Mike Rockenfeller did it: Displaying great skill the Audi driver, after having started from position three on the grid, overtook the BMW of Marco Wittmann and by consistently setting good lap times afterward secured his first Champion’s title in the DTM. In his Audi Sport Team Phoenix car the personable 29-year-old additionally took the lead in the team classification. In total, five Audi drivers finished in the points and thus secured the lead in the manufacturers’ standings for the brand as well. “Winning the title one race before the season ends is fantastic. I think it’ll still take me a while to realise what we achieved,” said a beaming ‘Rocky’. Audi thus celebrates the DTM Champion for the ninth time and for the fifth time in seven years. With a 26-point advantage no other driver can pose a risk to Rockenfeller anymore in the season’s finale at Hockenheim.
|Circuit length||4.307 km|
|Lap record (race)||Marco Wittmann, BMW (2013, 1m 32.296s, 167.994 km/h)|
|Pole position 2013||Marco Wittmann, BMW (1m 30.894s)|
|Winner 2013||Augusto Farfus, BMW|
|Fastest race lap 2013||Marco Wittmann, BMW (1m 32.296s, 167.994 km/h)|
It was a qualifying session exactly to the liking of motorsport fans. Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller will be starting from the second row of the grid at Zandvoort. The leader of the standings is thus directly behind his only remaining rival for the title, Augusto Farfus. Behind him as well, Audi has again lined up with a strong team performance. Seven Audi drivers made it into the top eleven in qualifying on the Dutch North Sea coast. Since the DTM’s comeback in 2000, Audi has won the race at Zandvoort an amazing seven times.
Will the decision in the battle for the DTM title be made as early as at the Dutch North Sea coastal resort? Leader of the standings Mike Rockenfeller is travelling to round nine of the season in the popular touring car series with an advantage of 33 points. If the driver of Audi Sport Team Phoenix wins the race he will be the early Champion. If his immediate rival Augusto Farfus wins, ‘Rocky’ has to finish as the runner-up in order to secure overall victory before the season’s finale. In any event, Rockenfeller is travelling to Holland with confidence: “Zandvoort is my favorite track. I’m looking forward to the race with huge anticipation and would obviously like to win the Championship there as well. But you can’t force that to happen.”
It is just a short walk from the race track located in the sand dunes to the North See beach. It is exactly this particular charm that also makes the difficulties with which the drivers have to contend with here in the North Sea resort. “Sand frequently collects alongside the ideal line. You shouldn’t stray off line as you don’t want to lose any grip. This is extremely important in qualifying,” explains Mike Rockenfeller. But adds in the same breath: “For me Zandvoort is the best DTM track, a traditional track with lots of character.”