The 2019 DTM campaign draws to a close this weekend at Hockenheim, with Joel Eriksson out to finish the season in style while battling an expanded grid that takes in an influx of competitors from Japan’s Super GT series.
Swede Eriksson heads to the Hockenheim finale sitting 11th overall in the DTM driver standings. After scoring two podium results early on in the season, the second half of the campaign has been more challenging for Eriksson, who has since joined his fellow BMW team-mates in slowly dropping down the championship order.
While main rivals Audi have now secured the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles (the latter courtesy of René Rast), Eriksson and BMW remain keen to complete the season in style this weekend.
“I think we all have the same goal for the final round of the championship,” says Joel Eriksson. “The entire team wants to improve, especially in qualifying, and we know we have to. I am always aiming to end the season on a high. Hockenheim is a great track and the final round there is a highlight of the season, so I am looking forward to having a good time over there.”
In an exciting new venture for the DTM, this weekend will see the field expand as the first-ever joint races with Japan’s Super GT series take place. Super GT manufacturers Honda, Nissan and Lexus are fielding one car each, joining DTM regulars BMW, Audi and Aston Martin for a true spectacle of touring car racing.
The Honda entry is being driven by 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button throughout the weekend, while Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa will split driving duties for Lexus and Ronnie Quintarelli / Tsugio Matsuda doing likewise for Nissan.
The Super GT entries are not eligible for points at Hockenheim.
“It will be great to take on the Super GT teams,” Joel Eriksson concludes. “It’s exciting to have them here with us and share the best of international touring car racing with all the fans at Hockenheim. I will be doing everything I can to end this season on a high.”
The Super GT teams will be out on track on Thursday for a day of private pre-event testing, with Eriksson and the rest of the DTM regulars then joining in for the start of official practice on Friday.
The races, as always, take place on Saturday and Sunday.
DTM | Round 9/9
All times local (GMT+02:00)
Friday 4 October
Free Practice 1: 13.00-13.45
Free Practice 2: 16.30-17.00
Saturday 5 October
Qualifying 1: 10.35-10.55
Race 1: 13.30-14.30
Sunday 6 October
Qualifying 2: 10.35-10.55
Race 2: 13.30-14.30
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (top five)
DTM | After 16/18 races
1: René Rast (GER), Audi, 279 p.
2: Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, 223 p.
3: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, 182 p.
4: Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, 145 p.
5: Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW, 144 p.
11: Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, 51 p.