Saturday, 30 June 2012

DTM Norisring 2012

Mercedes, Audi, BMW
All Three Manufacturers

This post is a bit of a diversion from the normal diet of domestic life, observations on the minutiae of day to day living, endurance sport training and how life in Europe and Germany differs from life in North America. Yesterday I decided to indulge in one of my other passions and take in a bit of history.
The Norisring is an auto racing track that gets set up on public roads near what is now the local football (soccer) stadium. The site has historic significance to the origins of the Nazi party and it has been used for racing since 1947. It gets set up for one weekend a year to host a round of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and this is it. It also includes races for Formula 3, Porsche GT3 Cup and VW Scirocco Cup.

The DTM is arguably the world's biggest touring car series and has huge importance for domestic manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz. The companies put a lot of money into promotion and the race teams themselves so as far as racing in Germany goes it's a really big deal with a mix of ex-F1 drivers, long-time touring car pros and up and coming drivers. I was a little surprised to learn that two Canadian drivers in their 20's are series regulars and are quite successful. Good for them

Canadian Bruno Spengler in his BMW

I decided to take Friday off and I went to check out free practice for all four series that are running this weekend. Tickets were available for a pretty reasonable price and all grandstands were open to everyone. I made good use of the opportunity to check out every vantage point on the track. It's quite famous for being a very short track with a seemingly simple layout - 2.3km long with three corners but requiring precision to go around quickly. I definitely established which would be the best places to watch the race itself. But the locals seem to know their racing and their track. All of the good seats had been sold out months in advance. I decided not to go back Sunday for the big race. But I was happy I went in spite of the almost unbelievable heat - mid 30s most of the day. It was so hot, in fact, that sections of the track started lifting and the F3 qualifying session at the end of the day had to be postponed until this morning. At last check it looks like they got it fixed up.

Tomorrow is Canada Day (Kanadas Tag!) and I've decided to visit the beach. You'll definitely want to see that post.

Thanks for reading,

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