Even though there is just one more race to go in the DTM Championship, with the drivers’ title already decided, as Mike Rockenfeller secured his first title after six years in the championship with Audi Sport and Team Phoenix. However, the 29-year-old, who won the 24 Heures du Mans in 2010 with Audi Sport Team Joest alongside Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, admitted to theCheckeredFlag.co.uk at Zandvoort a fortnight ago, that the passion to return to the Circuit de la Sarthe is still very much there.
He said that the calendar clashes with the FIA World Endurance Championship was one of the main factors that contributed in him to make the decision to solely concentrate on the DTM, as it was a goal that he has always wanted to achieve. Now that dream has been fulfilled, there is the not-so-small matter of making the choice to where he goes from here.
There is a lot of weighing up for “Rocky” to do, as it may be the first time in DTM history that a driver has not decided to defend his title in the current DTM-Era, which has run since 2000, as 1999 STW Champion Christian Abt was the last winner of that particular series with a privately-entered Audi A4 with a controversial Quattro system that was banned for the factory teams.
If Audi Sport do a clean sweep of the titles this season like BMW Motorsport did last year, then it may be hard for Rockenfeller, Ernst Moser and Team Phoenix to back away from a title defence. So the waiting begins, as the manufacturers still have to consider just who will be in their line-ups for 2014. TCF will keep you informed as to what happens in the off-season for the DTM, as it is revving up for the final race of the year this coming Sunday at Hockenheim.