The first clash between Audi BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the 2016 DTM season is over. At the end of the long offseason, the only official tests offered the three manufacturers engaged in DTM the first opportunity to arm themselves, this year. After four intense days of testing, one thing goes without saying for the start of the season which will take place at the same location from 06 to 08 May: detecting a favorite is practically impossible. A fact that even increases the excitement and enjoyable anticipation for fans and drivers alike.
The 2016 DTM grid impresses once again with its remarkable quality: eight former DTM champions, many confirmed drivers and one rookie really want to go for it this year. “50 percent of the peloton should be considered serious contenders for the title and anyone can win races,” said two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström (2004 and 2007). And the 2015 statistics confirm this statement: 13 winners in 18 races and more often than not, the gap between the poleman and 24th position on the grid was less than a second. “The race here is always close and exciting,” said former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock. “It’s a completely different kind of race from F1 where two or three drivers outclass the rest of the field.”
When the starting lights are extinguished on May 07 for the opening of the DTM season, the race will be tighter than in any other series in the world. To further underline this peculiarity and further highlight the skills of the pilots, the regulations have been further refined: in the future, the allocation of performance weights will be determined during the qualifying session and already used during the the following race while the number of DRS activations were limited. Managers and drivers alike agree: “We want a series where the driver alone is the crucial factor in the battle for race victory,” says Ulrich Fritz, head of the Mercedes-Benz DTM project, expressing the unanimous opinion of the whole paddock. “Everyone is supposed to start the race with almost the same technical level. “
But above all, the DTM continues to focus on continuity, without any regulatory change. The nine race weekends in Germany and abroad will again feature two races and two qualifying sessions. From traditional to the latest, from tight and twisty to blazingly fast, the 2016 calendar has it all. And no matter where the DTM is running, attending the event to witness the live DTM action is always worth a visit. Especially since the crowds will also be entertained by a first-rate accompaniment program. When the season kicks off in Hockenheim, for example, the support program even offers a round of the Word Rallycross championship.