Flat out on the way to the home straight – DTM at the Nürburgring
It is the benchmark for every other racetrack – the Nürburgring stands for pure motor-racing tradition. The 3.629-kilometre GP circuit located in the Eifel often has witnessed drivers, teams and manufacturers making history. And now, from 25th to 27th September, 2015, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz will provide the Nürburgring crowds another enthralling fight, with two drivers arguably taking centre stage, in the penultimate race meeting of the season: Pascal Wehrlein and Mattias Ekström, the hottest contenders for the 2015 DTM crown. Nonetheless, the battle is far from being over. There still are another 100 points to be scored, with Wehrlein’s lead over Ekström amounting to just 14 points. So, the motor-racing enthusiasts may look forward to an action-packed race weekend in the Eifel. After all, the 24 DTM drivers will contest a qualifying session and a race both on Saturday and Sunday. The fascination of DTM and an extensive support programme will provide the visitors top-class entertainment galore – both on and aloof from the track.
When the drivers fold down their visors on the last weekend in September, every tenth of a second counts. In the 15tth and 16th rounds of the current season, all the 24 drivers want to achieve the best possible initial position for the season finale at the Hockenheimring – or even a theoretically possible early decision in the battle for the title. But this only would be the case if Wehrlein succeeded in extending his lead over his closest rival to 50 or more points. Ekström, Edoardo Mortara, Jamie Green, Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann, however, are determined to prevent him from doing so and will fight for every single metre of tarmac. Spengler and Wittmann in particular will travel to ‘The Ring’ with boosted confidence, following BMW’s successful Oschersleben weekend. Therefore, they are far from having given up the battle for the title. The Canadian currently has got 36 points less on his tally then Wehrlein and says: “I like the Nürburgring. I already secured several race wins, there. Nonetheless, it’s difficult so say how we will fare.” Following the Oschersleben weekend, the performance-weight situation is better balanced and the previous weight advantages and disadvantages are – to a certain extent – history. The BMWs will be clearly heavier in the Eifel and the Audi’s clearly lighter. Ekström: “I may get rid of 10kg and consequently will be able to really push at the Nürburgring.” So, the pressure on Wehrlein definitely will be growing – but the Mercedes-Benz driver brims with self-confidence. “I definitely once again will fight for the wins, at the Nürburgring,” he stresses. And he may rely on the support of his fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers. In particular the one of his team-mate Christian Vietoris: “The Nürburgring is my home circuit and the preparations went extraordinarily well,” reveals Vietoris. “I will give my very best to support Pascal and the entire team on the way to securing the title.”
In the Saturday qualifying session, the drivers already have to give their very best to secure a good position on the grid for the 40-minute race following at 13:25hrs CEST (12:25hrs BST). And on Sunday, it’s “The same procedure as yesterday, James.” With three differences. This time, the race distance amounts to 60 minutes, there will be an obligatory tyre change and the race will be started at 13:35hrs CEST (12:35hrs BST).
In addition to the nerve-wracking battle in DTM, the Nürburgring visitors also may look forward to thrilling races provided by Formula 3, the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and the Audi TT Cup. While the Porsche and the Audi TT drivers will contest two races each, the Formula 3 drivers even will battle it out for points in three championship rounds. Autographing sessions, the paddock, motor-sport auctions and the popular pit walk will add to the entertainment and the same applies to the show-stage action. It will be – inter alia – the venue of an appearance of the German band Culcha Candela who definitely will get the crowds rocking, with their mix of Reggae, Dancehall and Hip-Hop. Furthermore, the race party in the ‘Eifelstadl’, on Saturday from 19:00hrs CEST (18:00hrs BST), represents a perfect opportunity to dance the night away.
And even those who haven’t got the possibility to witness the action live on site needn’t miss a single minute. DTM’s German TV partner ARD covers both races live, with the coverage beginning on Saturday, 26th September, at 13:00hrs CEST (12:00hrs BST) and on Sunday, 27th September, at 13:20hrs CEST.
Furthermore, sportschau.de and DTM.com will stream the qualifying sessions live. In addition, the fans are provided with additional interesting information on what is going on at the Nürburgring via live ticker, live timing and live onboard cameras in the cars.
The DTM race meeting in the Eifel will be kicked off on Friday, 25th September. Please find the schedule and everything worth knowing about the three-day event here. Tickets can be purchased here to then be printed out in the Print@Home method or at the Nürburgring box offices.