Preview: 2018 DTM Series – Norisring

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Credit: DTM Media

The fourth round of the 2018 DTM Series takes place this weekend at the Norisring.

On top of the championship sits BMW‘s Timo Glock ahead of Gary Paffett by eleven points.

Marco Wittmann will be hoping to build about his victory last time out at the Hungaroring to step on the podium at his home race for the first time.

What Happened Last Time at the Hungaroring?

Paul di Resta took the Race 1 victory last time out.

The Scotsman had start from pole position and easily maintained his lead off the start as team-mate Lucas Auer passed Nico Müller for second.

Not for long though as the Swiss driver was back in front in the next corner.

A number of drivers decided to serve their mandatory pitstop at the end of the first lap, a strategy which had payed dividends for Jamie Green in the previous race at the Lausitzring.

Müller served his stop later than the Mercedes duo to hold track position from the pair but they made quick word of passing the Audi.

Auer had been ahead of his team-mate at this point who had been hindered by a stop three seconds slower than his rivals.

Once he had passed Müller, di Resta hunted down Auer and retook the lead of the race despite the costly pitstop.

Paffett finished in sixth place to take the lead of the championship by seven points over Glock.

It was a disastrous race for BMW with Augusto Farfus was their best placed driver in twelfth place, with the remaining drivers finishing fourteenth to eighteenth.

Given their performance on Saturday and a Mercedes dominated qualifying session, it was a surprise to see an all BMW podium on Sunday.

Auer had started from pole position ahead of Pascal Wehrlein and di Resta as Mercedes locked out the first five positions on the grid for the race.

Glock was put into a spin at the start by Mike Rockenfeller but was able to carry on without any damage to his BMW.

The race took a turn when conditions changed on lap three as a heavy downpour arrived at the circuit.

Due to the now wet surface in the pitlane Auer was unable to slow down his Mercedes, sliding across the pitlane in to the marshals at the side of the garage.

A safety car was deployed as a result with more drivers taking to the pitlane at this time.

Unfortunately there was more drama as both Edoardo Mortara and Bruno Spengler too had had incidents which resulted in them colliding with their pit equipment.

When racing resumed it was Paffett who was in the lead but was on wet tyres so pitted quickly to change them.

Dani Juncadella and Wehrlein were the lead cars on track but still needing to take mandatory stops, BMW’s Wittmann found himself in the theoretical lead having passed Philipp Eng.

Despite their woes over the weekend, BMW ended the weekend with a 1-2-3 in the race as Wittmann headed home Glock and Eng.

With Paffett not scoring and finishing second place, Glock was back on top in the championship with an eleven point lead.

However, five hours after the end of the race Auer, Mortara and Spengler were all disqualified for their pitlane incidents.

In addition, Mortara and Spengler have been handed suspended ten place grid penalties as they had been informed of the conditions and failed to acknowledge the yellow flags following Auer’s initial incident.

As a result Farfus moved up from eighth to seventh, and Robin Frijns and Loïc Duval were promoted to points paying positions.

What Happened at the Norisring in 2017?

Spengler emerged victorious in the opening race of the weekend last year.

It was the Canadian’s first win in the DTM since 2013 at the Red Bull Ring.

Joining Spengler on the podium was pole sitter Maxime Martin who had a slow getaway off the grid and fell behind his team-mate and Mattias Ekström.

When Martin, got ahead of the Audi driver to run in second, Spengler was already almost six seconds ahead.

Sunday’s race was far more drama filled, as two of the moments of the 2017 season occurred in the race.

Tom Blomqvist had started from pole position, but a poor start saw the Briton tumble down the order before recovering to ninth place after serving his pit stop on the opening lap.

Martin claimed the victory with Auer in second. The Austrian had been leading from the Belgian but suffered a cramp in his leg which caused him to have some problems.

Behind there was a far more fierce battle for the final spot on the podium.

Ekström was running in third place with Wittmann close on his tail. The German was hoping to claim the first podium at his home race.

However, the pair made slight contact on the final lap which left them vulnerable to Mortara. The trio ran three-abreast with the Italian gaining the advantage to claim the final spot of the podium by 0.002 seconds over Ekström leaving Wittmann down in fifth.

All of this though was overshadowed by a crash between Paffett and Rockenfeller.

The Briton had been battling with Green, with slight contact on the rear putting Paffett into the wall.

Flying against the wall and skidding along it, Paffett came to a halt but only after slamming into the side of Rockenfeller.

The German was clearly hurt as he got out of his car and was a doubt for the next round at the Moscow Raceway but turned up on crutches to claim an incredible second place.

You can read the full reports of what happened last year here: Race 1 | Race 2 

What is the Schedule?

Friday 22 June

Free Practice 1 – 16.30 CEST

Saturday 23 June

Free Practice 2 – 8.30

Qualifying 1 – 10.20

Race 1 – 13.30

Sunday 24 June

Free Practice 3 – 8.30

Qualifying 2 – 11.10

Race 2 – 13.30

Where Can I watch the DTM Action at the Norisring?

Fans in the UK are able to watch all sessions live on the DTM Youtube page – remember to select the English streams. It is also streamed live on FaceBook but is with German commentary only.

It is also aired on the FreeSports, but contains adverts.

How Can I Keep Up with the Action?

The action from every session as well as any breaking news will be shared here on TCF!

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About author
An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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