2018 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM)
Germany’s top series expands to ten race events again, the first time at that number since the series switched to 2 races each weekend.
Once again it will be a battle between three big German marques, Audi, BMW and Mercedes AMG. It will be the final season for Mercedes AMG who will depart for Formula E at the end of the year after 19 seasons, having been present since the rebirth of DTM in 2000.
2018 is set to be the final year of the current rules package, in 2019 there will be new rules closely aligned with Super GT’s GT500 cars.
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*As at 25 February 2018*
Ten race meetings with two races per meeting, one on Saturday and one on Sunday each lasting about an hour.
|5,6 May||Hockenheimring||Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
|19,20 May||Lausitzring||Brandenberg, Germany|
|2,3 Jun||Hungaroring||Budapest, Hungary|
|23,24 Jun||Norisring||Nuremberg, Germany|
|14,15 Jul||Circuit Zandvoort||Zandvoort, Netherlands|
|11,12 Aug||Brands Hatch (GP)||Kent, England, UK|
|15,26 Aug||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli||Rimini, Italy|
|8,9 Sep||Nürburgring||Nürburg, Germany|
|22,23 Sep||Red Bull Ring||Spielberg, Austria|
|13,14 Oct||Hockenheimring||Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
- Brands Hatch on the GP circuit;
- Misano, possibly with a night race;
- Robin Frijns, Pascal Wehrlein, Joel Eriksson, Philipp Eng;
- Moscow Raceway;
- Mathias Ekstrom (rallycross), Robert Wickens (IndyCar), Maxime Martin (WEC), Tom Blomqvist (FE/GT);
The big news for the 2018 season is the expansion to ten race meetings, so 20 races this season.
The series returns to Brands Hatch, this time on the full Grand Prix circuit. I like the change, it’ll be fun and a challenge to see these cars out the back, though I don’t expect any more passing than there was on the short track, but racing isn’t just about the passing it is also about the test of skill. High-downforce cars aren’t necessarily the things to race at Brands, which is why BTCC works so well there.
My real annoyance with this date though, is that it falls one week before the WEC at Silverstone. Many of us who live a distance away from these tracks can’t afford either the time or the money to see both – especially since the DTM now races both days so requires a hotel stay.
And MotoGP is the week after the WEC, so the UK sees 3 high profile international series in 3 weeks. I’d like to see one in June, F1 in July, one in August, one in September.
The other new venue for 2018 is a return to Italy but a first visit to Misano. This looks a promising addition especially with the prospect of a race on Saturday evening.
The Moscow round is dropped.
Looking ahead to 2019, I still can’t quite believe Mercedes will pull out. Even Audi, when it cut the big WEC programme, retained the DTM presence. Still, I hope the changes for 2019 and beyond will attract more. And of course DTM survived for years with only Audi and Mercedes so perhaps it will be successful with Audi and BMW.