Same cars, same faces and new excitement for the 2016 DTM season
After a long break, new DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) season kicks-off this weekend at Hockenheim. Three manufacturers, Audi, BMW and Mercedes, 10 teams and 24 drivers are ready to enter into the battle for the championship crowns in three categories.
Who will be Wehrlein’s successor?
What is already known is that we will get a new Drivers’ championship winner after Pascal Wehrlein, the 2015 champion, lest the competition to become Manor F1 team driver. In the Manufacturers’ championship, BMW will try to defend its crown while Mercedes Benz’s HWA AG team will be the one to catch in the Teams’ championship.
Change in the performance weight regulations
Race format remains unchanged, with two races per weekend Saturday’s race lasts 40 minutes and the drivers don’t have an obligatory pit -stop. The duration of the Sunday race is 60 minutes and every driver must come in for an obligatory stop during which he must change all four tyres.
The performance-weight regulations, used from 2014, are fundamentally changed for the 2016 season. The performance weights will be determined in the qualifying session before each race instead of being based on the results from previous races what should make competitiveness more fair.
Esteban Ocon is the only newcomer
The drivers line-up left almost unchanged. Pascal Wehrlein is the only driver who left the series and is replaced with GP2 Series champion, Esteban Ocon. There was a couple of drivers changes between the teams, but all the manufacturers are relying on proven and well-experienced forces.
Double-champions Mattias Ekstrom, a man with most podiums in the history of DTM, and Timo Scheider will push for the third crown whila Paul di Resta, Gary Paffett, who holds a record of most wins in one season (5), Bruno Spengler, Martin Tomczyk, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Wittmann will be running for their second title.
Mercedes holds many DTM records
Mercedes is dominant manufacturer so far with 13 titles, BMW has nine and Audi four. The Stuttgarters also have most wins in the series (176) and fastest laps (174), but for 2016 they can’t be considered as a favorites. Audi is fired-up to win as many trophies as it is possible after narrowly missing some silverware last year. The Ingolstadters looked pretty well in pre-season while Bavarians still have some things to improve.
Just like in 2015, Hockenheim will host opening and final round of the season. Here is the full 2016 DTM calendar:
7/8 May – Hockenheim
21/22 May – Red Bull Ring
4/5 June – Lausitzring
25/26 June – Norisring
16/17 July – Zandvoort
20/21 August – Moscow
10/11 September – Nurburgring
24/25 September – Hungaroring
15/16 October – Hockenheim
Teams & Drivers for the 2016 DTM Season
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (Audi RS5 DTM)
#5 Mattias Ekstrom (Sweden)
#17 Miguel Molina (Spain)
#48 Edoardo Mortara (Italy)
#51 Nico Muller (Switzerland)
Audi Sport Team Phoenix (Audi RS5 DTM)
#10 Timo Scheider (Germany)
#99 Mike Rockenfeller (Germany)
Audi Sport Team Rosberg (Audi RS5 DTM)
#27 Adrien Tambay (France)
#53 Jamie Green (United Kingdom)
BMW Team RBM (BMW M4 DTM)
#31 Tom Blomqvist (United Kingdom)
#36 Maxime Martin (Belgium)
BMW Team RMG (BMW M4 DTM)
#11 Marco Wittmann (Germany)
#16 Timo Glock (Germany)
BMW Team MTEK (BMW M4 DTM)
#7 Bruno Spengler (Canada)
#18 Augusto Farfus (Brazil)
BMW Team Schnitzer (BMW M4 DTM)
#13 Antonio Felix da Costa (Portugal)
#100 Martin Tomczyk (Germany)
Mercedes-AMG DTM Team ART (Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM)
#2 Gary Paffett (United Kingdom)
#34 Esteban Ocon (France)
Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA (Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM)
#3 Paul di Resta (United Kingdom)
#6 Robert Wickens (Canada)
#12 Daniel Juncadella (Spain)
#84 Maximilian Gotz (Germany)
Mercedes-AMG DTM Team Mucke (Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM)
#8 Christian Vietoris (Germany)
#22 Lucas Auer (Austria)