2018 DTM season preview: more races, more excitement
The 2018 DTM season will kick-off this weekend at Hockenheimring, the place which is traditionally hosting the season-opening events of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters since the resumption of the series eighteen years ago.
Ten race meetings with twenty races
Hockenheim will also host the season-closing event in October. Between those two Hockenheim’s race meetings, there would be eight more gatherings at famous race tracks in Germany and five other European countries (Hungary, Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Austria). Ten race meetings are one more than in 2017, what means more excitement and more pleasure for race fans.
The races in GB and Italy are scheduled to return to DTM calendar for the first time since 2013 and 2010 respectively. Brands Hatch hosted DTM cars for the last time back in 2013 on its Indy Circuit. This year, the race will take part in Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit. In Italy, DTM earlier raced at Adria International Raceway. This year, Misano’s World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is included in the calendar and it would host the first-ever night races in DTM history. The Moscow Raceway is out of calendar compared to 2017.
2018 DTM calendar
|August 11-12||Brands Hatch|
|September 21-23||Red Bull Ring|
Eight DTM champions on the grid
Not only the number of races has been increased, there will be also more cars on the grid compared to the last year. Well, at least in one round. The two-time champion Mattias Ekström will visit Hockenheim’s season-opening round as a part of his farewell tour after he withdrew from DTM to focus on rallycross.
His one-off appearance in the #5 Audi RS5 DTM at Hockenheim will increase the number of DTM champions on the grid to eight. The other seven, who will race a full season, are Gary Paffett (2005), Paul Di Resta (2010), Bruno Spengler (2012), Mike Rockenfeller (2013), Marco Wittmann (2014, 2016), Pascal Wehrlein (2015) and reigning champion Rene Rast.
Three rookies with impressive CVs
The rest of the field is also impressive because even the rookies have CVs full of victories and championship titles. An award-winning GT racer Robin Frijns will make his DTM debut as Ekström’s replacement in an Audi. BMW added two rookies Philipp Eng and Joel Eriksson to its line-up. Mercedes will have two returnees – the 2015 champion Pascal Wehrlein and Dani Juncadella. The 18th driver on the grid is Loic Duval, who has an impressive record in sports car races but still has to prove himself in the DTM.
2018 DTM entry list
|Mercedes-Benz||Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM||HWA Team||2||Gary Paffett|
|3||Paul di Resta|
|Audi||Audi RS5 DTM||Team Abt Sportsline||4||Robin Frijns|
|Team Rosberg||33||Rene Rast|
|Team Phoenix||28||Loic Duval|
|BMW||BMW M4 DTM||Team RBM||7||Bruno Spengler|
|Team RMG||11||Marco Wittmann|