For DTM, the Austrian round represents the start into the second half of the season
Spielberg. Mountains, green meadows - and embedded in this lovely environment one of the most beautiful venues on the DTM calendar. This weekend, the most popular international touring-car series is going to race at Spielberg, Austria, with Marco Wittmann who is contesting his only second DTM season already having secured two race wins and travelling to the Red Bull Ring as championship leader.
The circuit should suit us better than – let’s say – Budapest.
For DTM, the Austrian round represents the start into the second half of the season and Wittmann’s toughest opponents in the battle for the title want to give the championship leader the hardest possible time: Sweden’s Mattias Ekström follows just 20 points behind in second position, with the gap of BMW’s Bruno Spengler and Audi’s Edoardo Mortara to the championship leader also amounting to just 20 points. So, the battle for the title is far from being over. Those who want to witness the battle for the championship lead live on site will have the chance of purchasing tickets at the box offices. The qualifying session will be covered by DTM’s German TV partner from 18:30hrs CEST (17:30hrs BST) and the race on Sunday from 13:15hrs CEST.
Styria’s rollercoaster represents a major challenge for the DTM drivers and that’s the reason why it’s extremely popular with them. “The circuit has got it all,” says Canada’s Bruno Spengler. “Long straights, slow corners, fast corners – and areas where you have to brake really hard. And the final two corners are particularly challenging.” “We’ve got many straights where the car has to be as fast as possible,” explains Audi’s Timo Scheider, “While the aerodynamics are crucial in the second and third sectors. Here, the car must be set up perfectly as you can gain or lose a lot of time, in these sections.”
In addition, the Red Bull Ring provides several overtaking possibilities, with the DRS proving to be an additional help. “You have to brake hard at the end of the long straights and consequently, we should have good overtaking opportunities, there,” says Mercedes-Benz ace Gary Paffett. “Particularly at the end of the uphill section, on the way to turn two.” Mercedes had to cope with ups and downs, in the first half of the season and it is expected that it won’t be easy for the drivers of the Stuttgart based brand to battle it out at the front end of the field, in Austria. But Paffett says: “The circuit should suit us better than – let’s say – Budapest. And even more so if it should be raining. Then, making it to the front should be possible. As a team, we made the best of the chances we were provided at Oschersleben and the Norisring.” In both cases, a Mercedes-Benz driver left the race venue as winner.
And the fans also may look forward to numerous support-programme highlight. In addition to the obligatory pit walk that allows the fans to get extremely close to the DTM racers, the grid-girl photo shoot and the autographing sessions, the German band ‘Glasperlenspiel’ will entertain the visitors during the lunch break and will play – inter alia – their official DTM song ‘Kämpfe um Dich“’.