PH Blog: Hockenheim and the DTM

There are many of you out there who will rightly point out that, for the past few years, DTM has not been the most exciting of motorsport spectacles. But the sport itself knows this, and has been trying to bring more action into the mix.

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
Gary Paffett leads Jamie Green
Well folks, that's it. The first race of the new DTM, done. And no, it's not the sort of white-knuckle, crash-bang-wallop racing you get in the BTCC. But as a spectacle, the close racing and fantastically well-engineered, run and funded cars make it a fascinating thing to watch.

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

Just enjoyed lunch in the Audi Team hospitality suite (thank you Audi, with your food you've definitely earned at least one supporter on PH - not that we're that easily bought).

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.


BMW is back in the DTM, as this enormous T shirt reminds us...

Saturday: Hockenheim paddock

DTM meets Victorian seaside panto in this 'attraction' at the entrance to the DTM paddock. I know I look damn silly, but I just couldn't resist...

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...


There's a lot of very careful diplomacy between series organisers ITR and the three manufacturers involved in the DTM. See exhibit A. To wit: M5, CLS 63 and S4 Avant parked conspicuously next to each other outside the Hockenheim media centre. Nice touch...


For a sense of just how big a deal the series is, just take a look at the serried ranks of transporter lorries (all immaculately clean) and plush hospitality suites (on the left). All very F1. Oh, and there's quite a few people here too, as you can see, though it's only qualifying today...


Some on-track action at last. And, to be honest, my initial reaction is mild disappointment - these are clearly impressive machines, but the look and sound more like sports prototypes than thundering V8 saloons.

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.


After a super-close qualifying session, the top three places are, unbelievably, filled by an Audi (Ekstrom), a Mercedes (Jamie Green) and a BMW (Dirk Werner). The series organisers couldn't have dreamed of that sort of result when they took the above image in Munich earlier this week...


It's not just touring cars, of course. There are plenty of supporting races, including the Porsche Carrera Cup, though sadly this particular example didn't do any racing today...

Comments (23) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Tuscan_No27 28 Apr 2012

    Personally I thought DTM has always been an interesting race series - just disappointed that it was dropped by Motors TV and went to ESPN. Sorry I'm not paying for a channel to watch one race series.

  • A9XXC 28 Apr 2012

    Tuscan_No27 said:
    Personally I thought DTM has always been an interesting race series - just disappointed that it was dropped by Motors TV and went to ESPN. Sorry I'm not paying for a channel to watch one race series.

    I loved all the bits of carbon flying in all directions at every corner

  • Ferb 28 Apr 2012

    Is there any live streaming for this or replays?

  • Sprint Rich 28 Apr 2012

    Ferb said:
    Is there any live streaming for this or replays?
    Im sure its free to watch on the DTM site, if you can speak ze German

  • k3ybo 28 Apr 2012

    I'll be there with a load of other expat brits!

    Sure it'll be a good day, hopefully a return to classic DTM action (although I appreciate that is asking alot).

    Will keep an eye out for the PH massive...

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