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Tim Heinemann wins the inaugural DTM Trophy on Hankook race tires – René Rast on course for the DTM title
Tim Heinemann is the first champion in the DTM Trophy. Third place in Saturday’s race at the penultimate round of the new racing series, which took place in Zolder at the weekend, was enough to ensure the Mercedes-Benz driver was crowned champion with races to spare. The German has been the outstanding man in the inaugural season of the DTM Trophy, which premium tire maker Hankook has supported from day one with the Ventus Race. René Rast (Audi) is currently displaying a similar dominance to Heinemann in the DTM. The two-time champion again won both races in Zolder and tops the standings going into the finale in Hockenheim.
Neu-Isenburg, Germany, October 20, 2020 – Like many of his peers, Tim Heinemann cut his teeth on the karting scene. At the age of 14, he became involved in virtual motorsport, “SimRacing”, in which he was crowned “DTM Virtual Champion” and won the “AMG eRacing Competition”. In 2019, he enjoyed a successful first motorsport season in ADAC GT4 Germany, with two pole positions and two race wins. “In the virtual cockpit there are no braking forces or G forces, nor do you get any direct feedback from the car, the tires or the track. As such, I find it easier to drive a real car on a real racetrack,” says Heinemann.
The decision to drive in the newly-formed DTM Trophy was taken at the last minute by his team HP Racing. Heinemann: “We signed up with just three weeks remaining before the deadline. The sprint format and the professional environment around the DTM and its top stars – that was all pivotal in our decision.” The 23-year-old justified the team’s confidence in him with an impressive record of six wins, two runner-up finishes, one third and a sixth place in the ten races held so far in this twelve-race season.
Heinemann feels that the keys to this season’s success were team spirit, determination and a perfect cooperation between all involved. The race tire supplied by premium tire maker Hankook also played an important role on his road to the title. “Our engineers were familiar with the Hankook tire from other series, so we were able to make maximum use of it from the word go. The tire pressure was always right, so I was immediately able to get the tire working and push hard at every circuit, and I had a good feeling right down to the final lap in every race,” said the man from Fichtenberg, whose dream is to be a professional racing driver. “I have a full-time job at KW Automotive, but would like to earn a living at the wheel of a race car,” reveals the champion of the inaugural DTM Trophy.
Two-time DTM champion René Rast achieved that dream many years ago and, after another impressive display at the penultimate DTM round in Zolder, has his sights set on a hat-trick of titles. The Audi driver once again won both races on the Hankook race tire and leaves the Belgian circuit with a perfect record of four wins from four races. Rast’s latest successful weekend has seen the 33-year-old move to the top of the Drivers’ Championship, which he now leads by 19 points. “Everything came together for us in Zolder. The pit stop strategy was perfect and I was able to pace the Hankook race tire very well. I may lead going into the final two races, but the title race is not over yet,” said René Rast after his 23rd DTM victory.
For Nico Müller (Audi), who came into the weekend as championship leader, it was a case of damage limitation: Müller finished sixth and second in Zolder. The Swiss now lies second in the table, but could yet claim his first DTM title at the finale in Hockenheim, where he won the final race of last season. Robin Frijns (Audi) was again the big loser in the title race: as he did at the first DTM race weekend in Zolder last weekend, the Dutchman failed to finish Sunday’s race after coming home second in race one on the Saturday. Frijns now trails Rast by 41 points in third place.
Zolder proved to be a happy hunting ground for former Formula 1 driver and DTM newcomer Robert Kubica. The BMW driver followed Rast and Müller home in third place on Sunday to claim his first podium in the international touring car series. Ferdinand Habsburg (Audi) achieved the same feat on Saturday, finishing third behind fellow Audi racers Rast and Frijns.
The final round of the DTM and the DTM Trophy will take place from 6th to 8th November at the Hockenheimring.