Wittmann: “It feels like a win”
For Marco Wittmann, DTM truly doesn’t represent virgin soil. Nonetheless, even the two-time DTM Champion occasionally experiences new things. On Sunday, the BMW driver clinched the first Lausitzring podium in his DTM career. In his sixth year on the grid of the touring car series and the 10 effort. His Lausitzring results to date: 21st, 6th, 13th, 17th, 4th, 6th, 13th, 9th and 7th.
“Today I worked my way up from fourth to second place and I’m really happy with this result. My first three races were somewhat mediocre. At Hockenheim I couldn’t match the pace of the quickest and in addition, we weren’t lucky. To now be back on the podium was really great. It feels like a win. A success I can build on,” said Wittmann who now holds seventh position in the championship with 26 points on his tally.”
The BMW driver sets the fastest lap time
In the second stint, Wittmann consistently closed in on Gary Paffett and in the end, the German crossed the line just 1.427 seconds behind the winner. “In the early stages, Gary opened quite a gap the rest of the field – while I lost some time behind Philipp Eng. After the pit stop, however, I could really push but unfortunately, Gary’s lead was slightly too big and I would have needed a few more laps to get into the DRS window and try to pass him. All in all our pace was good throughout the weekend and we really were among the quickest,” said Wittmann who also set the fastest race lap (1:39.395 minutes) on lap 17.
With his pit-stop strategy, the 2014 and 2016 DTM Champion passed DTM returnee Pascal Wehrlein. “We had a very good strategy. I spontaneously opted for changing my strategy during the race when I saw Wehrlein pitting. By staying out for one more fast lap I could pass him.” And Wittmann’s pit crew also delivered in great style. Wittmann spent 35.681 seconds in the pit lane, with only Rockenfeller’s (35.527 seconds) being faster.
New track version added to the show
The new, longer track version of the Lausitzring didn’t mean a significant advantage for the two-time champion but the BMW driver regarded it as a positive change, nevertheless. “I definitely prefer racing on this version. It’s slightly faster and more varied. The first sector is very slow and technical and later there are the two long straights and the fast S. As I see it, this added to the show.”
Wittmann also is fond of the reduced downforce of the DTM racers. The equality of opportunities has been increased and so, the talent of the drivers comes even more to the fore. “Due to the modifications of the cars, the racing is clearly closer, this year. It’s not like last year when we had pure Audi, BMW or Mercedes circuits. A fact that was confirmed today.”