The DTM returns to action this weekend at Norisring after a break of a month. The race at Norisring is one of the most popular events of the season with big crowds and a lot of prestige between the manufacturers, teams and drivers to claim victory.
Bruno Spengler was last man to win at Norisring but the most successful driver at the track during the past years is Jamie Green with three straight victories from 2008 to 2010.
“It’s hard to identify the reasons for my success in recent years at the Norisring and why I’ve had three wins there. The circuit is a real challenge and is exceptional by virtue of its layout. It’s a low-downforce track with long straights and hard braking zones. Also, the surface is very bumpy. To post a fast time, you have to hug the barriers as close as you dare. At the same time, you need to be ultra-accurate, otherwise you end up in the wall. On past occasions, this has seemed to suit my driving style,” said Green.
Audi is, as previously mentioned at TouringCarTimes, hunting for their first victory at Norisring since 2002 with Laurent Aiello. One to get close to an Audi victory in 2009 was Timo Scheider.
“The Norisring will be a big challenge for all of us again. It’s the home race for Audi that we’d finally like to win. A few years ago, I already took the pole position and had many leading laps. After ‘Edo’s'(Mortara) victory at Spielberg and my good race performance we started our small break with a good feeling. We’re hoping to get everything together and to be at the very top of the podium then,” said Scheider.
BMW heads to their first DTM race at Norisring since 1992, when Joachim Winkelhock and Steve Soper claimed one victory each, and multiple world champion Andy Priaulx is keen to get a strong return for the German manufacturer.
“Norisring is a legendary track and I can’t wait to see it for myself. I have an affinity with street circuits and just love them. I have had some of my most exciting and successful races on street circuits and so it would be great for me to keep this tradition up there. We aim to put on a good show for the fans,” said Priaulx.
With the championship nearing half-time, Mercedes and Gary Paffett has got a big advantage. The Brit has pulled out in a big lead of 83 points with Audi man Mattias Ekström being the closest rival with close to half the points on 47 points. BMW’s best hope is Bruno Spengler, just one point behind third-placed Green.
With Norisring being the fifth out of eleven races of the season, it is high time for Audi and BMW to beat the Mercedes and Paffett dominance in order to have a shot at the title at all this season. Is Norisring the place for that to happen?