Not long now until the Austrian showdown of the 2023 DTM at the Red Bull Ring! Starting tomorrow, Thomas Preining and Mirko Bortolotti will be firing up their engines for the next round in the title fight. Going into the penultimate round of the championship at Spielberg, only nine points separate the two main contenders. Preining is taking a cautious approach to the weekend. “Mirko and Lamborghini’s strength is their pace,” said the Porsche driver at the drivers’ press conference. “If it stays dry, it will be difficult for us. We simply lack top speed, but maybe I’m going to be pleasantly surprised. Anything is possible in the rain.”
Preining aims to gain a decisive advantage at the Red Bull Ring to take to the finale and become the first Austrian to win the DTM title. If you would like to be there in person and cheer him on, then you need to act quickly. The online presale ends on Friday 22nd September at 12:00. For fans who prefer to simply turn up on the day, the ticket offices at the circuit will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 08:00 onwards.
The weather forecast for the DTM weekend suggest a nail-biting weekend ahead. “If it stays dry, BMW and Ferrari have the advantage,” says Mirko Bortolotti. But even in the dry, the characteristics of the circuit make the outcome uncertain: “The Red Bull Ring encourages overtaking and always offers good action.” Lucas Auer agrees with the current championship leader: “It’s good for overtaking, which is why the races here are always great.”
Gottfried Grasser, whose racing outfit is based in Knittelfeld just a stone’s throw away from the Red Bull Ring, has a busy weekend head. The team will not only be competing in the DTM, but also in the ADAC GT Masters: “To be up among the DTM front-runners – among all the pros – is extremely tough. Everything has to slot into place. Nevertheless, we aim to be in the Top Ten, and in the ADAC GT Masters we will settle for nothing less than victory.”
It all starts tomorrow (Friday) with the free practice sessions for the DTM, the ADAC GT Masters and the three partner series. With two qualifying sessions on Saturday and Sunday, both in the morning, things will heat up at Spielberg shortly after midday on both days when rounds 13 and 14 of this year’s championship are contested.
In addition to a total of ten races (DTM, ADAC GT Masters and the three partner series), you can look forward to a full supporting programme, including an open paddock, pit walks, autograph sessions and a skiing hero who also likes put pedal to metal. Marcel Hirscher already completed his first practice runs at the Red Bull Ring today in an Audi R8 LMS GT2, and this weekend he will be acting as chauffeur in a race taxi. In addition, there will be a comprehensive programme of entertainment for young and old in the DTM Fan Zone.