News and views on motorsports

Monday, May 16, 2005

DTM: Hakkinen Is Back

Great news today from one of the greatest drivers' circuit, Spa Francorchamp. Mika Hakkinen, in only his third race in the DTM, takes victory from Mattias Abt and Tom Kristensen both in Abt Sportsline Audis.

Remarkable result given that he fared so poorly (or at best was only average) in pre season testing at this very circuit. And of course, historically, Formula 1 drivers find it extremely tough to cope with the additional weight, decreased agility and sheer competitiveness of touring cars. Furthermore, Mika hasn't been racing seriously since 2001. That's a seriously long time in racing.

But Mika Hakkinen is no ordinary Formula 1 driver. He's a double world champion. Of course there are others who've won more world championships than the Flying Finn, but he remains one of the true greats of grand prix racing. A real hero, he's perhaps the only driver who earned the real respect of Michael Schumacher. Perhaps because Michael knows that in a straight fight Mika has the capability to best him.

Of course we in Malaysia do not get live broadcasts of the DTM, but it would have been nice to watch. Here is a race incident report from the DTM website.

Good job to Mercedes too, who in the preseason, didn't look like they'd amount to much. Now their drivers are first and second in the championship. Gary Paffet leading for Mercedes. Mika Hakkinen moves joint second.

Bravo! Looks like the two famous Finnish racing drivers are beginning their championship campaigns in earnest. Kimi Raikkonen being the other bloke.

1 comment:

Michel said...

I watched the race yesterday. Horrendous TV coverage, whenever something loked interesting were about to happen, the director would cut to pictures from the pits, or the station would cut to commercials.

Unless there were action not shown on the coverage I got, the race was a “boring” as a F1 race, only moves for position happened during the pit stops, and the strategy in use for when they were taken.

Except for the now common sight of Paffet taking a driver in front of him out, instead of overtaking him. This time he was penalised with a drive through; He is doubtless a good and fast driver, but his track manners are so poor that I hope for him never rising above DTM.

Hakkinen had a very strong weekend, Pole and a win, he did not lead from the start but had Ekstroem in hand throughout the first stint, and from then on only a mechanical failure could cost him the race. Audi have been caught on the backfoot, and I can not really see any of the Audi drivers win the title.

If Tom Kristensen does not win, I hope that Hakkinen does.