Marco Wittmann extends points’ lead with third season win
Spielberg. BMW driver Marco Wittmann emerged as the winner from an action-packed DTM race at Red Bull Ring. With his BMW M4 DTM, the 24-year-old won the sixth season round from his fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus and Timo Glock. Martin Tomczyk completed the success for BMW by finishing fourth. “I had a very bad start, which made the early stage of the race not particularly easy for me. I had to stay cool and I saved my tyres. There was plenty of action in front of me, but I didn’t see to much of it. Today, I was just really lucky,” a satisfied Wittmann said. In total, 47,500 fans attended the race weekend in Austria.
Timo Scheider was the best-placed driver with an Audi RS 5 DTM, finishing fifth behind the BMW quartet. “I got the best possible result out of this race. I started from 14th place and I can be really lucky with fifth position. Hopefully, this marks the turnaround in a season that has been very disappointing for me so far,” the Austrian-based driver said. His fellow Audi drivers Adrien Tambay, Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green were classified sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. For Green, the sixth round of the year was an emotional roller-coaster. After the Brit had taken the lead, he was given a drive-through penalty. The timing of the pit stop with tyre change for the 32-year old wasn’t in accordance with the regulations.
Mercedes-Benz driver Robert Wickens also had to take in a heavy setback. Throughout the first half of the race, the pole sitter was involved in an entertaining battle for first place with Augusto Farfus, until race control showed the Canadian the black flag. The reason: the Canadian had ignored a drive-through penalty that he had been given after race control found that he had impeded the upcoming Timo Glock when leaving his pit stall. Eventually, Christian Vietoris was the best-placed driver of a DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé in ninth place. “I had a good start into the weekend. We can not be satisfied with being the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver in ninth place,” Vietoris said.
Thanks to his third victory of the season, Marco Wittmann extends his points’ tally to 95. Swedish driver Mattias Ekström remains Wittmann’s closest rival in the drivers’ standings, but for Ekström, the battle for his third DTM title will not be easy. After six of ten rounds, the Audi driver is 39 points down on his rival from BMW. The next race weekend will take place at Nürburgring, August 17 till 19.
Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “We are proud and happy. After our clean sweep of the top three last year, we thought that it couldn’t be any better, but fortunately, we were wrong. Marco Wittmann drove an incredible race and the others also executed our strategy in a perfect way. Above all, we made the least mistakes today.”
Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “We didn’t lose the race today, but already in qualifying yesterday. Another factor was a communication problem, which was the reason that Jamie Green came into the pits one lap later than planned.”
Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz: “For us, it was a very disappointing day, because Robert Wickens certainly could have won the race today. Especially as things didn’t go too well in some races this year, this would have been an important success. We were totally surprised by the decision from race control. Initially, we thought of a mix-up that we still wanted to correct during the race. From our point of view, the penalty for Robert Wickens isn’t justified.”