DTM – Nicki Thiim on “steep curve light”: “You need balls for that!”

The DTM comes to the Lausitzring (May 20-22, Saturday and Sunday live on ProSieben from 1 p.m.) – with a lot of respect for the spectacular banked corner in Turn 1 and for the evenness of the starting field.

For Lucas Auer, who celebrated his first DTM victory there in 2016 in the team of Berliner Peter Mücke and is now starting as the winner of the season opener at Portimão in Lausitz, the goal is clear: “I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder,” says the Austrian . But his ex-team boss Mücke knows only too well: “This DTM is one of the toughest championships in the world, a prognosis is absolutely impossible. From 1st to 29th place, anything is possible.”

The first corner in particular occupies the drivers. Turn 1 is slightly elevated, a “steep turn light” that is reserved exclusively for the DTM. The bank angle isn’t as big as in American banked turns, so Turn 1 doesn’t go at full throttle. “No, this corner isn’t going full throttle, at least not quite,” Swiss Nico Müller (Team Rosberg) knows from last year.

29 cars race through the oval curve at the weekend.

This is exactly the difficulty: where is the limit? Each of the 29 drivers from 15 nations – the DTM has never been so international – has to find their own answer. “Last year I almost wet my pants in this corner,” admits Audi driver Müller, who won Sunday’s race in Portimão. And Nicki Thiim (DEN), son of the DTM legend and former champion Kurt Thiim, who is contesting his first DTM season in the Lamborghini Huracán for the Dresden-based team T3 Motorsport, describes it in the legendary words of goalkeeper titan Oliver Kahn: “ You need eggs for that!”

This is all the more true because this year a record starting field with 29 cars from Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche will thunder through this demanding curve – and at almost 250 km/h!

Lucas Auer is counting on being able to establish himself in the leading group with his Winward Mercedes-AMG over the entire season with a total of 16 races. “It’s important that you find your rhythm and have as free a lap as possible in qualifying,” says Auer. Two-time DTM runner-up Nico Müller sees things differently: “I would be very surprised if the same drivers were always in front. The field is so strong, so balanced.”

For the KÜS team Bernhard, the second race of the season is the actual start of the season.

For the Bernhard KÜS team, however, the second round of the season is the actual start of the season. Reason: At the start in Portugal, pilot Thomas Preining was involved in two accidents with his Porsche 911 GT3 R. “Now we have to reposition ourselves and come back stronger at the Lausitzring,” the Austrian made a declaration of war.

The Berlin racing legend Peter Mücke is also full of anticipation, after all Mücke Motorsport is the only team that competes in the DTM (with driver Maximilian Buhk and a Mercedes-AG GT3), the talent factory DTM Trophy and in the DTM Classic – among others with the spectacular Opel Calibra V6, with which ex-Formula 1 World Champion Keke Rosberg drove in the 1995 DTM. “That’s a huge package for us, but we always feel good at the great Lausitzring,” said the 75-year-old.

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