DTM ready for sixth race of the season at the Nurburgring
By Berthold Bouman
After a five-week summer break, DTM is ready for the next race on the calendar: the race at the Nurburgring. The circuit recently made the headlines due to financial issues, but thankfully the historic track is still alive and kicking, and ready to host the sixth race of the very popular DTM series, they will run on the shorter, 3.629km Grand Prix circuit.
With the return of BMW, the DTM series is no longer the exclusive playground of Mercedes and Audi, and compared to last year there are now 22 cars on the grid instead of 17.
Mercedes driver Gary Paffett is still leading the championship with 95 points, and he is followed by marque colleague Jamie Green who is second with 69 points, and BMW drivers Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk are third and fourth with 58 and 54 points respectively. Mercedes is leading the manufacturer championship with 211 points, Audi is second with 149 points and BMW third with 145 points.
Leader Paffett is looking forward to the second half of the season, “The first half of the season was nearly perfect from my perspective: two wins, two podiums and a P4 finish after starting from last on the grid. I’ll be delighted if the second half continues in the same vein.”
He is optimistic ahead of the race, “I’ve already won one DTM race at the Nurburgring, and in recent years, I’ve had some very good results on this challenging circuit. Even in the wet, I’ve been consistently fast, and as we all know, rain is not an infrequent phenomenon in the Eifel.”
Second-place man and also Mercedes driver Green commented about the Nurburgring, “The Nurburgring is technically very demanding and well known for its changeable weather conditions — it usually rains at least once per race weekend at the Nurburgring. The section before the back straight consists of some medium-fast downhill corners — that’s always a lot of fun.”
Canadian Spengler is third for BMW and he can’t wait to get in the car again, “Just thinking about the race at the Nurburgring is enough to make my spine tingle. The circuit has a long motorsport tradition — and you can sense that as a driver. The Nurburgring is one of my very favourite tracks. It has a very nice combination of fast and slow corners.”
Number four on the list is BMW driver Tomczyk, the reigning DTM champion. He’s also looking forward to the sixth race of the season, and he commented, “BMW Team RMG and I have found a great rhythm and our performances are improving dramatically. I stood on the podium in Spielberg and at the Norisring, having finished runner-up in the last two races. That gives you a great hunger to be celebrating on the top step before too long.”
Fifth in the championship is Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom, who won the race last year. “The Nurburgring was a very good weekend for me last year. I clinched the pole position and won the race. I like the track. It’s important to achieve a good result at the first race of the second half of the season and to make up a few points to the colleagues in front of us. As always, I’ll be doing my best,” said the very popular Swede.
And sixth is another Audi driver: Mike Rockenfeller. The 28-year old German is positive ahead of another home race, “The Nurburgring is a highlight for Team Phoenix and for me. For both of us, it’s a home race. I’m very much looking forward to the second half of the DTM season. I’m very optimistic that we’ll be successful. I can hardly wait to run at the Nurburgring.”
But the DTM drivers can forget about a wet race at the Nurburgring, exceptionally high temperatures have been forecasted for this weekend, and the temperature on Sunday could be as high as 37 to 39 degrees Celsius, so get ready for a scorching hot race at the Nurburgring this weekend!