Half-time at the Nürburgring: Who will start the second half of the season as DTM championship leader?


After the heat battle at the Norisring, the DTM will be back on the grid at a traditional German circuit next weekend (4 to 6 August) for its fourth tour stop. The Nürburgring is the venue for rounds seven and eight, which conclude the first half of the season. Spectators and fans will see who will claim the unofficial title of half-time champion on the sprint track of the Eifel circuit. Porsche works driver Thomas Preining (A) as the current overall leader and his fiercest rival Sheldon van der Linde (ZA/BMW) have the best prospects. However, if the statistics with six different winners from the first six races continue, new faces will be seen at the top of the podium at the Nürburgring as well. ProSieben will be showing both races live on German free TV, starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, half an hour before the start of the race. The NXT Gen Cup will be making its debut at the Nürburgring: for the first time, an all-electric series will be part of the supporting programme of the DTM.

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Key facts, Nürburgring, Nürburg, season races 7 and 8 of 16

  • Circuit length: 3,629 metres
  • Layout: eleven corners (seven right-hand, four left-hand), driven clockwise 
  • Winner 2022, Race 1: Sheldon van der Linde (BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport)
  • Winner 2022, Race 2: Luca Stolz (Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT)

Will the top duo pull away after the first half of the season?
Preining took his first win of the season at the Norisring after an energetic overtaking manoeuvre against BMW works driver René Rast (Bregenz) and at the same time regained the lead in the standings. Preining's lead is ten points, and his Manthey EMA team is particularly motivated at the home race at the Nürburgring. However, the 25-year-old has to expect strong resistance from Sheldon van der Linde, who is second in the standings. The South African's knot burst at the Norisring: With his first victory on the street circuit in Nuremberg and third place in race two, the 24-year-old got back into the title fight. The BMW works driver from Schubert Motorsport won on the Eifel circuit last year and made history together with Kelvin van der Linde (ZA/Audi). For the first time in DTM history, two brothers stood at the top of the podium. 

Ricardo Feller (CH/Audi) and Maro Engel (Monaco/Mercedes-AMG), who are tied on points, are 27 points behind Preining in third and fourth place. The duo wants to make up ground in the Eifel to close the gap to the top. This also applies to the Lamborghini drivers from SSR Performance, Franck Perera (F) and Mirko Bortolotti (I), who together are only one point behind with 60 points. Bortolotti has been convincing so far with consistent performances and, with the exception of an eleventh place, has always finished among the top eight. A victory at the Nürburgring could be the liberating blow for the 33-year-old. Rast is also a force to be reckoned with after his recent strong performances. The 36-year-old has already won three times in the Eifel and, following his first pole position for BMW at the Norisring, is looking to follow this up with a debut victory in the BMW M4 GT3 at the Nürburgring.

Local heroes and home teams at the Nürburgring
As a Cologne native, Jusuf Owega has a home game at the Nürburgring. As a young boy, he made his first acquaintance with racing on the legendary circuit and often raced on the Nordschleife with his father and brother Salman. In the ADAC GT Masters, the 21-year-old gained further experience on the Eifel circuit in recent years. This season he will be competing there for the first time as a DTM driver and Mercedes-AMG Junior driver. "The first section is very special with its unusual corner combinations, but, if you want to be at the front, the track layout can't play a role. I was able to finish in the top ten twice at Oschersleben and Zandvoort. I'm convinced that more will be possible for us in the course of the season," Owega commits himself.

His brand colleague Luca Stolz also wants to attack the front at his home race. The driver from Brachbach lives 130 kilometres away from the Nürburgring, but is a frequent guest there. The 28-year-old also celebrated his first DTM victory in the Eifel in 2022. Then as now, Stolz competed for the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT, which is based in Drees, only about six kilometres from the Nürburgring. Even closer to the racing action is Manthey EMA. The Manthey team from Meuspath wants to make championship leader Preining the half-time champion in their own living room. Third home team is Toksport WRT from Quiddelbach, for whom Porsche drivers Christian Engelhart (Starnberg) and Tim Heinemann (Fichtenberg) are chasing points.

Varied Sprint Track - Unpredictable Eifel Weather
The DTM has been racing on the 3.629-kilometre sprint circuit at the Nürburgring since 2002. The short track guarantees the fans a varied and easily visible race course with the best overtaking opportunities at the end of the start-finish straight. While the first part of the track is a bit more winding, the second section is followed by fluid passages with fast straights and corners. The unpredictable Eifel weather can be a decisive factor at any time. Sudden rain, hail or thick fog have often caused turbulence on the traditional circuit in the past. But that is exactly why the Nürburgring is so popular with fans and enjoys cult status worldwide.

All-electric DTM premiere
With the NXT Gen Cup, a special series celebrates its debut in the supporting programme of the DTM at the Nürburgring: In both races, the all-electric LRT NXT 1 with up to 230 hp will be used, which is based on the road-legal Mini Cooper SE. In the Swedish racing series, only young, up-and-coming talents are behind the wheel. The ADAC GT4 Germany, the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and the BMW M2 Cup will also ensure a spectacular weekend in the Eifel with a total of six races.

All championship races live on ProSieben
TV partner ProSieben will be showing all 16 races of the season live on free-to-air television. Qualifying can be seen in a live stream on ran.de. Official TV partner of the DTM in Austria is ServusTV. All races can be seen live or re-live on the Salzburg-based private channel. ServusTV Germany will broadcast a summary on the evening of the race day.