. Rast can nevertheless lay claim to one record all for himself: no driver before him has ever won two champion titles in his first three DTM seasons.
Unlike the still open team standings, driver and brand standing points will play only a minor role in the two final races – and that is precisely why ITR boss Gerhard Berger expects the Hockenheim races to offer an especially dramatic spectacle: “Now that driver and brand titles have already been decided, we can look forward to carefree wheel-to-wheel duels without regard to title contenders.”
All DTM drivers are keen to polish up their own ranking at the end of the season with a top result – the seven who already have one victory to their name this season (René Rast, Nico Müller, Jamie Green, Bruno Spengler, Marco Wittmann, Mike Rockenfeller, Philipp Eng), but above all, the drivers who have what it takes to capture the top step on the podium yet have been denied over the eight race weekends held so far this season.
And what the season opener at Hockenheim has already shown will of course also apply to the finale: the 4.5-kilometre Grand Prix circuit is tailor-made for the new DTM generation’s turbo racing cars. Thanks to technical overtaking aids such as push-to-pass (short-term increase in fuel flow rate) and drag reduction system (DRS, flat areas on the rear wing for reduced drag), there is sure to be plenty of action from start to finish. The 600-plus hp racing touring cars reach top speeds of almost 300 km/h before having to brake for the hairpin bend at the end of the long parabolic left-hand bend. And it is imperative to pay attention to the material limits, as the tyres above all can only withstand all-out acceleration for a certain time. An unscheduled second tyre change pit stop was already needed more than once this year, and the Hockenheimring is considered as quite demanding on the black gold.
Formula 1 World Champion Button starts at the DTM finale
The DTM family is eagerly awaiting the finale at Hockenheim not only due to the spectacular races but also because three cars from the Japanese SUPER GT series will be competing against their DTM rivals at Hockenheim for the first time. And the driver line-ups of the guests from the Land of Smiles is no less impressive: none other than the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion and 2018 SUPER GT Champion Jenson Button is getting behind the wheel of the Honda NSX. Italian driver Ronnie Quintarelli and Japanese driver Tsugio Matsuda will each compete in one race for Nissan. Quintarelli is a four-time SUPER GT champion, Matsuda already has two titles to his name. Two former SUPER GT champions, Nick Cassidy (New Zealand) and Ryo Hirakawa (Japan), will also be taking turns behind the wheel for Lexus. The guest event serves as a kind of dress rehearsal for an additional highlight of the season: the first official encounter between the racing cars from DTM and SUPER GT at the “SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race” on 23rd/24th November in Fuji, Japan.
“I’m really looking forward to the spectacle the Hockenheim finale promises to be,” said ten-time Formula 1 Grand Prix winner Gerhard Berger. “It’s the first time that six manufacturers will be competing against each other at a DTM event. Japan meets Europe – what a show! I can’t wait to see how Jenson Button and his colleagues from the SUPER GT Series fare against the DTM drivers”.
DTM finale stays in Hockenheim until 2021
Good news for all fans: the DTM finale will be taking place at the Hockenheimring for the next two years. Due to strategic reasons and changed framework conditions, series operator ITR and Hockenheim-Ring GmbH have agreed not to have the season start at the Baden Motodrom, thus giving the finale even more weight as the only race in Hockenheim. “We do not want to hinder the internationalisation efforts of our good and long-standing partner ITR; not only for economic reasons but also in keeping with the motto “Strengthening strengths” we look forward to focusing on the finale. We are looking forward to two more years of DTM at the Hockenheimring,” says Jorn Teske, Managing Director of Hockenheim-Ring GmbH, commenting on the agreement.
Top offer for the whole family: Tickets are still available at the box offices
Tickets in all categories for the DTM finale 2019 are still available in advance and on the day at the racetrack box office. The offer covers all of your needs. A trial run on Friday starts at 10 euros, the weekend tickets start at 44 euros. Especially family-friendly: An adult can take up to three children up to the age of 14 free of charge with their ticket in the lowest category. The free tickets for these children can be obtained at the box office on the day. For higher-priced ticket categories, tickets for children can be purchased at half price. Access to the drivers’ paddock is generally included with all of the tickets – while stocks last.
The tickets can be ordered via the official website www.dtm.com/tickets and the hotline 01806 386 386 (€0.20/call incl. VAT from the German landline network, max. €0.60/call incl. VAT from the German mobile network) from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tickets can also be booked via the Hockenheimring hotline on +49 (0)6205 950 222.
Advance sales for the 2020 season races are slated to begin on 4 October, on site at the Hockenheimring (ticket office in front of South Grandstand C) and online.