Jun 29

High-speed traffic in Nuremberg’s city centre

The races at the Norisring are the DTM season highlights

High-speed traffic in Nuremberg’s city centreNuremberg’s street circuits takes man and material to their very limits. In his home race meeting Wittmann finally wants to make it to the podium. DTM is back at the Dutzendteich. No other city tour is as spectacular as the one in the ‘Franconian Monaco’.

When it comes to the fascination of motor racing on public streets, Nuremberg has got a unique feature, in Germany. And this weekend, the pinnacle of touring-car racing once again will travel to Nuremberg. Due to its unique atmosphere, the event at the last still existing German street circuit has been a highlight on the DTM calendar for many years, now. A length of just 2.3 kilometres, 250kph on the straights, massive deceleration on the way to the hairpins, extremely precise steering required along the old walls behind the ‘Steintribüne’ on the straights – a breakneck challenge that fascinates the drivers again and again. Since DTM’s debut appearance in Nuremberg, in 1984, the DTM drivers have been racing there nearly every single year. Only twice, in 1985 and ’86, DTM didn’t stop at the Norisring that is celebrating its 75th anniversary, this year.

Prior to the season highlight in Nuremberg, the initial positions of the three manufacturers differ quite a lot. With René Rast, Jamie Green and Mattias Ekström, three Audi drivers can be found among the top-four in the drivers’ championship. With the first third of the championship contested, rookie Rast holds the championship lead with 70 points on his tally – ad he has fond memories of the Norisring: in 2012, in the Porsche Carrera Cup, he secured two poles, two race wins and set the fastest race laps in both races. “I truly like street circuits,” Rast says. “The Norisring is a major challenge. It’s bumpy and you have to brake late – that suits me well.” With a DTM car, however, the Norisring is virgin soil, for Rast. “This certainly will be a minor disadvantage in the beginning,” he admits. “But I will drive lot of laps in the practice sessions and hope that I will be able to quickly adapt.”

Jamie Green, third in the championship (65 points) already won four races at the circuit located between the Dutzendteich and Nuremberg’s football stadium. “There are circuits I regard as more attractive when it comes to the driving,” admits the Briton who also is called ‘Mr Norisring’, due to his numerous successes at the circuit. “But it’s a perfect racetrack for the fans and I proved not only with my four wins that the Norisring really suits me well. I always have been fast, there.”

Meanwhile, the Norisring nearly always proved to be good to Mercedes-AMG. With 18 wins, the Stuttgarters have been the most successful brand at the street circuit. Lucas Auer, with 69 points second in the championship, hopes that he will be able to strike back after having had to leave Budapest empty-handed. “The Norisring always used to be a mega circuit for Mercedes,” he says. “And I also have a lot of fond memories of the street circuit. It’s my favourite circuit on the DTM calendar. It’s a street circuit with several long straights and the crowd always is huge. I really look forward to that.”

Meanwhile, BMW definitely have a score to settle with the 2017 season. For the squad of the Munich based manufacturer around Marco Wittmann it’s time to get their act together. The 27-year old was second on the grid for the sixth round of the season but in the race, a polystyrene part in the air duct of his BMW M4 forced him into retirement from sixth position with just two more laps to go. And while Wittmann, currently 12th in the championship, had to cope with bad luck, at the Hungaroring, Timo Glock, Bruno Spengler and Maxime Martin made it to the podium – due to fortunate circumstances and / or a more aggressive strategy. Nonetheless, BMW have to deliver as they have got just 124 points on their tally compared to Audi (284) and Mercedes-AMG (234).

Marco Wittmann already celebrated DTM wins at six different circuits but in his home event, finishing fourth was the best result he could achieve to date. “Knowing that fan clubs, friends and family are on site represents an extra motivation boost. In the past years at the Norisring I improved consistently and now it’s time for more. Therefore, I set myself the goal to at least make it to the Norisring podium, this year.”

A short-notice time-schedule change by DTM’s German TV partner ARD results in a new starting time for race one on Saturday. The race start that originally was scheduled for 18:35hrs CEST was brought forward to 13:35hrs CEST. The Sunday race, however, will start as scheduled on 17:25hrs CEST.

Also exciting is the DTM support programme in Nuremberg. It features the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, the Audi Sport TT Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup. And a special highlight – the Touring Car Classics featuring 30 classic DTM cars that revive the early DTM days.

source: dtm.com