The grand finale of the 2019 DTM season will be a star-studded affair – both on and off the racetrack. Although both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles have been sealed (going to René Rast (GER) and Audi, respectively), the sporting focus at this weekend’s (4-6 October) DTM event will centre on the duel for the teams’ championship, and the high-profile guest appearance of the Japanese SUPER GT series, spearheaded by former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button (GBR).
Button, who will be racing his Honda NSX-GT as reigning SUPER GT champion, competes alongside two-driver entries from Lexus and Nissan. But he won’t be the sole world champion present at Hockenheim: he’ll be joined by fellow grand prix title-winners Emerson Fittipaldi (BRA) and Nico Rosberg (GER), who are both visiting this weekend. Additionally, two-time World Rally champion Walter Röhrl (GER), and Hans-Joachim Stuck, the 1985 World Sportscar champion and 1990 DTM champion, will both be in action in the DTM’s busy support race programme.
Spectacular DRM cars from Porsche, Ford, BMW and Lancia
Providing spectacular support across all three days of the Hockenheim event will be more than 20 iconic race cars from the DTM’s predecessor, the Deutsche Rennsport-Meisterschaft (DRM) – the leading race series in German-speaking countries between 1972 and ’85. Hockenheim spectators can also look forward to appearances from national racing legends, including former Le Mans winner Jochen Mass (GER), and three-time DRM champion Hans Heyer (GER).
The high-speed demonstration laps of the DRM Classics will not only see numerous original cars from the 1970s and ’80s on track; some of these cars will feature their original drivers from yesteryear back behind the wheel. For instance, Stuck will drive a BMW M1, and Mass will be out in his Ford Capri 2600 from the 1972 DRM.
Several DTM champions to race in Tourenwagen Classics
Alongside the classic DRM cars, Bernd ‘Mr DTM’ Schneider – the most successful DTM driver of all time – will also be jumping back into the cockpit. The five-time champion will join the Tourenwagen Classics field, featuring cars largely drawn from 1980s’ and ’90s’ DTM, and a sprinkling of more recent machinery. Schneider will drive a 2008 Mercedes DTM car.
On top of that, DTM champions Volker Strycek (GER, 1984) and Eric van der Poele (BEL, 1987), plus Harald Grohs (GER), the winner of the first-ever DTM race, and Kris Nissen (DEN) will be racing in the Tourenwagen Classics. The cars from the Tourenwagen Classics and the DRM Classics can be viewed in the paddock across all three days of the event.
SUPER GT brings its biggest stars to guest at Hockenheim
Ahead of the DTM’s November visit to Japan for the ‘Dream Race’ at Fuji Speedway, three SUPER GT manufacturers – Honda, Nissan and Lexus – will race at Hockenheim this weekend.
The best-known of the five-driver line-up is undisputedly Jenson Button (GBR), who won the SUPER GT drivers’ title in 2018, his maiden season, partnered by team-mate Naoki Yamamoto (JPN) with his Honda NSX-GT.
Racing for Nissan: Ronnie Quintarelli (ITA), SUPER GT’s most crowned champion with four drivers’ titles to his name, and Tsugio Matsuda (JPN), who has won the championship twice, partnering Quintarelli in 2014 and ’15.
The 2017 SUPER GT champions, Nick Cassidy (NZL) and Ryō Hirakawa (JPN) will compete for Lexus.
Nissan and Lexus will each race with two drivers – one per race; Honda will race with just one driver.
Rosberg vs Abt Sportsline – the duel for the teams’ title
With guest drivers ineligible for championship points, the duel for the prestigious DTM teams’ championship will be unaffected by the presence of the SUPER GT teams.
Recent victories for René Rast and Jamie Green (GBR) have pushed Audi Sport Team Rosberg (394 points) narrowly ahead of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (362 points) pairing of Nico Müller (SUI) and Robin Frijns (NED). After a season-long battle between the two squads, the pair are separated by a mere 32 points, with 86 points remaining on the table to be scored in the final two races.
In the support programme also on track: the 500hp-strong GT sports cars from the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup. And present for the first time this year: the Formula Renault Eurocup. In this junior category with its long heritage, young talents race identical 270hp single-seaters.
Quotes – season finale Hockenheim
“Winning the teams’ championship would be a nice bonus; the icing on the cake after a very good year. That won’t be my only focus this weekend, but if we can do as well as we did at the Nürburgring recently, we should be able to make it. Racing alongside with SUPER GT is very interesting. I haven’t got a clue how fast those cars are, but it will certainly be cool!” – Jamie Green (GBR), Audi Sport Team Rosberg
“I take my hat off to DTM and SUPER GT for making these joint races happen. I’m extremely proud of being allowed to participate in such an event as a driver. All of the guest drivers are top guys: not only Jenson Button, but also the other drivers. Moreover, I am also looking forward very much to racing against other brands. In any case, the weekend will be super exciting, and hopefully the start of something big. At the start of the season, we had a good weekend at Hockenheim, so I’m confident that we can be strong again. It’s our goal that a BMW driver ends up in the top three of the championship standings, either Marco [Wittmann] or myself.” – Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW Team RMR
“I’ve had a strong season. It was a tough year in every sense, but we kept our spirits high and we’ll continue to do so. We’ll work hard towards our goal of being in contention for race wins next season, so Hockenheim is another test towards what’s coming. I’m aiming to finish my first season with the team on a high.” – Daniel Juncadella (ESP), R-Motorsport/Aston Martin
Wow fact – season finale Hockenheim
Works-entered cars from six different automobile brands, something that has never happened before in the DTM’s 35-year history. Thanks to the guest starts by Honda, Nissan and Lexus, the field in Hockenheim increases to 21 cars, the highest number of participants in the DTM since 2016.
And then, there is …
… Pietro Lombardi. The singer will be providing entertainment on the show stage in the paddock on Saturday from 17.30 hrs. Lombardi rose to fame by winning the eighth season of the casting show ‘Deutschland sucht den Superstar’ and went on to score six top ten hits, including the number 1 hit singles ‘Call my name’ and ‘Phänomenal’. Access to the paddock – and therefore to Saturday’s concert – is free for everyone with a valid grandstand ticket (subject to availability).
Tickets – season finale Hockenheim
Tickets for the race weekend at Hockenheim can be ordered from the official website DTM.com/tickets.
TV information – season finale Hockenheim
SAT.1 is broadcasting live from the Hockenheimring on Saturday and Sunday from 13.00 hrs. SPORT1 is showing the highlights of the DTM weekend on Sunday evening from 22.00 hrs. In Austria, ORF Sport + will be broadcasting live on Saturday from 13.15 hrs. ORF 1 is showing the second race live on Sunday from 13.15 hrs. In Japan, with interest for the first joint-encounter already surging, pay TV channel J-Sports will broadcast both races live in Japan. To watch Jenson Button and his SUPER GT colleagues from up-close, the three guest cars of Honda, Nissan and Lexus will be equipped with live onboard cameras at Hockenheim.
Press release DTM