Wehrlein races to first DTM win; Wittman clinches crown

  The third to last DTM race at the Lausitzring saw the incredible Marco Wittman take the Drivers crown after a sixth place finish. The DTM Lausitzring was won by countryman Pascal Wehrlein in the Mercedes C-Coupe, with fellow Mercedes DTM driver Christian Vietoris in second and Audi’s Timo Scheider third.

Wehrlein, at only 19 years of age, captured a perfect weekend for the Three-point Star with pole and the race win at Lausitz. A day prior to raceday, Wehrlein got his maiden pole on Saturday, with a fastest time of 1:17.547; which was 0.057 seconds ahead of Audi driver Mattias Ekström. Jamie Green and Timo Scheider came in third and fourth; Wittman only qualified seventh.

Wehrlein takes advantage of adverse weather at Lausitzring to score first ever DTM win

Adverse conditions at Lausitz played to the hands of the Three-point Star, with Wehrlein in control from the start. Juncadella in another C-Coupe tried to shake off Green’s Audi RS 5 DTM on the first lap. On the second lap, Vietoris shot past Juncadella and Green to go second behind the race leader.

By lap 5, Wehrlein had built 5.989 seconds over the chasing pack of Vietoris, Juncadella, Scheider, Wittmann, Green, Timo Glock, Mike Rockenfeller, Maxime Martin and Robert Wickens. Mercedes C-Coupes held 1-2-3 at the early part of the race. When Rockenfeller tried to overtake Glock on lap 9, the two got entangled, allowing Wickens to sneak past. Wickens then dispatched Wittman and Rockenfeller to go sixth on lap 10. Up front, Wehrlein had a 11.6 secs margin to Vietoris and it looked to swing the youngster’s way at that point of the race.

After the customary stops, Wehrlein continued to lead from Vietoris, Scheider, Juncadella, Wickens, Paul Di Resta, Augusto Farfus, Wittman, Rockenfeller and Miguel Molina. The order changed slightly but not at the front; Wehrlein led Vietoris, followed by a hard chasing Scheider who nearly got the better of Vietoris on the penultimate lap. So, it would be Wehrlein securing his very first victory in the DTM, and he becomes the youngest winner ever in the DTM. Wehrlein and Vietoris combined for Mercedes’ 101st 1-2 finish in the German Touring Cars series.

Two other Mercedes drivers were in the top ten, apart from Wehrlein and Vietoris, Juncadella in fourth and Wickens fifth.

The DTM Lausitzring was all about the new Champion, Marco Wittman who’s sixth place ended the title chase with two rounds to spare. “After the qualifiers I did not really believe that it would work out in the race. On the whole, however, we were able to drive a clean race. I am so emotional now, it is crazy. The season has been incredible so far. I am so proud of BMW Team RMG and BMW Motorsport. Everyone has done a sensational job. The pit stop was superb again in the race,” a jubilant Wittman expressed.

Wittmann laid the foundation for his title win during the Hockenheim season opener, where he scored his maiden DTM race win with an advantage of 13 seconds. At Budapest, Spielberg and at the Nürburgring, he also stood on the top step of the podium. Only seldom before, a race driver dominated proceedings in the DTM in a way like Wittmann did this year.

The champion now has 128 points to his name, beyond the reach of anyone, and a 69-point advantage over second-placed Vietoris. BMW Team RMG also tops the team standings with 167 points, giving it a 75-point cushion ahead of its closest rivals. Meantime, BMW has the lead in the manufacturers’ with 320 points.

Fellow BMW drivers who made the top ten at Lausitz included Farfus in seventh and Martin Tomczyk eighth, while Audi drivers who made the top ten cut were Scheider, Molina and last season’s DTM champ.

The ninth round of the DTM is next from 27 to 28 September at the Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

2014 DTM Lausitzring results

1 Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1:15:47.314
2 Christian Vietoris Mercedes +15.418
3 Timo Scheider Audi +15.681
4 Daniel Juncadella Mercedes +18.024
5 Robert Wickens Mercedes +32.677
6 Marco Wittmann BMW +48.435
7 Augusto Farfus BMW +1:02.380
8 Martin Tomczyk BMW +1:07.705
9 Miguel Molina Audi +1:08.719
10 Mike Rockenfeller Audi +1:13.480

Drivers’ standings
1. Marco Wittmann 128 points
2. Christian Vietoris 59
3. Mattias Ekström 56
4. Edoardo Mortara 56
5. Mike Rockenfeller 54
6. Bruno Spengler 42
7. Pascal Wehrlein 40
8. Maxime Martin 39
9. Augusto Farfus 39
10. Robert Wickens 35