Just like the Nürburgring, Hockenheim is one of Germany’s really tradition-rich motor-racing venues. The first motor-sport events held there took place in 1932. Since the birth of DTM, in 1984, Hockenheim was a part of every DTM calendar – apart from 1985 – and consequently represents an integral part of the series. Today, Hockenheim traditionally stages the DTM season finale. When the fireworks are ignited at the moment when the race winner crosses the finish line, the last points of the year for the different rankings have been scored. Since the revival of the series in 2000, the Mercedes-Benz-drivers more often than not dominated the season finale, with 10 of the 18 races contested on season-finale weekends having been won by drivers representing the colours of the Stuttgarters. Nonetheless, the last Mercedes-Benz win so far dates back to 2011. Since then, BMW or Audi got the upper hand.
The long straights across the woods that once were one of the circuit’s main characteristics from the 1960s are history since 2002. Nonetheless, the Hockenheimring with its fascinating mix of slow and extremely fast sections still has got what it takes to make for spectacular races. In the long Parabolica, for instance, the DTM drivers accelerate their touring cars to 270kph. While perfect cornering skills are a must from Sachskurve to Südkurve. In the 2014 season kick-off, Martin Tomczyk was the quickest by crossing the line of the 4.574-kilometre circuit with his BMW in 1:32.532 minutes, thus establishing the current lap record.
An achievement he was celebrated for in the unique stadium section. With its huge grandstands, surrounding about a quarter of the track, the stadium makes for a fantastic atmosphere for both drivers and spectators. Since the last modernisation measures in 2002, the Hockenheimring offers space for about 120,000 spectators.