DTM drivers on ice
For six of the 18 DTM drivers, the season was kicked off far earlier than with the DTM season kick-off at Hockenheim as Lucas Auer, Maro Engel, Augusto Farfus, Jamie Green, René Rast and Marco Wittmann travelled to Sweden to demonstrate their skills within the framework of the 2017 IceChallenge. The task they had to cope with in the Renudden Lake Area located not far from the Swedish city of Arvidsjaur: to defeat their opponents on ice and snow and possibly secure their first DTM win in 2017.
In brilliant sunshine that made for a perfectly idyllic winter scenery, the DTM IceChallenge proved to be a true motor-racing extravaganza. In head-to-head battles on the unfamiliar terrain, the drivers took the racy production cars of the manufacturers involved in DTM and themselves to the very limit. And although having fun represented the top priority the DTM drivers demonstrated that they are extremely ambitious alpha dogs who always want to win. In the end, getting the DTM aces off the ice proved to be nearly impossible...
Being unfaithful requested
The possibility to drive the racy production cars of the competitors represented a welcome change for the DTM pros that usually are extremely brand loyal. And the vehicles they had to race – an Audi S5 Sportback, a BMW M4 and a Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé – differed a lot: different tyres and spikes as well as four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. So the main challenge for the drivers was to adapt to the constantly changing challenges in the shortest possible times.
“I had to adapt to the rear-wheel drive as I usually am driving 4WD cars.”
“The handling of the car differs a lot from the Audi handling and therefore, I took me some time to take the car to its limit. But altogether I had so much fun,” the German.
Marco Wittmann wins the 2017 DTM IceChallenge
Meanwhile, reigning DTM Champion Marco Wittmann proved to also be unstoppable on ice and snow – and celebrated his first win in 2017.
“What a great start into the new season,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind if the season continued like that.”
The action on the solid frozen lake was dominated by the colours white and blue. In the finals, Wittmann defeated DTM repat Mario Engel. Both had to complete five laps each in the three racy production cars of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-AMG, with Wittmann winning the event as early as after the second five-lap round.
The 2017 DTM IceChallenge 2017 was held in the Renudden Lake Area, not far from the Swedish city of Arvidsjaur in the province Norrbottens län.
“The Audi in round one was virgin soil for both of us,” he said. “Afterwards I was ice cold and made maximum use of the advantage to know the M4 like the back of my hand.” And with a twinkle of his eye he added: “With this win under my belt I’ll start into the DTM season with boosted confidence. The break was long, the first tests already are over and I just can’t wait for the season to finally begin at Hockenheim.”
The defeated congratulates
Engel shrugged his defeat off: “I congratulate Marco! Driving with spikes on ice was big fun – like celebrating your birthday and Xmas on the same day.”
“Now, with the event being over, I look forward to going to a sauna, tonight. After all, it was damned cold despite the fantastic weather.”
The clearly best time over a five-lap round was set by Augusto Farfus in the BMW M4 who was eliminated in the semi finals.