Styria has been a motor-racing venue for some 40 years. The circuit – then called ‘Österreichring’ – was opened in 1969. A project that experienced several ups but also encountered quite a number of downs, in the following decades. Up and down, that also perfectly describes circuit’s unique characteristic. On no other track, the drivers have to cope with uphill sections as steep as in Austria’s ‘Murtal’. Since 2011, the series annually stops at the Red Bull Ring – the official name since the reconstruction in 2010. Spielberg’s picturesque Alps panorama makes for a special ambience and the track layout for thrilling motor racing. And this also applied to the 2015 race meeting in Styria that provided the arguably most spectacular race action of the entire season.
For a long time, the drivers rarely had to lift the throttle, in Austria. The circuit was a true high-speed track and was regarded as one of the fastest motor-racing venues worldwide. In the mid-1990s, however, the numerous fast corners had to go. The circuit was shortened by about two kilometres and reconstructed to meet the latest safety standards. And the name was changed: it now was called A1 Ring instead of Österreichring. A circuit DTM also raced at from 2001 to 2003 – and these races all were won by Mercedes-Benz drivers. Then, in 2004, Spielberg once again seemed to have to face its doom. The demolition works already had begun when the Red Bull Rung project was created around Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz. And on 15 May 2011, the new Red Bull Ring was officially opened.
Since then, DTM has been stopping at Spielberg regularly but the Mercedes-Benz dominance is history. The most successful DTM driver at the Red Bull Ring is Edoardo Mortara who won two of the Austrian races for Audi. The lap record was established by fellow Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller who crossed the finish line of the circuit in 2013 in 1:25.266 minutes. Four of the six races contested at Spielberg since 2011 were won by Audi, while the races in 2013 and 2014 were won by BME`W drivers Bruno Spengler and Marco Wittmann respectively. The race meeting in 2015 provided a exciting battle between Audi and Mercedes Benz – and it will be thrilling to find out who will get the upper hand in this year’s race meeting at the foot of the Austrian Alps.