Following its recent excursions to Assen (NED) and Brands Hatch (GBR), the DTM now returns to Germany for the final run of the championship. First in line is a visit to the Lausitzring this weekend – and there’s celebration to boot for Joel Eriksson and his fellow rivals as the 500th race in DTM history hits the spotlight.
“I feel really proud to be a part of this historic weekend in the DTM,” says Joel Eriksson. “I’ve been looking up to this championship for a number of years before I managed to arrive here myself, and I know what it has meant and continues to mean for the manufacturers and us drivers. 500 races is certainly reason to celebrate – and I hope to do so from the top step of the podium!”
The milestone occasion will be reached in the second and final race of the weekend, which takes place on Sunday. The very first DTM race in history, won by Harald Grohs aboard a BMW 635 CSi, took place in 1984 at Belgium’s Zolder track – where Joel Eriksson claimed a podium on the championship’s return earlier this year.
It’s been a tough couple of rounds for the Swedish youngster since, however, albeit a second podium at the Norisring did provide a highlight in between some otherwise challenging races plagued by technical gremlins.
The most recent round at Brands Hatch was a low point, Eriksson unable to finish either of the weekend’s two races (having been forced to sit out the first one altogether), but that doesn’t detract from the clear ambition: fighting back underneath Lausitzring’s titanic grandstands.
“I really like the Lausitzring,” continues Joel Eriksson. “We tested there before the season and the test was pretty strong from our side. I’ve had some great races at the track in Formula 4 as well. I’m optimistic that, after an unlucky weekend at Brands Hatch, we can move forward now. We just need to keep our heads down and keep pushing.”
The Lausitzring meeting kicks off on Friday with a brace of practice sessions, followed – as per usual – by a pair of qualifying and race doubles on Saturday and Sunday.
DTM | Round 7/9
All times local (GMT+02:00)
Friday 23 August
Free Practice 1: 13.00-13.45
Free Practice 2: 16.20-16.50
Saturday 24 August
Qualifying 1: 10.35-10.55
Race 1: 13.30-14.30
Sunday 25 August
Qualifying 2: 10.35-10.55
Race 2: 13.30-14.30 – DTM’s 500th race
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 12/18 races
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 206 p.
2: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 169 p.
3: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 147 p.
4: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, 129 p.
5: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, 108 p.
10: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 43 p.