Motodrom Insight // DTM and the Hockenheimring

An unbeatable combination!

The Hockenheimring and the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) go together like ice cream and waffles, pot and lid, chips and ketchup. The popular racing series has made guest appearances at the Motodrom in Baden ever since its foundation in 1984, when it was still known as the German Production Car Championship, and has produced some memorable performances.

The first season of the ‘Post Class 1’ era also fitted seamlessly into the great history of the DTM. With the technically adapted regulations, brand diversity returned in 2021. GT racing cars from Ferrari, Audi, Lamborghini, BMW, Porsche, McLaren and Mercedes-AMG provided thrilling action and plenty of variety on the race tracks. Seven drivers on four different brands were entered onto the winners’ lists for the 2021 DTM season. No wonder that the title fight was only decided in favour of Mercedes-AMG ace Maximilian Götz in the 16th and final race of the season on the Norisring.

This year the big showdown will once again take place at the traditional venue of the DTM finale, namely the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, from 7 to 9 October. Owing to coronavirus, the 4.5-kilometre Grand Prix circuit was the penultimate event on the calendar last year and offered fans everything that the DTM has always stood for: tough door-to-door duels between some of the world’s best racing drivers in fascinating cars that produce more than 500 hp and have the looks and sound that go with it.The victories in the two 55-minute races on the Saturday and Sunday were ultimately celebrated by Kelvin van der Linde (ZA, Audi R8 LMS Evo) and Lucas Auer (A, Mercedes-AMG GT3).

The second season with new regulations promises to top the thrilling first season in all respects. This will be ensured by fine-tuning the regulations and above all by a significantly larger field of more than 25 cars. And with Audi works driver René Rast, the most successful DTM driver of the present day with three championship titles will be celebrating his comeback in the series. Diversity is also the keyword in technical terms: turbo engines as in the Ferrari 488 GT3 and BMW M4 GT3 will compete with naturally aspirated, six-cylinder against eight-cylinder against ten-cylinder, mid-engine concepts like in Ferrari, Audi or Lamborghini against front-engine bolides à la BMW or Mercedes. Almost exotic: the Porsche 911 GT3-R with its six-cylinder boxer engine in the rear, with which the KÜS Team 75 of two-time World Endurance Champion and Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard, will make its DTM debut with Austrian Thomas Preining as driver.

‘The DTM and the Hockenheimring – they just go together!’ enthuses Jorn Teske, managing director of Hockenheimring GmbH. And the drivers are also pleased to return again and again to the track so rich in tradition near Heidelberg. ‘I always look forward to driving on the Hockenheimring again,’ says DTM champion Maximilian Götz. ‘We have seen great DTM races there in the past. I enjoy driving on the Grand Prix circuit hugely – the combination of fast corners like Turn 1 or the Motodrom entrance and tight corners like the hairpin bend or the left in front of the east grandstand, combined with several good overtaking opportunities, makes it stand out. And the Hockenheimring is a track that every team knows inside out. Accordingly, everyone will be well organised in October, so things are going to be very close and exciting …’

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