A look back at the talking points from the 2017 DTM Series finale that took place at the Hockenheimring.
DTM/SuperGT Show Run
Over the weekend the Lexus LC500 and Nissan GT-R Super GT cars joined the three DTM manufacturers – BMW, Audi and Mercedes – on track in a series of demonstration runs for the fans.
DTM will return the favour with BMW and Audi taking to the track for the Super GT season finale at Motegi on 11-12 November.
This opportunity allowed for discussions to take place between Masaaki Bandoh, chair of the Super GT organisation GTA and head of the ITR Gerhard Berger regarding the planned Class One regulations.
“Thus, we made the co-operation tangible. The race cars are fascinating. The sound of the four-cylinder engines is great. Initially, I was a bit sceptical, but now, we know: the DTM cars of the future will have a mega racing sound,” said Berger.
Bandoh added: “The co-operation between Super GT and the DTM was established in 2009 during the Super GT season finale. Today, it is reaching a historic milestone. After the demonstration runs during this weekend, we will further intensify the development of the Class One regulations. We are curious about the results.”
The technical regulations of the two series’ are already identical in many ways, and are working to having the cars racing side-by-side one day – especially in the wake of Mercedes’ decision to leave the series at the end of 2018.
“In 2019, or 2020 at the latest, we will have the same cars at the race track. Hopefully, we can then race against each other at the race tracks of this world, first and foremost in Europe and in Japan,” Berger concluded.
Ekström and Green Penalties
Following Saturday’s race Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green were in the best position in the championship but penalties due to receiving reprimands cost the pair vital starting positions for the finale showdown between the Audi quartet.
Green was handing a caution after contact with Timo Glock, it was his fifth of the season which meant he had to take a ten place grid penalty in the second race. Ekström too has handed a caution after forcing Maro Engel off the track, this was his third and thus a five place grid penalty.
After qualifying it meant Green started in 15th and his rival was just one position ahead of him, with Rene Rast starting in second he was in the best position to go to claim the title.
The pair fought through the pack, with Green putting in an incredible fight to finish in fifth but ultimately it was not enough.
Rast Crowned Champion
For the first time since Nicola Larini back in 1993, and the first time in the modern era of the DTM a rookie has been crowned champion.
Boosted by Ekström not scoring on Sunday, the Team Rosberg driver was able to get within 11 points of the championship leader.
With penalties for the two men ahead of him in the championship and starting from second, with the two bonus points cutting the deficit to just nine points, Rast had gotten himself in the best position to fight for the title. Despite that, he remained nonchalant about his chances ahead of the final race of the season.
Everything was going the German’s way, with Ekström needing to gain two more positions to snatch the title away it just was not enough. If the pair had ended level on points, Rast would still have been crowned champion due to having more race wins on countback.
The end of the 2017 DTM season finished with Rene Rast taking the title by three points from Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green a further three points behind. Mike Rockenfeller was fourth and Marco Wittmann wa fifth – just 19 points adrift Rast.