Marco Wittmann celebrates furious DTM home win
Marco Wittmann had to wait for this moment at the Norisring for nine races to be able to win a DTM race in his home round at the street circuit in Nuremberg. On Sunday, it finally happened. The driver from Fürth came out on top after an incredibly thrilling race and secured the eleventh DTM race win of his career, the second of the current season. The race winner loudly expressed his joy while still in the car: “That was really cool! Absolutely smashing! That was the race of my life,” the BMW driver enthused over the team radio. Second place in the eighth race of the season went to Edoardo Mortara in his Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM. Daniel Juncadella also had reason to be happy. After his maiden pole position, the Spaniard also scored his maiden DTM podium finish by coming home third.
Marco Wittmann, who was handed the big trophy by Dr. Markus Söder, Prime Minister of Bavaria, was unbeatable on Sunday. Having started the race from seventh on the grid, Wittmann drove like he was unleashed, staged countless duels and on lap 24, he overtook Mortara for the lead, corrected for pit stops. Only in the closing stages of the race, Mortara was able to close up again, but it wasn’t enough to mount a challenge on Wittmann. “That was an unbelievable weekend and I would wish for more events like this. I think it was a perfect weekend.” Mortara received his trophy from the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion, Nico Rosberg, who had attentively watched the race from the Audi Sport Team Rosberg pit box. Fellow Mercedes-AMG driver Juncadella was also happy having scored his maiden podium finish in his 65th DTM race. “Of course, I am happy with the result, but next time I am in first place on the grid, I want to win, too.”
Robin Frijns showed good progress at the Norisring. The Audi driver had started from 16th place and took the chequered flag in eighth place. Classified seventh, his fellow Audi driver Nico Müller was the best-placed driver of the Ingolstadt-based brand.
In the DTM drivers’ standings after eight of this season’s 20 DTM races, the front runners are now even closer together. Gary Paffett, who had a wheel-to-wheel duel with Timo Glock over many laps during the race, remains in the lead of the standings with 99 points. The Brit was unable to convert his second place from qualifying into a top 10 finish in the race and was only 13th across the line. Mortara is now second in the standings with 93 points from Wittmann and Glock (both 92 points). Paul Di Resta is fifth with 87 points. In sixth place with 72 points, Lucas Auer also still is within striking distance to the leaders.
After a three weeks’ break, DTM action resumes at Zandvoort in The Netherlands from 13-15 July, 2018. The track on the North Sea coast is the venue for the ninth and tenth race of the season.