DTM at Brands Hatch: German touring car series returns to Kent this weekend 

DTM Brands Hatch 
David Coulthard next to a BMW DTM car ahead of the series' return to Brands Hatch this weekend Credit: Matt Alexander /PA

After a five year absence the DTM – Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft – touring car championship returns to Kent’s Brands Hatch, racing for the first time on the full grand prix circuit on 11-12 August. Regarded as the World’s fastest touring car championship and contested by Audi, BMW and Mercedes, the German series enjoys levels of manufacturer involvement and innovation not usually seen outside Formula One.

At the midway point of the season and with five rounds and ten races remaining it is British driver Gary Paffett in his Mercedes AMG who currently leads the championship. This weekend will very much be Gary’s home round; he was born locally in Bromley. Paffett is convinced the racing will be spectacular. 

“It’s pretty special,” he says. “It’s one of the only races where I don’t have to get my passport out. It really is a home race for me, with a lot of family and friends coming along. And just to see a lot of British supporters is great, it’s something we don’t get a lot so it’s very special to us.

“I think at Brands you are going to have to get your elbows out and make a bit of room so I think the spectacle of the cars just racing around Brands Hatch is a lot in itself. They’re pretty incredible cars for such a narrow circuit, but I think we can certainly expect some door-banging, wheel-to-wheel racing.

“It’s a spectacular series and I think the competition level in the whole series is the best in the world, so it’s going to be exciting.”

Paffett, who juggles his DTM racing duties with test driving for the Williams F1 team, has tasted victory at the Kent circuit previously, winning in 2012 and securing a runner-up spot in the championship for that year. He can take nothing for granted ahead of the weekends racing, thought, with ex Formula One racers stars Paul di Resta, Timo Glock and Pascal Wehrlein set to push the Bromley man all the way.

David Coulthard, himself  a former DTM and F1 driver, is championing the return of the series to the Brands Hatch circuit and will be in attendance throughout the weekend.

There are DTM races on both Saturday and Sunday with a format of 55 minutes plus a complete lap, with drivers having to pit at least once for fresh tyres. Support races include the JCW MINI Challenge, the UK’s fastest Mini racing machines, and the all-new Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup.

As well as the race programme there will be a classic F1 demonstration on both days from 1990’s cars including a 1991 Dallara F191, and a Footwork Arrows FA13b. Race fans will  have the chance to meet the DTM drivers for autographs in the championship’s new Fan Village and take part in free pit walks on Saturday evening and Sunday morning, where they’ll be able to see the teams working on the cars.

The action commences  Saturday morning at 09:00 with the first practice session of the weekend. Qualifying and the race, on both days, will take place at 11:20 and 13:30 respectively.For more details and to book see https://brandshatch.msv.com/BH-18-DTM.

1 Gary Paffett – Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM – 148 points

2 Paul Di Resta – Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM – 121

3 Timo Glock – BMW M4 DTM – 101

4 Marco Wittmann – BMW M4 DTM – 98

5 Edoardo Mortara – Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM – 97

6 Lucas Auer – Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM – 89