Just like the Nürburgring, the 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. Since 1995, the racetrack in Baden-Württemberg has staged the kick-off of every DTM season. Here, fans and drivers find out if the work if the manufactures and teams in the off-season was successful or not. And which drivers should be regarded as favourites in the battle for the title. Since the revival of the series in 2000, the Mercedes-Benz drivers succeeded in shining more often in the season kick-off than their competitors. 10 of the total of 18 races held in season kick-off race meetings were won by drivers racing the cars with the stars. Nonetheless, their last win in season kick-off dates back to 2012. Since than, the races were won by Audi and BMW respectively.
The long straights across the woods that were one the circuit’s main characteristics since 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 270 kph. 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 a still unbroken 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.