PH Blog: Hockenheim and the DTM
It was great in the 80s, and spectacular in the 90s. Riggers finds out if new rules can help to rekindle DTM's glory days
In that respect, this year is the big one – the cars are all-new, the aero has been restricted, and BMW is back after a 20-year absence, bringing the German ‘Big Three’ into direct competition once again.
We’re here to see if the tweaks to the DTM recipe have worked. We’re certainly not the only ones intrigued by the new season – last week 72,000 fans turned out in a sodden central Wiesbaden for the official launch of the car. So keep checking back here over the weekend and we’ll be updating you on just how interesting the self-proclaimed most sophisticated tin-top series in the world has become.
Sunday: Hockenheim paddock
Gary Paffett leads Jamie Green
There's also the not insignificant fact that we've just witnessed a Brit one-two (Gary Paffett beating Jamie Green to the top step of the podium after a proper close battle), with Andy Priaulx the leading BMW in sixth.
Add that to David Coulthard finishing eighth and that's four Brits in the top eight places. Which makes the DTM almost a local championship, and should give you something to cheer about if you pop along to Brands Hatch, where the series heads on 20th May.
Sunday: Hockenheim paddock
But the coolest bit about lunch? Definitely sitting on a table next to 1982 F1 World Champion Keke Rosberg. Your PH correspondent was too shy chat to the man himself, whose driver Edoardo Mortara sits 4th on the grid for this afternoon's race. We did take this photo of the back of his head as a souvenir, however.
Just off to watch Herr Schumacher (M) demonstrating his Mercedes F1 car before the main event. Suppose this will be one outing where he finishes in front of his teammate...
...although given the crowds (below), we might not get there in time.
Saturday: Hockenheim paddock
Daftness aside, initial impressions are that there are a lot of people here - it's getting on for British GP busy. Must go now, got some racing to watch...
The way the cars' suspensions are upset by the kerbs at the first corner is very promising, however, so the jury's still officially out on the entertainment factor.
I loved all the bits of carbon flying in all directions at every corner
ESPN have pulled their usual trick of showing it 5, 6 hours later, as Live. If they can't show it live, let somebody else have the rights.
If I'm actually racing, certainly prefer somewhere like Cadwell park however.
I can agree with the blog about the trucks and hospitality units. That's what stunned me when I saw it at Donington in 2002. The sheer size of the units and the whole show really was impressive.
On that, I still don't know how cars manage around narrow circuits like Cadwell - with another rider a similar pace it's pretty Hard to overtake when we're talking maybe 50cm width!
First few laps were pretty exciting, it has gotten a bit tame now though.
Stunned that Farfus had to just drive through the pits because his team wasn't ready for him, he must have been fuming.
Edit - Oh, and ad breaks in the racing is very very annoying.