2001: First DTM at the A1 Ring
When the chequered flag was waved, Bernd Schneider’s team could rejoice. The Mercedes driver, who dominated the entire weekend, took his third victory of the season as DTM made its first appearance at the A1 Ring – therefore sealing the title two races before the end of the season. In 2001, the German was the first DTM driver to successfully retain the title.
2002: Probably the most spectacular final lap in DTM history
Timo Scheider said it was “spectacular to the power of 10” while Mattias Ekström called it “one of the craziest races in history”. On the last lap, Audi driver Laurent Aiello looked destined to win the title, but as the rain began to fall, Aiello and Bernd Schneider span off in Turn 10. Aiello touched the guardrail while Schneider drove through the gravel bed. Jean Alesi then hit the brakes before the finish line, intending to allow team-mate Bernd Schneider to claim victory – instead Marcel Fässler drove straight past to take victory at Spielberg.
2014: ‘Worst ever decision in DTM’
The Mercedes pit crew let Robert Wickens drive off when Timo Glock was already on the fast lane with his BMW – a clear case of unsafe release for the stewards. They imposed a drive-through penalty on Wickens. While his team disputed the penalty with the stewards, Wickens continued to race unaware of the penalty. Disqualification resulted as he did not start the penalty within the required time. Mercedes were furious and described the penalty as “the worst ever decision in DTM”.
2015: Audi’s radio scandal
“Push him out.” Those three words caused one of the most outrageous scandals in the history of DTM. When the Mercedes duo of Robert Wickens and Pascal Wehrlein flew into turn 4 on a rain-soaked track, the Audi radio said: “Timo, push him out!” Timo Scheider flew in the rear of Wickens and therefore caused a chain reaction. After being pushed by Scheider, Wickens crashed into the rear of Wehrlein and both span off. Scheider finished the race in sixth. After the race, both Audi and Scheider would be punished for “unsportsmanlike behaviour”.
Spielberg 2021: Revival of the DRM era
The combination of masters behind the wheel and immense racing cars gave motorsport fans goosebumps in 2021. 20 legendary DRM vehicles also took to the race track as part of the race weekend at Spielberg. The historic vehicles were driven by illustrious names such as Hans-Joachim Stuck and Klaus Ludwig, sensations of the DRM German Racing Championship in the 1970s.
The DTM at Spielberg is a wonderful spectacle that every motorsport fan must see at least once in a lifetime. The next opportunity for that is from 23 to 25 September.