The battles for the drivers’, team and manufacturers’ titles in the DTM will all be decided at the Hockenheimring (DE) this weekend. Races 17 and 18 on the 4.574-kilometre track mark the grand finale of a thrilling and turbulent 2016 season.
Marco Wittmann (DE) heads into the final races as the front-runner of the drivers, with 176 points. His advantage over the two Audi drivers Edoardo Mortara (IT) and Jamie Green (GB) is 14 and 39 points. Fifty points are up for grabs in Hockenheim, so one of these three drivers will be the 2016 DTM Champion. In the team standings, BMW Team RMG is in second place, as is BMW in the manufacturers’ standings.
BMW has celebrated 14 DTM victories at the Hockenheimring to date. Wittmann was last on the list of winners at the BMW M4 DTM’s debut at the start of the 2014 season. At the first race weekend of the 2016 season, Augusto Farfus (BR) and Maxime Martin (BE) finished on the podium in second and third in Sunday’s race.
Martin Tomczyk (DE) and António Félix da Costa (PT) will end their DTM careers in Hockenheim. Both drivers bid farewell to their long-time companions in the paddock and the media representatives during a get-together in the BMW Hospitality on Friday.
Félix da Costa has already started the first chapter of his new main task as a racing driver: Last weekend he contested the Hong Kong ePrix for MS Amlin Andretti at the start of the FIA Formula E Championship season. The team is supported by BMW. After 45 laps, the man from Portugal crossed the finish line in fifth place.
Quotes ahead of the ninth race weekend of 2016 in Hockenheim.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director):
“The situation going into the season finale in Hockenheim couldn’t be any more thrilling. I’m already very proud of what we have achieved this year with a great deal of team spirit and consistency. We lead the drivers’ standings with Marco Wittmann. After we decided, in the best interests of the sport, not to take his exclusion in Hungary to the court of appeal, we will do everything we can to make sure Marco brings home his advantage and claims the title for the second time. Considering his performances this season, he would deserve the title without any doubt. It is not going to be easy, but the opportunity is there – and we want to take it. In the manufacturers’ and team standings we are in second place and ready to pounce. Let’s see what the races in Hockenheim bring. The 2016 DTM is characterised by the equality of all the individual packages that we haven’t seen often, and I’m sure that the finale will also provide plenty of drama. Martin Tomczyk and António Félix da Costa bid farewell to the DTM this weekend. I hope they both end their DTM chapters with good results.”
Stefan Reinhold (Team Principal, BMW Team RMG):
“Naturally there is a lot of tension going into these crucial two races of the DTM season. Our team has done an outstanding job throughout the year, which is why we are still in with a chance of winning the drivers’ and team championships at the season finale. We are perfectly prepared and now also want to enjoy the weekend. We need to get everything possible out of the car on the track, and to finally get the reward for our good performances.”
Ernest Knoors (Team Principal, BMW Team MTEK):
“A DTM season of highs and lows for us draws to a close in Hockenheim. We had a few highlights, but we weren’t able to exploit our full potential consistently enough throughout the course of the season. Augusto Farfus was on the podium at the season opener in Hockenheim. It would be nice for the whole team if we ended the year with a similarly good result.”
Bart Mampaey (Team Principal, BMW Team RBM):
“Going into the finale in Hockenheim we can already look back on a positive DTM season for our team. Our drivers have been on the podium six times, and we are in third place in the team standings two races before the end. That shows just how well and consistently we have worked this year. Now the focus is on picking up as many points as possible for BMW once again in the battle for the title.”
Charly Lamm (Team Principal, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“It is the last DTM weekend for each of our drivers Martin Tomczyk and António Félix da Costa. The strong race that they both had in Budapest on the Sunday gave us all renewed motivation for the final sprint at the end of the season. Now we want to bid farewell to our two drivers with good results.”
Marco Wittmann (car number 11, BMW Team RMG):
“It feels good heading to the final two races of the season at Hockenheim and still being in with a chance of winning the title. That shows we have done a good job throughout the year. Now we need to approach the season finale with a cool head and try to keep out of any scuffles. It won’t be that easy since the races in Hockenheim are usually action-packed.”
Timo Glock (car number 16, BMW Team RMG):
“It’s hard to believe that the final DTM weekend of 2016 is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to Hockenheim, a track that we know very well. The atmosphere there is extraordinary. I hope that we will be able to deliver another top performance and that it will be a successful weekend for BMW Motorsport. We want to put on another great show for the fans.”
Bruno Spengler (car number 7, BMW Team MTEK):
“Hockenheim is another highlight of the DTM season at the end. The ambiance is always very special at the final race weekend of the season, and the large number of fans provides a fantastic atmosphere. And then there is the track, with its long straights that are good for overtaking. No doubt there will be an exciting end to the season.”
Augusto Farfus (car number 18, BMW Team MTEK):
“I really like the track in Hockenheim. I have already won there in the DTM and have been on the podium a few times – including at the 2016 season opener. Unfortunately, I went on to have a difficult season. Which would make it all the more rewarding for the team and me to get another highlight.”
Tom Blomqvist (car number 31, BMW Team RBM):
“I’m really looking forward to the final race weekend, even though it is a shame that it means the season is over already. I’m looking forward to the track because it is so much fun. It’s impossible to predict how the season will end. The start in Hockenheim was quite difficult for us, but then we developed well. Now I’m excited to see how this weekend goes.”
Maxime Martin (car number 36, BMW Team RBM):
“In the DTM you never know exactly where you are when you come to a race weekend. But we have mostly performed well in Hockenheim and won a few titles at the finale. Our rivals made a good impression in the recent races, but we will do everything we can to keep up with them in the battle for the title.”
António Félix da Costa (car number 13, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“It is definitely not going to be a normal DTM weekend. It is the season finale, and that is always something special. But it’s going to be extremely emotional for me this time since these are my final two DTM races. Then I am bidding farewell to BMW Team Schnitzer. Our goal is to pick up as many points as possible in the battle for the title. I’m definitely looking forward to it and will try to really enjoy it one more time.”
Martin Tomczyk (car number 100, BMW Team Schnitzer):
“It will be a very special weekend for me. It will be the final DTM races of my career and I want to enjoy them as much as possible. Naturally, the main goal is to win the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles for BMW and Marco. We all need to pull together for that. It’s not going to be easy, but I hope that we will achieve it together and that I can play my part.”