If last weekend’s long-awaited DTM season-opener run under new regulations proved anything, it’s that overtaking is finally back in Germany’s top touring car series.
After being treated to close competition between Mercedes, Audi and series returnee BMW, there’s plenty of reasons to expect more wheel-to-wheel action at this weekend’s venue for the second championship round, the EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
As always, RichardsF1.com will be reporting all of the action and gossip from the Speedway. Let’s take a look at our mega race preview…
|2012 DTM CHAMPIONSHIP RACE OF LAUSITZRING
|Date:||5-6 May 2012|
|Race Lap Record:||1:18.938, Paul di Resta (Mercedes Benz) – 2008|
|Event Schedule:||Free Practice Session 1||Fri 13:20-15:00|
|Free Practice Session 2||Sat 09:15-10:55|
|Qualifying Session||Sat 13:40-14:50|
|Sunday Warm-Up||Sun 10:20-10:50|
|Race (52 laps, 181km)||Sun 14:00-15:15|
|Past Five Winners:||Martin Tomczyk (Audi)||2011|
|Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz)||2010|
|Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz)||2009|
|Paul di Resta (Mercedes-Benz)||2008|
|Mika Hakkinen (Mercedes-Benz)||2007|
The road course version of the famous tri-oval circuit will play host to a 52-lap race on Sunday afternoon. Visibility from the grandstands framing the speedway circuit give fans great views of the road course version of the track as well, and one would expect local and international fans to flock to the venue as usual.
Originally having a reputation as being quite a difficult circuit on which to overtake, passing opportunities have been on the improve since Turn 1 was re-profiled. A tight and slow left-right chicane, it’s commonplace for there to be an accident on the opening lap of the race as the cars funnel into it. The back straight provides another passing opportunity into a tight left-hand hairpin.
Rewind to 2011
Last year’s event occurred as a mid-season race for the 2011 DTM championship, and it saw eventual champion Martin Tomczyk really start to mount his tilt for the title when he claimed victory.
His win came by virtue of on-track aggression and some fast pit-work by his Phoenix Racing crew. He passed second-placed Jamie Green with a neat move on the third lap, and then set about closing down the gap to leader Bruno Spengler.
When Spengler peeled his Mercedes into the pits for the first of his two compulsory pit stops, Tomczyk stayed out two laps longer, punching out two fast lap-times before he pitted, and leaving the rest to his mechanics to get him out ahead of the Canadian.
Second place went to fellow Audi runner Timo Scheider, who ran a long opening stint before his late pit stop helped vault him into second place, having started the race in seventh.
You can relive the entire race right here:
Facts, Stats & Predictions
While Audi may have won here a year ago, Mercedes has the better form at the Lausitzring, having claimed victory here in four of the previous five years.
While Audi has shown strong qualifying pace at Hockenheim, its race pace doesn’t quite seem on-par with Mercedes, as was evidenced by the rate at which third-placed driver Mattias Ekström fell away from the leading Mercedes duo last weekend.
Despite only getting one car into the points on its return race, BMW will be both pleased with that result, while also looking forward to delivering an even more competitive performance this weekend.
This should hopefully be another exciting instalment of DTM action. As always, make sure you visit RichardsF1.com for all of the latest news and analysis from EuroSpeedway Lausitz!