The much awaited opening round of the 2019 DTM Series is finally upon us.
As tradition, the championship gets underway at Hockenheim in what is a big year for the series.
The new Class One regulations will be making their racing debut, in what are to be the fastest DTM cars ever following the introduction of turbo engines.
Although, potentially the biggest change for 2019 has been Mercedes withdrawing from the championship.
Mercedes’ decision to leave the championship, has resulted in the series opening applications for customer teams with Audi fielding two WRT-run cars.
Aston Martin will join as a new manufacturer in their place as the first non-German outfit in the modern DTM.
What Happened at the Hockenheim in 2018?
In the opening race of the year, 2018 champion Gary Paffett emerged victorious in the opening race.
This was Paffett’s first victory since he claimed victory at the Lausitzring back in 2013.
Lucas Auer had been leading the early stages, but an issue at his pitstop allowed Paffett on warmer tyres to sail pass him.
Timo Glock also put the Austrian under pressure but after just one half hearted attempt the BMW driver faded to a lonely third.
The best placed Audi was 2017 champion René Rast who finished ninth in a difficult opening race for the reigning champions.
Race Two of the weekend was referred to by many, including Paffett and Glock as the best race of the DTM’s history.
The pair endured a fierce battle with them constantly exchanging places into the Turn 6 hairpin.
With Glock having led the early stages he had more DRS available than the Briton meaning the Mercedes driver was unable to challenge for the lead.
As a result of their fight the chasing pack had caught up to them, with Mike Rockenfeller getting the better of Paffett for second.
Following the race, Paffett and Glock made clear their feelings by wildly celebrating in parc ferme.
Glock, also questioned Mercedes’ decision to leave the championship over the radio as he crossed the line.
Elsewhere, Mattias Ekström made a one off appearance to say farewell to the DTM and his fans after deciding to retire over the winter.
What is the Schedule?
For 2019, the DTM has introduced a new schedule to their weekend with just two practice sessions taking place rather than three.
Friday 3 March
Free Practice 1: 13.10 CEST
Free Practice 2: 16.30
Saturday 4 March
Qualifying 1: 10.30
Race 1: 13.30
Sunday 5 March
Qualifying 2: 10.45
Race 2: 13.30
WHERE CAN I WATCH THE DTM ACTION AT HOCKENHEIM?
Coverage of the DTM Series is available through FreeSports, with the series no longer offering their YouTube streams to UK viewers.
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!