For the past few weeks, rumours have gathered pace suggesting Audi star Tom Kristensen was finished with the DTM. Sure, it seemed feasible that, at 41, the Dane might have had enough of fighting a field made up mainly of drivers in their 20s. But, as he kept quiet on his future, something didn't seem right about him giving up on the German-based V8 tin-top series ahead of the 2009 season.
Nearly two years have now passed since his horrifying crash at the Hockenheim season opener in 2007 and, since then, Kristensen has been through his fair share of struggles. He hasn't had an easy time of things, but that made it even more unlikely that the eight-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours was going to give up on adding another accolade to his impressive CV. Nobody would go through everything he has since that crash to just accept that his goal of winning the DTM title had become a bridge too far.
OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in
Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet
Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works
OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza
The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...
It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race
Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did