DTM ready to roar at the ‘Cathedral of Speed’
Last year, DTM raced for the first time on Brands Hatch’s full-length Grand Prix circuit and Italy’s fabled Misano World Circuit. In 2019, Europe's most popular touring car racing series chalks up another first as it journeys to Holland this weekend (July 19-21). Races nine and 10 of the 18-race calendar will be held at the legendary TT Circuit Assen, in the Netherlands.
Like Misano, Assen is a regular home to motorcucle racing: the 4.542km track has hosted the World Motorcycle Championships every year since 1949. DTM’s drivers can expect a flat, fast track with high kerbs and a series of fast, flowing corners.
Assen is subtitled the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ – and for good reason: team pre-race simulations estimate this year’s 600hp DTM cars will reach speeds of more than 200km/h in four corners.
Audi Team Rosberg driver René Rast (GER) heads to Holland as one of the pre-race favorites. The 2017 champion continued to build his lead in the overall standings to 25 points over Nico Müller following his victory and seventh place at the Norisring.
Best-placed BMW driver is Philipp Eng (AUT), who is third overall with 101 points. Daniel Juncadella (ESP) underlined the progress being made at R-Motorsport Aston Martin with two top 10 results at the Norisring.
Feel the (extra) roar
In its penultimate 2019 race weekend, the W Series will run not one but two races at Assen. The regular race on Saturday afternoon will run as normal, but an additional event has been added to Sunday morning’s schedule, running in an experimental reverse-grid formation, but with no championship points on offer.
In addition, the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, Lotus Cup Europe, and spectacular (and wonderfully loud!) Formula 1 and GP2 vehicles of the BOSS GP ensure plenty of racing action throughout the entire weekend.
“I‘ve prepared for Assen by driving it in the simulator. I drove there last year and think it’s a really cool track. Driving there in a 2019 DTM car is going to be a big commitment. The track is sweeping and extremely fast: it’s got everything that a racing driver could want from a racetrack.
“In particular, Ramshoek is extremely cool: racing drivers always love fast corners, so I think this place will make for an absolutely spectacular race.”
Philipp Eng (BMW Team RMR)
“We prepare for every race using the Audi simulator – but, for me, I always have a different approach tot he sim work when I’m preparing for a track I’ve never raced at before. At somewhere like Hockenheim, you can get straight into the set-up work, but my main focus ahead of Assen has been to find a rhythm. It’s a very demanding track, and it’s not easy to find that rhythm. Still, that’s the case for everybody, so I’m feeling relaxed about it. ”
Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix)