Apart from the Nürburgring, the Hockenheimring is the most tradition-rich German racetrack and staged its first events back in 1932. Since the DTM debut season, back in 1984, Hockenheim has been a constant on the DTM calendar, with the 1985 season representing the only exception. Since 1995, every DTM season has been kicked-off in Baden-Württemberg. This is the event that demonstrates how well the manufacturers and teams prepared for the forthcoming season and which drivers have got what it takes to become a factor in the battle for the title. Since the revival of the series in 2000, the Mercedes camp dominated the season kick-off more often than any other manufacturer. 12 of the total of 22 races were won by the brand with the star. The latest season kick-off win for the Stuttgarters was secured last year by Lucas Auer.
The DTM carries out two races on all race weekends. The distance is always 55 minutes plus one lap.
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|Opened||29. Mai 1932|
|Track length||4,574 km|
|DTM-Lap record||1:32,456 Min. (15. Oktober 2017)|
|Driven by||Jamie Green (Audi)|
|Most victories||Bernd Schneider (8)|
|The best brand||Mercedes (22)|
At Hockenheim, it all began back in 1932 with a triangular 12-kilometre circuit that was opened on 29th May with a motorbike race. A moment some 60,000 spectators wanted to witness on site. But the track layout of the pre-war circuit had absolutely nothing to do with today's Nürburgring. After the destruction in World War II, the circuit was rebuilt at maximum speed. Just two years after the end of the war, on 11th May 1947, Hockenheim staged the first road race on a permanent racetrack after the war on German soil, with the event attracting 200,000 visitors. And the race held one year later even was attended by massive 320,000 spectators.
Attendance figures today's motorsport organisers only can dream about. Nonetheless, the latest version of the Hockenheimring with its stadium section still makes for a very special atmosphere. And the DTM drivers appreciated racing at Hockenheim since 1984. In the Hockenheim debut race, BMW driver Harald Grohs was the first to cross the finish line - but was disqualified after the race. Up to 2002, the DTM drivers raced on a virtually unmodified Hockenheimring. In 1992 Ellen Lohr made motor-racing history: with her Mercedes-Benz she took the chequered flag of the 38-lap race as winner and remained the only woman to have won a DTM race until today.
Since the starting signal for 'New DTM' was given in 2000, Hockenheim is the venue of both the season kick-off and season finale - with the year 2000 when the season finale was held in Shanghai representing the only exception. In 2002, the facility was subjected to the last modification to date, resulting in a massively shorter track layout.
Irrespective of the different versions: since 1988, the final decisions in the battle for the DTM titles were contested nearly always at Hockenheim. Therefore, thrilling races and dramatic events are virtually guaranteed. In 2012, for instance, Gary Paffett, Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green all travelled to Hockenheim as potential champions, with Spengler prevailing in the end. In 2017, the season finale also proved to be a thrilling final in the fight for the title. This time, René Rast left Hockenheim with the DTTM trophy in his hands. A motor-racing fairy tale. In the end, the new champion had just three points more on his tally than his fellow Audi driver Ekström. The most successful DTM was and still is Bernd Schneider who made it to the Hockenheim top step 13 times.
... Hockenheim staged the season finale in nearly every year since 1988. The only exception was the 2010 season of 'New DTM' when another two rounds were held after the Hockenheim meeting. In 1991, the season also featured two rounds after the Hockenheim weekend but in these races, the drivers only could score points for the ITR-Gold-Cup. And in the 1996 ITC season, the calendar also comprised to race meetings after the Hockenheim round.
...nearly all the races after the 2003 season finale have been held at Hockenheim's 4.574-kilometre layout. Prior to the circuit modification, the season kick-off was held on the short 2.638-kilometre version and the finale on the old 6.823-kilometre GP circuit. In autumn 2010, DTM raced on a shortened 3,736-kilometre version but since 2011, DTM is back on the 4.574-kilometre track.
.. the current Hockenheim lap record was established in the 2017 season finale by Jamie Green. In his Audi, the Briton crossed the line of the circuit in 1:32.456 minutes, thus tying the record established by BMW's Martin Tomczyk in the 2014 season kick-off. By the way: in the 2017 Hockenheim tests, Timo Glock was the quickest with a lap time of 1:30.201 minutes.
... Bernd Schneider, the man who contested his last DTM race in the 2008 season finale still is the most successful driver in Hockenheim's DTM history. The German secured 13 of his 43 DTM and ITC wins at Hockenheim, set four fastest qualifying laps and 13 fastest race laps.
... Mercedes-Benz that Mercedes secured clearly more Hockenheim wins in 'New DTM' than any other manufacturer. 22 of the 42 races held at Hockenheim since 2000 were won by the Stuttgarters. In the latest 15 races, however, Mercedes could add just two more wins to their tally: Di Resta won the 2016 season opener and Lucas Auer the Saturday round of the 2017 season kick-off. In this period of time, Audi celebrated 15 race wins and BMW five.
Plan my event
Food and drinks The Bratwurst at Hockenheim is particularly tasty.
On the town: Hockenheim is located in the north-west of Baden-Württemberg, some 15 kilometres to the south of Heidelberg and has got some 21,000 citizens.
Grandstand lead: Grandstand 'Süd - Oberrang': perfect view from beginning of the stadium section to the end of the home straight. Be fast, always sold out early.
Excursion leads: Right at the circuit, the spectator can visit the Motor-Sport-Museum at the Hockenheimring. 300 exhibits from all the motor-sport eras are exposed on an exhibition space of more than 2,200 metres.
To be tasted at all costs: The regional specialties comprise - inter alia - lentils with Spätzle (traditional Swabian Pasta), Schupfnudeln (another traditional, thick kind of pasta, made of potatoes, flour and eggs) and Maultaschen (traditional stuffed pasta) that either are scalded or roasted with onions and egg.