Joachim Winkelhock would put his money on Audi
Joachim Winkelhock raced in quite a number of race series and categories, during the course of his career. Via the Renault 5 Cup, Formula Ford and the German Formula 3 Championship he advanced – in 1989 – to Formula 1: a truly adventurous endeavour with inferior material. Just a year later, the Swabian joined BMW to race in DTM. He contested three seasons with the BMW M3 and secured three race wins before switching to the British Touring Car Championship, BTCC – to win the title, there. In the years 2000 to 2003 he was back in DTM but this time he raced for Opel. Nonetheless, Winkelhock celebrated the biggest successes in his career in endurance racing. In 1990 and 1991 he won the Nürburgring 24h Race, in 1995 the Spa-Francorchamps 24h Race and in 1999 the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. As former driver, the 54-yar old never lost his interest in DTM and still is well informed on what is going on. In the run-up to the season finale, Winkelhock enabled his crystal ball – and in our expert’s tip he will tell us what he saw.
On the Hockenheimring: “The circuit is very forgiving and so, minor mistakes won’t make a major impact. The competitiveness of the DTM field is very high, anyway, therefore, everybody will be very fast, at Hockenheim. You need a perfectly balanced car. Good traction and good brakes will be the key factors. In addition, the tarmac is very abrasive and the teams have to well economise their tyres. The circuit hasn’t got a truly crucial spot. It offers numerous overtaking opportunities what should make the race interesting for the crowds.”
Winkelhock’s tip: “Pascal Wehrlein did a great job, this year – and even more so in consideration of the fact that he still is a young guy. Actually, I don’t see how the season finale should go wrong for him. As I see it, only a real drama could cost him the championship. He will win the title. The races, however, will be won by Audi. In the Saturday race Mattias Ekström will take the chequered flag as race winner. He is one of my favourites and one of the old school. And on Sunday I’d put my money on Edoardo Mortara.”