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Date 09/25/2014 Hits74,371

Category Motorsports

Robert Wickens continues Mercedes-Benz winning streak at the Norisring

Mercedes-Benz has continued its impressive winning streak at the Norisring. On the track in the heart of Nuremberg, Robert Wickens won round four of the 2014 DTM season and secured the eleventh victory in a row for the Stuttgart automobile manufacturer on the legendary circuit. The pilots took up the race in the rain on wet tyres supplied by the exclusive DTM tyre partner Hankook, but as the circuit began to dry they switched to the ultra fast Ventus Race Plus options slicks. Despite the changeable weather conditions, both types of Hankook tyres, rain and option, allowed precise vehicle handling and delivered a consistently high level of grip from start to finish.

Norisring/Nuremberg, 29 June 2014 – Rain saw the race start behind the safety car which then pulled off the circuit after three laps, giving the field the green-flagged. Pole-sitter Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) extended his lead lap after lap and commandingly defended his front-running position to the flag also after his pit stop. Right up until shortly before the flag it looked like a double victory for Mercedes-Benz. However, Christian Vietoris retired in lap 74 while running in second place due to a loose wheel nut on his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.

Unlike in the qualifying, Audi improved tremendously and occupied the following three places. Jamie Green, nicknamed “Mr Norisring” after clinching four victories here, finished second, with Mattias Ekström putting in a spirited effort from grid position twelve to finish in third. Behind him his brand colleague Edoardo Mortara saw the flag in fourth which shuffled him up the overall points’ ladder to now rank second. The best BMW pilot was Marco Wittmann on sixth. With this result, the 24 year old managed to hold on to his lead in the driver’s classification. The reigning DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) scored only four points with eighth place.

“There was hardly any degradation of the wet tyres even on the drying track. After Bruno Spengler was the first to switch to option slicks in lap 50, the rest of the field followed suit. The soft rubber very quickly reached its ideal operating temperature and offered a high level of grip even on the occasional wet segment,” analysed Hankook’s DTM race engineer Christophe Stucki after the race.

The fastest pit stop was achieved by the BMW team MTEK in 31.433 seconds in lap six. As their reward, the winning crew receives three crates of beer at the next race weekend in Moscow. Moreover, they are awarded 25 points for the overall rankings in the Best Pit Stop Award from Hankook. At the end of the season, the exclusive DTM tyre partner rewards the fastest pit crew with a trophy and a lavish team barbecue.

Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) : “That was a great victory for me and the team here at the Norisring. The Hankook wet tyres were fantastic, they were unbelievably constant in their performance and didn’t deteriorate at all on the drying circuit. The option slicks also ran perfectly, it was simply a perfect race.”

Jamie Green (Audi) : “We drove more than half the race on Hankook wets and there wasn’t the slightest problem. You only had to take care of the rear tyres a little at the exit of the first and last corners in order to conserve them. But everything worked out well.”

Mattias Ekström (Audi) : “The wet tyres from Hankook performed very well, even though it was difficult early on with lots of water on the track. Under changeable conditions the option tyres continued to perform perfectly. I enjoyed every lap.”


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