Images: DTM Media and Norisring Historie (available here)
Text: Rick Kiewiet
The DTM summer break is over this weekend and the second part of the season kicks off with the series' blue ribbon event at the 1.4 mi. long Norisring. The round in Nuremberg is a home race for both Audi and BMW with their headquarters at respectively Ingolstadt and Münich right around the corner.
Ever since 1947, with Germany and Nüremberg still in ruins after the WWII, racing commenced at the Norisring. Previously a political rally-terrain from the decades before, the already large grandstands, made out of sheer concrete, survived the bombings and left Nuremberg with a perfect site to race. That first race, which only hosted motorcycles not cars, was sponsored largely by the allied forces, providing not only the necessary gasoline for the motorcycles, but also food for the 60.000 (!!!) attending spectators. Although a year later car races were held in the support program of the motorcycle race, the first decade of racing at the Norisring is characterized by two-wheelers. Not strange if you consider the city is home to no less than six brands: Ardie, Hecker, Mars, Triumph, Victoria and Zündapp. The name "Norisring" was chosen in 1950 after a prize contest, as the the name "Nüremberg-ring" (in German Nürnbergring), would look too much like "Nürburgring", the track in the German Eifel.
Since the early sixties, the track also hosts car-races as main events. Group 5 touring cars and sports cars (group 4, 6 and 7) are regular visitors of the track, for example in the Interseries and the DRM (Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft). Ever since that time the Norisring is often compared to the street circuit of Monaco, as there is also a large lake nearby and the track hosts a car race right through the city.
Jamie Green is known as "Mr. Norisring", having won already four editions of the race in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
In 1996, Uwe Alzen won in an Opel Calibra by a 0.089s margin.
in 2017, in a battle for 3rd, Mortara (Merc.), Ekström (Audi) and Wittmann (BMW) crossed the line 0.027s from each other.
Gary Paffett had one of the largest crashes in his career in 2017, loosing control in the run up to the first hairpin and collecting Mike Rockenfeller mid-corner.
In 1991, Fabien Giroix was replaced in his Mercedes 190 by a young German driver. He managed to finish no higher than 25th... He goes by the name of... Michael Schumacher!
British Katherine Legge is the only woman ever to record a fastest race lap in DTM. She did it in the 2009 race.
In the championship Audi's René Rast leads by 10 points over BMW's Philipp Eng. Traditionally the track was very well suited for a Mercedes, run by HWA. HWA currently runs the R-Motorsport Aston's so maybe at the Norisring the Swiss outfit can score some good results. Last couple of years, BMW seems to have a slight advantage over Audi with three vs. two wins for the Bavarians.
Check a very cool short clip (+ crashes ;-)) with English subtitles about the Norisring here
Championship standings here.