A ll years back at Hockenheim. The racetrack in the Baden Motodrom is a constant on the DTM calendar. This year, however, there are some innovations.
47 instead of the previous 39 laps in Hockenheim
On the one hand, the championship will no longer be chosen in Hockenheim, on the other hand there is a new route. The hairpin curve at the end of the long straight falls away. Instead, the DTM field turns 400 meters beforehand onto a short connection that includes two tight right-hand bends. The DTM cars pass the spectators 47 times instead of 39.
Mercedes and Audi tested the new track variant on September 21st. But so far little has been heard of boundless enthusiasm. 'I'm actually not that big of a fan of conversions,' said Audi driver Martin Tomczyk after the first laps of the test drives.
In addition to Tomczyk, Timo Scheider was also behind the wheel of the Audi A4 DTM. 'We're not going to the end of the Parabolika section, where so far many slipstream duels have taken place. Instead, we turn right onto a short connection,' he explains. 'Up to the race, the new section will be further optimized in detail and the passage will be even easier to drive. For us it means that we have to adjust to a new rhythm of the track. For the spectators, it means that they will see us more often now because we will do more laps. '
Fewer overtaking opportunities?
That the spectators get to see the pilots more often is one thing, but will there be just as many overtaking maneuvers? Audi's only remaining title contender, Mattias Ekström, is skeptical. 'It doesn't matter for qualifying,' he says. 'But overtaking in the race will be much more difficult. Because the hairpin curve used to be the best overtaking opportunity. That is why qualifying is now the key to success.'