DTM Showdown at Hockenheim

At the last DTM race weekend 2018 at the Hockenheimring the drivers of Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW delivered a thrilling race again.

Decisive, above all, for the outcome of the race on Saturday in hot summer temperatures of nearly 30 degrees in the shade, was tire management.

While Paffett as the best Mercedes-Benz-driver still dropped to fourth position in the final stage and missed the podium, Robin Frijns from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline advanced from tenth to second place during the final laps. As a result, he perfected Audi’s third one-two result in succession. The Dutchman had pitted late and had the freshest tires in the final stage of the race. 

Frijns showed his driving skills especially at the Sunday race. Here he was able to make up a full 12 ranks in a breathtaking race to catch up, so he reached the 5th place from starting position 17 at the end. He followed his team mate Nico Müller, who scored 12 points with the 4th place. So the two pilots closed the season with a result that the ABT  Sportsline team can look positively into the next season.

Thomas Biermaier (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
“First of all, congratulations to Gary (Paffett). A driver who’s in contention at the very front in 20 races throughout the season deserves winning. But congratulations to René (Rast) as well: Six victories in a row are definitely an outstanding achievement. I’d have never expected us to finish twice on the very top of the podium again here in the finale at Hockenheim. Robin (Frijns) and Nico (Müller) both drove two strong races here. For me, it’s the appropriate close of a fair to middling season. A finale like this one is encouraging for the following year. My thanks go to our entire team for this outstanding result.”

Nico Müller (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 7 / position 4
“For me, the weekend was an emotional roller coaster. I was very strong in both qualifying sessions. On Sunday, I fought back from ninth on the grid to fourth position. There I’d have liked to attempt the crucial overtaking maneuver to finish on podium, but in the end ran out of time. Still: I think our whole team can be proud of what we achieved this season and especially this weekend. A thank you also goes to the fans. The atmosphere was unique. That speaks for the DTM and makes you look forward already to the coming season.”

Robin Frijns (Aral Ultimate Audi RS 5 DTM #4) position 2 / position 5
“The season was one of emotional highs and lows: Actually, we were always really strong, but I was unfortunate a couple of times and not able to give my all due to technical issues. However, whenever things were running perfectly smooth, such as in the night race at Misano or now on the final weekend, I was able to show how fast I am. In addition, our strategy worked perfectly here at Hockenheim: I pitted late in both races and afterwards was able to fully attack and overtake a lot of cars. That was really good fun.”


Even before the race started, Audi made for a goose bumps moment in the full house of the Hockenheim Motodrom: An emotional film bidding farewell to Mercedes-Benz from the DTM, that can be watched on Audi Sport’s new YouTube channel, spontaneously triggered standing ovations in the grandstands. In the finale, all six Audi RS 5 DTM cars ran with the inscription “SEE YOU!” emblazoned on the rear wings, in which the “O” was represented by a star. In addition, the brand honored the joint time in the DTM with a large banner at the Audi Race Lounge.