It’s round five of the DTM this weekend as the teams head to Nuremberg for the street race. They call it the ‘Norisring’ as to call it the Nürnberg (the town’s German name) Ring might lead to a little confusion. Not that this weekend’s track — a short, insanely fast loop with a monster hairpin — is anything like the other Ring. This one is more like Monaco and great for spectators and TV alike — you can see it all on the DTM’s YouTube channel.
Audi’s new boy, Brit Jamie Green, tempted away from Mercedes this year with a co-contract to drive the R18 E-tron at Le Mans, is something of a whizz on the little circuit, notching up no less than four wins here behind a three pointed star.
And Audi and the RS5 are themselves on something of a roll, taking the fight back to BMW which wrapped up all three titles (driver’s, team’s and manufacturer’s last year), Le Mans hero Mike ‘Rocky’ Rockenfeller wining at Brands Hatch back in May and tied for in the lead of the Championship with defending champ Bruno Spengler. Brazilian Augusto Farfus took the first win at Hockenheim for BMW and Gary Paffett, McLaren test and development driver, won last time out at Lausitz in the in AMG C-coupe. Spengler meanwhile has just had the one win, at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in the M3.
This weekend included, there are six races still to go, including in August a first visit to Russia and a street race in Moscow. Next year the DTM silhouette formula starts a bid for world domination with first a joint-regulations agreement with Japan’s SuperGT formula and then in 2015 a agreement to run a North American DTM, which should have NASCAR’s fans confused. Like NASCAR racers, DTM cars are silhouette racers with ‘stock’ V8s, though there the parallel stops — the Good Ol’ Boys have only just moved to fuel injection.
We like DTM here at Top Gear, the cars — eight M3s, six AMGs and eight RS5s — are probably the best looking racing cars out there now that, just as in F1, the worst excesses of DTM’s own aero-era have been outlawed. Rear wings that wouldn’t look out of place on a Pikes Peak cars, and wheelarch extensions that just about double the width of the car will do nicely thank you. Then there’s the drivers. David Coulthard might have hung up his Nomex, but Timo Glock is in there to prove that DTM is where F1 drivers still go if they have yet to get it out of their system.
If you’re not at the Festival of Speed this weekend, hop on over to YouTube at take a look at the Norisring. One lap is not much longer that the drive at Goodwood and these guys aren’t time-trialing — they’re racing…