|Last weekend’s DTM Rounds at Zandvoort saw Audi DTM driver Jamie Green and Mercedes AMG DTM driver Robert Wickens capture a victory each on the challenging Dutch Circuit. The Zandvoort round marked the end to the first half of the current DTM season.|
In a dominant way, Green, who started from pole position, drove to his first win of the season and the 13th of his DTM career. “I am overjoyed that I finally have won here at Zandvoort,” Green said at the finish. “I had to wait many years for this victory. Everything worked out. After the fast pit stop, the second set of tyres was very good and I was able to pull clear from Robert (Wickesn) and Gary (Paffett).”
After 39 laps, the Audi RS 5 DTM driver crossed the finish line with a margin of 9.731 seconds from Paffett. For Paffett, this was the first podium finish of the season. Audi driver Edoardo Mortara crossed the finish line in third place.
Until the 34th lap of the race, the three Mercedes drivers Wickens, Paffett and Christian Vietoris were following behind Green. Especially for Wickens, second place would have been important in the battle for the drivers’ title as it would have enabled him to significantly reduce the gap to Wittmann. After a puncture on the left front tyre, the Canadian had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop and crossed the finish line in 16th place. Likewise, Vietoris lost the third place he had inherited after Wickens’s problem due to a puncture.
Wittmann benefited from the bad luck of the two Mercedes-AMG drivers. The BMW driver finished fourth and defended his lead in the drivers’ standings, in which he now has 105 points. With his victory, Green moved up to second in the championship (98 points). Edoardo Mortara is third with 88 points. Meanwhile, Wickens, who despite winning the opening race, dropped from second to fourth and has 83 points to his tally after ten races.
In opening race, Wickens, having started from pole position, won the 25-lap race with a 7.217-second margin from standings leader Wittmann. Third place went to Vietoris Mercedes-AMG. For Wickens, it was the fourth win in his DTM career. He scored his most recent success to date at the Norisring in 2015. “Even though it looked easy, winning a race is never easy,” Wickens said at the finish. “
Second place finisher Wittmann, after nine of this season’s 18 DTM races, claims the unofficial title of ‘half-time champion’. “Zandvoort seems to suit me, even though Robert (Wickens) was slightly faster in the race. I am happy with second place and the 18 points,” Wittman said. Unlike Wickens, Wittmann had to defend his position from Vietoris, who took the flag in third place and kept Wittmann under pressure throughout the race. The latter was able to breath briefly, when Paffett took the place of his fellow Mercedes-AMG driver to increase the pressure on Wittmann, but to no avail. Only on the final lap, Vietoris claimed back third place.
After a five weeks’ summer break, the DTM will be resume at Moscow Raceway in Russia, 19 – 21 August. Close to the Russian capital, the eleventh and twelfth race of the season will be held.