Despicable scenes in DTM Trophy as the Norisring turned into a literal crash fest

Sunday, July 03, 2022


It was supposed to be the third round of the DTM Trophy at the Norisring this weekend but what we got was an uncontrolled and officially encouraged “crash fest” that left many teams tens of thousands of Euros out of pocket as a consequence.

The last round of the series from Imola had been very good as a race spectacle and showed the GT4 based series in a very positive light until we got to the street circuit around the city of Nuremburg.

Eighteen cars entered Saturday’s first thirty-minute race, including the two Team Speed Monkeys Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4s of Jacob Riegel (#63) and Nick Hancke (#99).

Qualifying P10 and P13 respectively after a wet build up to a dry race, an early technical issue for the pace setting Audi brought of the Safety Car for the first time in what was already a fast and furious race. Taking their new side by side restart, contact at the opening hairpin left the #99 car of Hancke delayed but three cars out with damage – Safety Car no. 2.

Another restart – more contact bringing out the Safety Car again had just twelve cars circulating on lap 22 as the race went green again only for more contact at the hairpin, this time heavy rear end contact for the #63 car of Riegel which ended his and the #17 Audis race on the spot with significant damage each.

Race 1 would eventually finish from behind the Safety Car with Hancke finishing a lowly P7.

Then Sundays second “crash fest” event saw Riegel not being able to take part but with the #17 also being absent from the grid.

Again, the first visit to the hairpin on the opening lap saw four more cars eliminated on the spot through contact with each other and themselves including contact for the sole AMR of Hancke being unsighted at the time. All of that was caused from the action of former AMR PROsport Racing DTM Trophy racer Tim Heinemann using the car infront as a brake!

Having to pit for running repairs to the front right quarter of his car, Hancke’s race was already run being a lap down by the time he returned to the Safety Car procession. Fourteen laps to clear the carnage followed by two laps of green before more contact and debris across the racetrack that saw the sixth car retire from this race alone.

For the academic side of all of this, Hancke would finish P9 and those points placed him on equal points with teammate Riegel as all count the cost of visiting such an unfit for purpose racetrack before thinking of moving on the next round at the Nurburgring in August.

Something really does need to be done by the series to improve driving standards and track safety for all who are there!!

Photo credits - team
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