Mercedes-Benz will bid farewell to the DTM at the Hockenheimring this weekend looking to secure the outright drivers’ title, marking the end of its 30-year involvement in the German series.
Mercedes has been a mainstay in the touring car series but announced last year that it would withdraw from touring car racing at the end of 2018 in a shift for its motorsport strategy.
The Stuttgart marque is preparing for a Formula E entry in 2020, and with its Formula One team still dominating the sport, its DTM programme ended up being cut.
Despite the impending pull out, Mercedes has dominated the DTM this year, taking nine of the 18 available race wins to-date.
It also leads the way in the overall drivers’ championship battle, with Paul di Resta heading fellow Brit Gary Paffett by just four points, whilst Audi’s René Rast is a further 26 points adrift.
As such, Mercedes’ Head of AMG Motorsport, Ulrich Fritz, is hoping that the three-pointed star can exit by taking the only other title which it has yet to claim this year, having already wrapped up the manufacturers’ and teams’ titles at the last round in Austria.
“It’s amazing how fast the last few months have gone by, and suddenly here we are, facing our last DTM race weekend,” said Fritz.
“At Hockenheim we have the chance to conclude this magnificent chapter in our motor racing history by scooping all three titles. We already wrapped up the manufacturers’ and team championships at Spielberg.
“However, René Rast has become a real threat to Gary and Paul in the last few races, so that we can expect a battle royal for the drivers’ title at Hockenheim.
“Having seen how focused our team have been in their preparations for the final race, I am firmly convinced that we can also bring home the third title.”
In 30 years in the DTM, Mercedes has taken a total of 190 race wins and ten drivers’ titles – with only five drivers having ever lifted those titles. Both Di Resta and Paffett are previous DTM champions (2010 and 2005 respectively) and are both in the running to secure a second crown this weekend.