Last time out at the Nurburgring, DTM Championship leader Marco Wittman scored a lights-to-flag finish for his third win of the season. Reigning champion Mike Rockenfeller took the chequered flag in second place, with fellow Audi driver Edoardo Mortara third. Wittmann now has his maiden DTM title within reach as the BMW driver managed to extend his lead in the drivers’ standings after his clear win at the Eifel.
Marco Wittman spurs BMW’s conquest for three DTM titles
The Team RMG racer now has 120 points to his name, 64 more than Audi drivers Mattias Ekström and Mortara. Like Wittmann in the drivers’ championship. Team RMG also leads the team competition with three races remaining. BMW is also sitting pretty at the top of the Manufacturers’ championship with 302 points. “We have performed superbly in the recent races, especially in Spielberg and at the Nürburgring. As such, I can hardly wait to race at the Lausitzring. Last year we were not particularly strong there. However, I think our current package should allow us to play a major role in the race,” Wittman explained. “The Lausitzring is not necessarily one of my favorite circuits, but I do have a lot of experience of it from my time in Formula BMW, Formula 3 and the DTM.”
Wittman intends to follow up on a possible victory at the DTM Round 8, as well as to make up for his non-finish at last year’s event. “Although I was unfortunate and failed to finish in 2013, and will be carrying an extra ten kilograms of performance weight in the car this year, I remain confident. I will stick to my principles and take each race at a time.”
Last season’s race at the Lausitzring ended in disappointment for BMW, with Bruno Spengler the only finisher (7th) in the top ten for the Munich-based squad. In 2012, Spengler made history at the Lausitzring: BMW made its first appearance on the top step of the DTM podium after only the second race of its comeback season. Spengler started from pole position and, after 52 laps of racing, crossed the finish line first at the wheel of the M3 DTM. This success laid the foundations for Spengler’s title win at the season finale at the Hockenheimring. It was also BMW’s 50th victory in the DTM. Fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus finished third at the DTM Lausitzring of that year to cap off a brilliant weekend.
Before round eight at Lausitzring, Audi is within striking distance of BMW and aims to make up the gap with a consistent team performance. Audi is mainly set to give BMW a run in the manufacturers’ rankings. With a gap of just 18 points to BMW the four rings are within striking distance and could take the lead of the standings if things swing their way at Lausitzring. In the teams’ classification, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is lying in wait but, with a score of 67 points to BMW Team RMG, is facing a major recovery. Regardless, the four-ring marque has prepared intensively for Round 8 thanks to a recent short break. Regardless, Audi is still on the hunt for the first win of the season.
Christian Vietories is the highest ranked Mercedes DTM driver in the standings. Colleagues Robert Wickens, Paul di Resta and Pascal Wehrlein are further down the standing’s charts. Although Mercedes is quite possibly out of contention for this year’s DTM titles, the Three-point Star squads still have all the reasons to finish the season strong.
The Lausitzring is Vietoris’ favorite circuit, and it’s where he secured pole and a podium finish at last season’s race. “Last year, I secured pole position and a podium finish. I’m looking forward to the race weekend. I was consistently strong on this track when I was still competing in Formula 3. Being at the Lausitzring always gives me such a good feeling. We’ve been making good progress recently,” a confident Vietoris expressed.
DTM culminates at Zandvoort and Hockenheimring for the final two races
The DTM’s penultimate race is scheduled for the Dutch track of Zandvoort in late September, then the finale at Hockenheim in mid-October.