Just under 12 months on from the Lausitzring hosting the initial “Motorsport Festival,” the second round of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters hits East Germany, with all 18 drivers and three car brands set for battle in Brandenburg.
This time around sees another of the Mercedes contingent lead the standings after the customary Hockenheim opener, with Team BWT’s Lucas Auer on 40 points, ahead of Jamie Green and Gary Paffett, who are both equal on points, 14 behind the 22-year-old.
Auer became the first Austrian to win in the series’ history last year, with now sportscar racer Miguel Molina taking his penultimate victory amidst high emotions. The race weekend was also one of the hottest of the season, hitting 35 degrees on the Sunday.
Timo Glock takes the mantle the leading BMW driver in the standings for this weekend in fourth place, a solitary point behind the British pair in front, with defending champion Marco Wittmann currently sixth.
Wittmann was the strongest of the Munich contingent, having taken fourth and sixth last year, when the M4 DTM under the previous regulations appeared to struggle at certain tracks against both Audi and Mercedes.
Paffett is the longest-serving current driver in the Stuttgart fold, taking his 150th start this weekend, whilst Robert Wickens will be aiming for better results after a difficult season opener, as will Edoardo Mortara and Paul Di Resta, who are looking to move into the top five in the standings.
Di Resta was leading at this point last year, whilst Wickens left the Brandenburg-based circuit as the championship leader after an action-packed affair.
René Rast is also one to watch, having taken sixth on his first race of the year, having stepped in at Zandvoort and Hockenheim last season, giving Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass a very good reason to put him in the squad for this season.
Nico Müller and Mike Rockenfeller have started their respective campaigns well, but Jamie Green is another veteran who could have something to say, having taken a clean sweep in both races back in 2015.
The new regulations are still testing all concerned, especially with the new Indy-style restarts. But with a two-week break having taken place between now and the season opener, all will be ready to make the best of it in Lausitz.
DTM Lausitzring Schedule (All times CEST (BST + 1)
Friday 19th May
1700 – Free Practice 1 (30 minutes)
Saturday 20th May
0840 – Free Practice 2 (30 minutes)
1015 – Race 1 Qualifying (20 minutes)
1448 – Race 1 (55 minutes plus 1 lap)
Sunday 21st May
0900 – Free Practice 3 (30 minutes)
1130 – Race 2 Qualifying (20 minutes)
1518 – Race 2 (55 minutes plus 1 lap)