I like F1, but touring cars and GTs are far more my thing. Having been to the BTCC a few times over the years I'm used to noisy race engines. Nothing though can prepare you for the racket that a 500hp RWD V8 DTM car makes. Following the cancellation of our local VW show I had a free sunday that just happened to coincide with the UK round of the German Touring Cars at Brands Hatch. As luck would have it my VW chum Malcolm works for BMW who have returned to the DTM this year and was able to get a discounted ticket through work. So at silly AM this morning we were cruising round the M25 heading for the track. First port of call was the shop to pick up a paddock pass. Theres nothing like getting up close and personal with the cars and drivers.
With a few posters and autographs stashed away we headed over to the support paddock. Races for Euro F3, VW Cup and a few others were tucked up in various shelters. It also contained the DTM shop and promo area.
The DTM qualifying was on saturday, but the drivers got a warm up session in the morning. It was the first time to hear exactly how loud these cars are. Very doesn't really cover it. We watched from the fearsomely steep Paddock Hill Bend, before moving round to Druids.
The first race proper of the day was the Euro F3, I'm not that keen on slicks and wings races, they are very fast but also processional. The only man to make some decent passes was the pole sitter who got a drive through penalty for not lining up correctly at the start and dropped to the back before fighting up to a points finish.
Following a break for lunch and the drivers parade it was soon time for the start of the 98 lap main event.
The lights went out and the noise level rose, for the next 70 minutes we communicated with hand signals and yells.
I don't like to stay in one place too long. Every corner holds a different view and I like to see as many as possible, so we set off following the track round. From Paddock Hill Bend up Hailwood Hill to Druids Bend.
Down the slope to Graham Hill Bend and along Cooper Straight.
We then crossed over the Grand Prix loop and made our way to Surtees and Clearways.
And finally Clark Corner and the Brabham Straight.
The race ended with Paffet winning and Spengler second. All three marques got on the podium where Jenson Button handed out the silverware.
Everything after that was going to be quiet and an anticlimax, but we hung around to watch the Lotus race get under way.
Before going back into the paddock for a last look round. The cars now all in Parc Ferme.
The mouthful of a titled "Euro Racecar NASCAR Touring Series" began, the lumbering V8 racers sliding round and bashing panels.
With tired feet and waiting families at home we decided that much as we'd both like to see the VW Cup, a 5:10pm start would mean a late get away and neither of us had the energy for that! So with a final cheesy photocall we headed home.
It was a fantastic experience, the noise, the crowds. Everything just made it a full on day of action, club racing is great but a proper international series offers so much more. Fingers crossed we'll get back there again soon.
There are loads more photos here
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