|The Deutschen Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) embarks on Round 2 at the Brands Hatch, United Kingdom this weekend, 18 – 19 May. The DTM Brands Hatch is the first of four trips abroad for the German Touring Cars series this season.|
DTM visits the Brands Hatch Circuit, the shortest on the calendar at just 1.929 kilometers with top speed reaching 225 km/h, for the eighth time. The three DTM teams and 22 cars will circulate 98 laps of the Brands Hatch.
At the season-opener two weeks ago, Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner secured a 1 – 2 finish to mark a dream start to the season for BMW. The Munich-based squads hope to repeat the early season win streak with their eight drivers at the British track. Farfus has previously won at Brands in a BMW 320 while racing in the WTCC. The Brazilian hopes to add one DTM win at Brands Hatch to his total victory tally.
Last year, reigning DTM Champion Bruno Spengler stepped onto the podium as runner-up, while former DTM champ Martin Tomczyk finished fourth and also captured the fastest lap of the race – 42.138 seconds.
Brands Hatch is home race to several key DTM runners; BMW’s Andy Priaulx, Mercedes’ Gary Paffett and Audi’s Jamie Green. For Priaulx, the triple WTCC champ wants to bounce from an early race retirement he suffered at the season opening race. The BMW Team RMG driver is looking forward to going back on the attack in front of his home fans. Priaulx has won here in 2007 and 2010, racing a BMW 320 in the WTCC.
Following the DTM Brands Hatch, Farfus and Tomczyk will move on to the 24-hour Nurburgring where they’ll switch to racing in a BMW Z4 GT3.
Gary Paffett has much to prove on his tenth year in the DTM at his home event this weekend. He completely conquered last season’s DTM Brands Hatch. “My home win last year at Brands Hatch was one of the most wonderful victories in my DTM career. Winning the race in front of the home fans and many of my friends was a fantastic feeling. My McLaren team mate Jenson Button presented me with the trophy last year – so maybe it’s a good omen that my lucky charm Jenson is our guest again at Brands Hatch this weekend,” Paffett said.
This season, Paffett is backed by Mercedes DTM Young Guns Roberto Merhi, Pascal Wehrlein, Daniel Juncadella and Robert Wickens. The Briton is hoping that fortunes favor the Three-point Star squads at Brands, he explained the track, “The characteristics of the track are very different as compared to the season-opener at Hockenheim, and I wonder how the new option tyres will shape up under these circumstances and how they will affect the course of the race.”
Audi DTM squads are hoping for a rejuvenation at the British track after a horrid showing at the season opening race. It’s not all gloom as on three previous occasions Audi drivers, including the two double champions, Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider, entered their names on the winners’ list at Brands. Most recently, Tomczyk, on his way toward the title win in the 2011 season, was successful at this track. Last season, Mike Rockenfeller started the race from grid position four and finished in third place.
Since Oliver Jarvis raced in 2011, Audi is competing again with a Briton in the DTM this year. Jamie Green is tasked to perform well for the Ingolstadt-based team at Brands.
Scheider, who claimed pole at Hockenheim, set an initial exclamation mark for the four-ring brand. But, luck wouldn’t favor Audi as the drivers clearly stayed below their consistent levels in the race with position six as the best result and only one more position in the points.
On a more positive note, Miguel Molina’s no. 20 Audi RS 5 takes up the Audi Cup livery at the DTM Brands Hatch. The Audi Cup is a football event to be held in Munich on 31 July – 1 August. At Audi’s invitation, FC Bayern München, Manchester City, AC Milan and the top Brazilian club FC São Paulo are meeting at the Allianz Arena for a brief tournament.