For Audi, the season finale next weekend (October 17 to 19) at Hockenheim will be more than an ‘exhibition event’ before the winter break. Together, the eight Audi drivers are set on showing a strong team performance and bringing the title of the best manufacturer home to Ingolstadt. The race starts on Sunday at 14.00 (live on ARD). Before the race, the fans will be treated to a premiere, as Audi will be taking the world’s sportiest piloted driving car to the starting line.
21 is the magic number before the DTM season finale at Hockenheim to which Audi will be traveling as the hunter. These points must be recovered to capture the title of the best manufacturer in the DTM from BMW. The squad will also be assisted in this effort by the tailwind gained in the weekend before last at Zandvoort where Mike Rockenfeller on setting the fastest qualifying time and Mattias Ekström on clinching victory in the race again demonstrated the potential of the Audi RS 5 DTM. Audi had started the season from the top spot of the grid at the Hockenheim opening race in May and was represented on the podium with two drivers.
The new DTM will be holding its 32nd race at Hockenheim next weekend. The 4.574-kilometer track a little less than an hour’s drive south of Frankfurt has traditionally been on the calendar as the venue for the opener and finale of each season. The Motodrom with its large grandstands located directly alongside the track creates a stadium-like character and the resulting unique atmosphere. The current stage of advance ticket sales shows that the drivers can again look forward to an impressive finale with a large turnout of fans.
In a sporting sense, the tradition-steeped track with approximately 65 percent of full-throttle driving poses an exciting challenge. The long ‘Parabolika’ is one of the fastest sectors on the entire calendar on which the drivers reach a speed of up to 260 km/h. The subsequent hairpin turn offers an ideal overtaking opportunity and is also optimally suited for using the Drag Reduction System (DRS) that allows the drivers to flatten the rear wing angle by pushing a button on the steering wheel. In addition, there are some fast and semi-fast corners, plus the narrow ‘Motodrom’ in front of the start-finish straight – a technically demanding mix for which the engineers have to work out the perfect setup.
Hockenheim suits the Audi drivers well. Mattias Ekström, Jamie Green and Timo Scheider have won several races here. Since the DTM’s comeback in 2000, the current Audi drivers have mounted the very top of the podium an amazing five times, started from the pole position 13 times and clinched a total of 26 podium places. Heading the list is the two-time Champion Ekström who has won ten trophies at Hockenheim alone.
Before the race, Audi will be taking the world’s sportiest piloted driving car to the starting line. The driverless Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept* laps the circuit almost as fast as it would with a race driver at the wheel. The tests give reason to expect a lap time of a little more than two minutes. With this demonstration Audi will be showing the great potential of piloted driving which the premium manufacturer has in store for the future.