Top 3 finishers of the 2017 Audi DTM Challenge
Kim Hauschild is the first double winner of the 2017 RCCO season: After having won the Hamburg 20 Minutes in April together with Daniel Bäumler, the junior driver secured his first solo victory in the ‘big small’ racing series with a newly-built Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO in the Audi DTM Challenge at the Norisring. In a thrilling final, Hauschild withstood the pressure from the two KTMs of Björn Skottke and Michael Niemas, crossing the finish line with a wafer-thin winning margin of 0.178 seconds. With Daniel Bäumler and Hauschild, two drivers from the Volkswagen Motorsport-Das Kartell team now sit at the top of the table.
In the thrilling final at the Norisring it was KTM versus Volkswagen. All four Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO qualified for the final round of the best six, along with the two KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO cars from 24-hour race-winners Michael Niemas and Björn Skottke. Hauschild got through to the final round after second place in the semi-final, and delivered a fascinating, ten-minute duel with ‘Skottie’, who had led for a long time. Once Hauschild had taken over the lead, he held his nerve and kept Skottke at bay until the finish. Michael Niemas, with 15 grams of additional performance weight on his KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO, could only keep up with the pace intermittently and crossed the line a full lap behind in third place.
Two at the top for Volkswagen Motorsport
After four of eleven rounds, two drivers from the Volkswagen Motorsport-Das Kartell team sit at the top of the table with Daniel Bäumler (95 points) and Kim Hauschild (85 points). Remarkably, Kim Hauschild only competed in three of the four races. The Volkswagen team has its nose in front in the team and manufacturer rankings as well.
Successful RCCO premiere at the Norisring
After Oschersleben and Zandvoort, for the first time the Norisring was the arena for an RCCO race. The location in the Audi Team & Media Hospitality on the Dutzendteich lake could hardly have been more spectacular. “I have never driven a slotcar race in such a beautiful place,” said guest driver Gary Hassler from the Liquid Ice company. “The RCCO races at the DTM have become a nice tradition,” said Daniel Schuster, spokesperson for the DTM at Audi. “We shall see where the race in 2018 will be held.” Schuster himself competed with an ABT Vision RCCO and only just missed out on a place in the final. After a collision with Audi driver Thomas Voigt in the semi-final, Schuster ultimately finished ninth.
Frank Biela with difficulties
The Audi DTM Challenge was disappointing for Frank Biela. The Berlin-winner only finished fourth in his heat and was therefore eliminated early. The five-time Le Mans winner and DTM Champion was ranked 13th in the end. “My car was not getting enough electricity, but I don’t know why,” said Biela. “That won’t happen to me again. I’ll test it before the next race and I’ll be better prepared.”
Nico Müller wins the Audi DTM driver race
The now traditional Audi DTM driver race, which attracts a lot of media interest, was won by Nico Müller at the Norisring, in front of his ABT teammate Mattias Ekström and Mike Rockenfeller. Müller, as well as Nürburgring 24-hour winner Markus Winkelhock, also competed in the RCCO race in the evening. The two Audi drivers had a lot of fun on the trigger of the Audi R8 e-tron, but had to settle for 17th (Winkelhock) and 21st (Nico Müller).
Next stop: Bilster Berg
It gets underway again in the RCCO in three weeks’ time with the Bilster Berg Challenge. For the second time after 2015, the ‘big small’ racing series will visit Bilster Berg. The private testing and race track near Bad Driburg is very entertaining, due to its unique area and topography.
2017 Audi DTM Challenge results 1 Kim Hauschild (Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO) 94 laps 2 Björn Skottke (KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO) + 0.178s 3 Michael Niemas (KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO) - 1 lap 4 Daniel Bäumler (Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO) - 1 lap 5 Stefan Waschow (Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO) - 2 laps 6 Roland Preuß (Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO) - 3 laps
Championship positions 1 Daniel Bäumler (Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO) 95 2 Kim Hauschild (Volkswagen Golf GTE Vision RCCO) 85 3 Michael Niemas (KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO) 78 4 Björn Skottke (KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO) 73 5 Oliver Schmidt (KTM X-BOW Vision RCCO) 70 6 Frank Biela (Schaeffler Vision RCCO) 66