First DTM night races in the history of the series in Misano

First DTM night races in the history of the series in Misano

23.08.2018: Double debut at Misano • Alessandro Zanardi guest driver in a BMW M4 DTM • Saturday evening: Gianna Nannini concert in the paddock

 Double debut at Misano





•    Alessandro Zanardi guest driver in a BMW M4 DTM

•    Saturday evening: Gianna Nannini concert in the paddock




Lights on! This weekend (24th to 26th August, 2018) DTM will make its Italy comeback. And the two races staged by the ‚Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli‘, round 13 and 14 of the season, will be really special.



 For the first time in its long history, DTM will hold races at night. And with the former F1 driver and multi-time Paralympics Gold Medallist Alessandro Zanardi, BMW will be represented by a truly illustrious guest driver.



“In my long career I often prepared for the next great race and knew that I was one of the favourites and possibly could cross the line as the winner,” the 51-year old Italian said in the run-up to the race at the Adriatic coast.



“This time, however, the situation is different – but nonetheless it will be exciting to once again contest motor racing on the highest level. I just can’t wait for starting the engine of my BMW M4 DTM. I’m looking forward to a spectacular race meeting in front of my compatriots. I hope that the night races at Misano will prove to be an unforgettable experience for everybody.”



Two weeks after having won a Silver and a Bronze Medal in the Para Cycling Road World Championship at Maniago (Italy), Zanardi returns from the hand bike back behind the wheel of a racing car.



For the majority of the DTM drivers, Misano represents virgin soil



For most of the 18 drivers, the 4.226-kilometre ‘Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli’ represents uncharted water. “I’m absolutely crazy about the race meeting at Misano. This will be an all new and difficult challenge,” said Gary Paffett.



“We don’t know the circuit yet. Maybe the experience I gathered in the Spa 24h Race will prove to be helpful but it will be a difficult task, nevertheless. My goal for this weekend: to score as many points as possible and extend my championship lead.”




The 37 year old Briton holds the first place on the championship standings, with 177 points on his tally, followed by fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Paul Di Resta (144 points) in second position.



Mercedes-AMG currently are dominating the DTM race action. The Stuttgarters set the standard in all the three rankings (Drivers’, Team and Manufacturers’ championships). The key to success is a good qualifying performance.



On the Sunday of the Brands Hatch meeting, Gary Paffett gave Mercedes-AMG their eighth consecutive pole. A record achievement in DTM. In the 12 DTM races contested to date, only the BMW drivers Timo Glock (Sunday at Hockenheim) and Philipp Eng (Sunday at the Lausitzring) could prevent the Stuttgarters from making it to the pole.



On all the other starting grids, a car with the star started into the races from the first position on the grid. And in 11 of the 12 races, at least two Mercedes-AMG drivers made it to the first two rows of the grid.




Glowing brake discs and flames coming out of the exhaust pipes



With 12 of the 20 races contested, Marco Wittmann (110 points) is third in the championship standings and consequently the best-placed BMW driver. “I’m looking forward to Misano. It’s virgin soil for me and the entire meeting will be a real spectacle,” said the German.




“It will be the first night races in DTM and the entire daily routine will differ. It’s great that Alex Zanardi also will join the BMW camp to contest the two DTM races. This will be absolutely special for him and even more so for all his fans.”



While the 2014 and 2016 DTM Champion will race at Misano for the first time, Philipp Eng already knows the circuit from the Blancpain GT Sprint Series. “This will be a cool event,” he said.




“Both in 2016 and 2017, the Saturday race was held at night and made for very spectacular pictures. It also was fantastic for us drivers and in the DTM car it arguably will be even better. I think that you will witness a lot of glowing brake discs and flaming exhaust pipes.”



At Audi, the reigning champion has gained a lot of momentum. René Rast is the man of the hour. In the previous three races, the Audi driver scored a total of 54 points – even more than Gary Paffett (50) and Paul Di Resta (42).



With 77 points on his tally the German now is ninth in the championship. With fourth place on the Saturday and a podium on the Sunday of the Brands Hatch meeting he really is on a roll.




Rast already raced at Misano with Audi’s GT3 vehicle R8 LMS, just as fellow Audi drivers Robin Frijns and Jamie Green. “Most of the corners are medium-fast, with the mega-fast corner at the end of the lap being the only exception,” said Rast.



Misano’s circuit is perfectly prepared for night races. The track is illuminated by 22 permanent light poles and for DTM, four additional light cubes were installed – at the pit-lane exit and in the corners 4, 5 and 14.




The circuit was inspected and approved by DMSB already months ago. During the course of this process, Audi’s Jamie Green tested the illuminated circuit at night with a production car.



Due to the night races the time schedule has to be postponed. The first practice session on Friday will begin at 21:30hrs CEST (20:30 BST), the qualifying session on Saturday and Sunday at 20:00hrs CEST. And the two races on Saturday and Sunday will be started at 22:30 CEST.



The enthralling motor-racing support programme features the popular FIA Formula 3 European Championship with top-class young guns such as Mick Schumacher, Marcus Armstrong and Daniel Ticktum as well as the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup.



Aloof from the track, the DTM enthusiasts may look forward to the Grande Signora of the Italian music world: Gianna Nannini will thrill the fans as part of the race meeting with her unique raspy voice. The successful singer will play live on Saturday from 20:30hrs CEST, prior to the first of the two night races, for about 90 minutes.



Tickets are available online at www.dtm.com/tickets. The two DTM rounds at Misano will be covered by DTM.com and the official DTM App, where all the practice and qualifying sessions as well as the races will be streamed live and free of charge.


ITR - also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/first-dtm-night-races-history-misano---180046.html

23.08.2018 / MaP

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