Jamie Green unstoppable at Lausitzring
All the doubts have gone. Three years after moving from Mercedes-Benz to Audi, things are really going well for Jamie Green. In a dominant way, the Audi driver also secured himself the second race win at Lausitzring, his third victory in the still-young motorsport season. “The perfect start into the season,” Green enthused. “A dream!” Audi also dominated proceedings in race two. Mattias Ekström and Miguel Molina took the remaining podium slots. In total, seven of the eight Audi drivers made it into the top ten. In sixth position, Daniel Juncadella was the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver while Maxime Martin was the fastest BMW driver in eighth.
“My first victory with Audi in the Hockenheim season opener was something very special, but these two wins are simply awesome,” a buoyant Green said after the race. After the start, the Brit initially had to settle for second place behind Ekström, who had taken the lead from second on the grid. On lap eight, Green claimed back the top position. “After that, Ekström remained within striking distance and I really had to push for it, always driving at the limit,” he commented. A safety car intervention following an excursion by Lucas Auer (Mercedes-Benz) just before the end of the race left Green unfazed and he drove victory home in a commanding way. Even though he is now clearly in the lead of the drivers’ standings with three wins from four of the 18 races, Green is not thinking about the championship yet: “That is still much too early.”
In the opening part of the race, Ekström racked up miles in the lead, but over the distance, he was unable to match Green’s pace. One of the reasons for that was the set-up of the Swede’s Audi RS 5 DTM that wasn’t entirely perfect. “The tyre pressure was too high too early,” he explained. “Like that, I had no chance to do anything against Jamie. Nevertheless, I am going home a very happy man – two podium finishes on one weekend are great.”
Molina, who had led the race on Saturday for 24 laps and eventually just missed out on a podium finish by ending up fourth, was kept under pressure by his fellow Audi driver Timo Scheider for large parts of the race. This time, however, the Spaniard turned down all the attacks and, behind Green and Ekström, secured his third DTM podium finish. His verdict was accordingly positive: “The car was even better than yesterday. I am happy with third place and I am bringing many points home from Lausitz.”
With the fastest Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, Juncadella took the flag in sixth place. From tenth on the grid, he gradually worked his way up in the first half of the race to the position in which he would cross the finish line. In the closing stages, he mounted a challenge to fifth-placed Edoardo Mortara, but there was no way for him to pass the Audi driver. “We just don’t get the handling of the tyres right,” said Mercedes-AMG DTM team principal, Ulrich Fritz. “Now, we have to start the analyses together with the DTM’s exclusive tyre partner, Hankook. In DTM terms, Audi and we are worlds apart.” Like on the previous day, Maxime Martin was the best-placed BMW driver, who was overtaken by Juncadella’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Christian Vietoris in the closing stages of the race while in seventh place. “At the end of the day, seventh or eighth place doesn’t really matter,” Martin said and looked ahead: “One has to work hard for a victory, but even harder in times of defeat.”
Even though they didn’t play a decisive role in the outcome of the race, the other BMW and Mercedes-Benz drivers showed their competitive spirit. For instance, BMW driver Martin Tomczyk showed great progress as he worked his way up from 23rd on the grid to finish twelfth. Vietoris showed a similar performance as he moved up from 15th to seventh place.
After four of 18 races, Jamie Green is leading in the drivers’ standings with 75 points. His margin from Ekström and Mortara, who are equal on points in second and third place, is 17 points.
The third DTM race weekend of the 2015 season takes place at the Norisring in Nuremberg, June 26-28. The only street circuit on the DTM calendar is the venue for the fifth and sixth race. Tickets can be ordered online at www.dtm.com.