In it’s second year the DTM Show Event in Munich’s Olympic Stadium has yet again proved to be truckloads of motoring fun and excitement. Drivers from all the teams will face off each other on two 614-metre-long tracks that are mirror images of each other in a relay race on Saturday and in a knockout race on Sunday. Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jamie Green driving their phenomenal Mercedes AMG C-Coupé have taken the victory on Saturday.
Saturday’s race was a team relay event. For the relay race, a qualifying session is held for each manufacturer. As the Mercedes AMG teams helpfully points out, top four drivers from each manufacturer go through to the quarter-finals. For each brand, there are two relay teams: the fastest and the fourth-fastest driver in qualifying make up Team 1, the second-and third-fastest drivers Team 2. The starting order of the manufacturers is then reversed depending on the position held in the Manufacturers’ Championship, which Mercedes-Benz currently leads after five of ten races.
In the quarter finals, the teams go head to head in a relay race ( 2X 3 laps). If we consider Mercedes Benz Team 1, including Christian Vietoris and Gary Paffett, Vietoris has to drive 3 laps and then let Paffet change over, all the while trying to faster than the opponent team that is doing the same in the mirrored section of the track. Green and Schumacher were up against the Audi pair of Mattias Ekström/Miguel Molina. The two Mercedes AMG C-Coupé drivers won after two times three laps with a three-second lead. Two times’ DTM champion Mattias Ekström (Audi) had bad luck, retiring in the quarter finals on his 34th birthday.
BMW’s Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus had a bit of a snafu in their stint where they were pitted against the Audi team of Adrien Tambay and Timo Scheider. While the BMW team was leading the race, radio problems resulted in Farfus missing the changeover at the end of the third lap, so handing the win to the Audi pair.
This meant The Spengler/Farfus duo was out of content for the next round. BMW says Joey Hand and Dirk Werner who were now assured of progressing to the semi finals, took it easy, not taking risks and handing victory over to Mercedes AMG’s Vietoris and Paffett. Not to let BMW take the glory of winning the battle, Mercedes-Benz proudly states that the Vietoris and Paffett lead the race with 2.7 seconds!
Though both C-Coupé driver teams reached the semi-finals, regulations do not permit a single manufacturer to finish in top two spots! So the Mercedes teams had to be content with first and third best possible result.
The winners of the first three matches are also joined by the fastest losers in the semi-final which is then contested over 2 x 4 laps. In the finals, the top two teams race four times over three laps.
After twelve heats and three rounds, Schumacher and Green beat Audi’s Adrien Tambay and Timo Scheider in a thrilling final with a lead of just over two tenths of a second.
New run-off areas on the outside of the track have been provided this year to increase safety.
Catch the livestream of Sunday’s event at DTM.tv