From the dunes to the Alps – DTM to race at Spielberg
Which driver will become the 2015 DTM Half-Time Champion? This question will be answered on Saturday, 01st August, in Austria. Then, the Red Bull Ring will stage the ninth of this year’s 18 DTM races. Five DTM drivers still have got the possibility to secure this unofficial title. Another proof of the fact that the racing is extremely close, in DTM. A situation that was achieved – inter alia – by dint of the new regulations. Just as it has been the case in every race meeting since the beginning of the 2015 season, the race weekend in Styria also comprises a qualifying session and a race both on Saturday and Sunday. From 31st July to 02nd August, the motor-racing enthusiasts once again can witness spectacular battles and enthralling motor-racing action. The close situation in the championship and an extensive support programme turn Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring over the course of the DTM weekend into the Mecca for every motor-sport enthusiast.
At Hockenheim and the Lausitzring, Audi proved to be the dominator, at Nuremberg’s Norisring, Mercedes-Benz outperformed their competitors and at Zandvoort, BMW raced in a class of their own. The consequence: the battle for the championship lead is extremely close. Yes it’s true, with 81 points on his tally, Audi’s Jamie Green still is the championship leader but even Gary Paffett with his Mercedes-AMG C63 in 10th position is just 44 points behind. A gap that can be closed quickly as there are 50 points to be won, on a DTM weekend. And nobody knows who will get the upper hand in Austria’s mountains. Meanwhile, it goes without saying that the top five will be particularly motivated for the Saturday round: in this race, started at 18:20hrs CEST (17:20hrs BST), Jamie Green, his fellow Audi drivers Mattias Ekström (76 points) and Edoardo Mortara (58) as well as the Mercedes-Benz pairing Pascal Wehrlein (76) and Robert Wickens (57) will have the chance of securing the half-time championship title. Ekström is eager on racing in Styria and believes that his chances of being successful in his adopted home country look bright: “For me, the race weekend at the Red Bull Ring is a home meeting. I have not only contested races at Spielberg but also many other events. We want two tough but fair races and as many points as possible. That’s our plan.” Mercedes-Benz Team Principal Ulrich Fritz also is very confident: “Following the races at Zandvoort, the situation on the grid is well-balanced. Yes, I think that we will be able to deliver at Spielberg.”
Meanwhile, the BMW camp travels to Austria with massively boosted confidence. After all, the Munich based manufacturer and its teams and drivers secured the first seven places in the Saturday race at Zandvoort and the top five positions on Sunday. “I’m just extremely happy,” said António Félix da Costa, the winner of the Sunday round. “And now we are going to push to the max, at the Red Bull Ring.” Following the Zandvoort meeting, reining champion Marco Wittmann suddenly also is back in the battle for the title. Having won on Saturday and finished fifth on Sunday he has got 49 points on his tally and holds seventh position in the championship. “That was balm for the soul,” said Wittmann. In addition, he and BMW have fond memories of the DTM venue in Styria. Last year, Wittmann won the race and the following three positions also were secured by DTM drivers.
In addition, the lilac Mercedes-AMG C63 of Team ART Grand Prix will make for an extra dose of enthusiasm on the grandstands as it is raced by Austrian Lucas Auer who arguably will be supported by the majority of the visitors, in his home meeting. Nonetheless, the DTM rookie isn’t the only compatriot the Austrian crowds can cheer for, on the Red Bull Ring weekend. Philipp Eng from Salzburg, for instance, travels as Porsche Carrera Cup Germany Championship leader to his home country. Furthermore, alpine-skiing ace Marcel Hirscher will contest the Audi Sport TT Cup races as guest driver and is going to try to keep his skiing rivals Aksel Lund Svindal and Felix Neureuther – who also will be guest drivers on the Audi Sport TT Cup grid – at bay. And don’t forget the FIA Formula 3 European Championship young guns who will entertain the Spielberg crowds with three exciting championship rounds.
Autographing sessions, a public pit walk, the appearance of DJ Enrico Ostendorf on Saturday and the air show of Red Bull Air-Race Champion Hannes Arch on Sunday add to the outstanding entertainment for the visitors. And ‘DTM-Markenwelt’, fan tents, a picnic meadow and the children world complete the extensive support programme.
Meanwhile, those who haven’t got the possibility to attend the Austrian DTM weekend can keep themselves updated on what is going on at the Red Bull Ring nevertheless. DTM’s German TV partner ARD will cover both Red Bull Ring rounds (Saturday, 01st August, 18:20hrs CEST [17:20hrs BST], Sunday 02nd August, 15:15hrs CEST) live. In addition, sportschau.de and DTM.com also will stream the qualifying sessions live. Furthermore, live ticker, live timing and live onboard cameras in the cars will provide the users with additional interesting information on the Spielberg action.
The DTM weekend in Styria will be kicked off on Friday, 31st July. Please find the time schedule of and everything worth knowing on the three-day event here. Tickets can be ordered at DTM.com to then be printed out by dint of the Print@Home method or purchased on site at the Red Bull Ring box offices.