How Audi managed to prevent Mercedes-AMG from defending the title at the last DTM race of the season and where they lie in the perpetual leaderboard as a result
It was a thrilling neck-and-neck race until the very end: it was only in the 16th and final race of the season that Audi wrapped up the 2022 DTM manufacturers’ title. “To be the best of six manufacturers and to finish in the top three of 34 drivers and 17 teams is worthy of all honour,” said Audi’s Head of Customer Sport Chris Reinke after the success, not without pride.
After all, six different car manufacturers competed in the 36th season of the DTM, as many as last in the 1980s. For Audi, it is already the eleventh manufacturers’ title in the long history of the traditional series. Audi became manufacturers’ champion for the first time in 2004, when Mattias Ekström won his first of two DTM drivers’ titles.
The last time the Ingolstadt team took the title was in 2020, when Rene Rast won the drivers’ classification for the third time. Mercedes leads the eternal leaderboard with 14 manufacturers’ titles, followed by Audi with eleven and BMW with ten.
Mercedes-AMG went into the final race of the season in the lead
At the same time, the title was anything but a clear-cut affair: only a single point separated Audi from defending champion Mercedes-AMG before the finale at Hockenheim, albeit with an advantage for the Swabians. In Saturday’s race, the Stuttgart team even extended its lead to eight points, but in Sunday’s race, Audi scored 44 points and ultimately won with a commanding 441 to 413 points (click here for the final championship standings).
BMW, Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari followed behind Mercedes-AMG. “A big praise to our three teams and personally to the responsible persons Thomas Biermaier, Kimmo Liimatainen and Arkin Aka. Together with all the drivers, they have secured the brand title for us,” said Reinke, who was previously responsible for Audi’s LMP1 programme and has been Head of Audi Sport Customer Racing since 2016.
Three Audi wins in the 2022 season
Three teams fielded this year’s updated Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II in the DTM: Thomas Biermaier’s Abt squad, which fielded Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde and Ricardo Feller, Kimmo Liimatainen’s Rosberg squad with Nico Müller and Dev Gore and Arkin Aka’s newcomer team Attempto, which relied on youngster Marius Zug.
The balance: Audi drivers cheered from the podium twelve times during the 2022 DTM, three of them as winners (Müller in Portimao, Rast and Feller in Imola). In addition, there were seven pole positions. In the drivers’ standings, Rast was the most successful Audi driver in third place, while Abt Sportsline was also the best Audi team to finish third in the team standings.