The 2014 DTM season comes to a close this coming weekend at the famed Hockenheimring, after five months of closely fought competition. One title is still up for grabs, with Marco Wittmann and Team RMG having already claimed the drivers’ and team titles respectively.
Located just under an hour south from Frankfurt, the DTM’s 32nd visit to the 4.574-km track will also give teams another benchmark to see how the cars have evolved from the season opener back in May. But there is also that motivation towards glory towards a very long off-season.
Along with the 21-point gap that stands between BMW and Audi in the fight for the manufacturer’s crown, there are some hopefuls that are looking to become the best of the rest. Just 13 points split Mattias Ekström, Christian Vietoris and Edoardo Mortara, as all of them are looking to take the runner-up spot in a year where Wittmann hasn’t kept his foot off the throttle.
Vietoris’ performance at Zandvoort last time out, where Ekström fought his way to a well-deserved win, showed that Mercedes-Benz were moving forwards with the heavily revised C-Class AMG Coupe.
The former GP2 driver took fifth, having started seventeenth, which will also see the remaining six drivers heading to Hockenheim with the updated car. It is the beginning of a new chapter, so we will see how they all fare with the progression that was made by Stuttgart with the permission of the DMSB.
The finale also represents the chance for drivers to go out on a high, as the long winter period ahead of next year’s championship is soon to be upon us. Drivers like Augusto Farfus, who were in the hunt for last year’s title, will be looking to help the team effort to get as many of the eight M4 DTMs into the top ten. The same will be a high priority for Dieter Gass’ Ingolstadt warriors, who look to usurp their main rivals from Munich
However, as everyone knows, a race driver will look to do the best for themselves, as they all want to win, so could we also see Timo Glock potentially take another season finale victory like he did last year?
What of the rookies? Maxime Martin has already won this year at Moscow Raceway, with Vitaly Petrov, Antonio Félix da Costa and Nico Müller yet to break a trend of pointless finishes this season, so they will be looking to upset the established racers we know so well.
Come Sunday, the drivers will again tackle a track that sees them going full throttle for nearly 65% of the lap, so expect plenty of overtaking with DRS, as well as tyre management being key to ensure a good result.
The good thing about having already raced here this season, further performance gains will be made by those who are able to unlock the potential from their V8-powered animals, that will roar around the track 42 times this Sunday.
So much can happen this weekend, but it will be a case of whether qualifying makes a difference, or will heart, mind and soul give one hopeful a chance at a win to end the season on a high?
Don’t forget to follow our live coverage, as TCF will be reporting directly from Hockenheim itself, with all the latest news, interviews and reaction for what is set to be a great end to a halcyon year for the DTM. Roll on another 30 years….