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BMW pilot Marco Wittmann on course for title after Red Bull Ring win
With his victory at the most popular international touring car series on the Red Bull Ring, Marco Wittmann has taken another big step towards securing the title. The BMW pilot won the sixth of ten DTM rounds on Sunday in Spielberg, Austria, and extended his lead in the driver’s classification by 39 points over Mattias Ekström (Audi). The ultra-fast option tyre and baseline slick of the DTM’s exclusive tyre partner Hankook delivered excellent grip and impressed with their high level of consistency on the smooth surface of the alpine circuit.
Spielberg/Austria, 3 August 2014 – Marco Wittmann’s win, however, came as a consequence of a controversial decision made by the stewards that saw the leader Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) disqualified in lap 34. While exiting the pit-lane after a tyre change, the pole-sitter had allegedly hampered Timo Glock (BMW) behind him and for this reason was handed a drive-through penalty. But the Canadian failed to come in for his penalty within the specified three laps and was black-flagged.
This not only opened the door for eventual winner Wittmann, but also for his brand colleagues Augusto Farfus, Timo Glock and Martin Tomczyk who locked-out places two to four. This saw BMW even exceed last year’s result when the Munich automobile manufacturer celebrated a triple victory. Behind the BMW barrage came Audi pilots Timo Scheider, Adrien Tambay, Mattias Ekström and Jamie Green in positions five to eight. Taking up the race from 15th, Ekström in second overall managed to improve his ranking in the points but still lost ground to front-runner Wittmann. The best Mercedes-Benz driver was Christian Vietoris in ninth.
Once again, the Hankook race tyre delivered an excellent overall performance on the 4.326 kilometre Red Bull Ring with track temperatures reaching 48 degrees Celsius. “Both our Ventus Race Plus option tyre and the Ventus Race baseline slick provided excellent grip at a consistently high level. Audi pilot Mike Rockenfeller turned the fastest race laps just before the finish. This is proof of the very high consistency of our race tyres,” said Hankook’s DTM race engineer Christophe Stucki after the thrilling race.
Marco Wittmann (BMW) : “I kept a little distance to the leader at the start to conserve the option tyre and that worked very well. When we switched to the baseline slick our balance and performance were really good and we could push ahead.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW) : “That was a great race and I enjoyed the fight at the front. At first I avoided pushing too hard because I didn’t want to overtax the vehicle and tyres. Hankook supplied me with perfect rubber, both the option tyres and the baseline slicks worked perfectly.”
Timo Scheider (Audi) : “I fought my way from the back and squeezed everything I could out of the option tyres until I eventually caught the front-runners. When I got the team orders to pit I could hardly believe how good the tyres still were. The baseline slicks also ran brilliantly and I enjoyed the same performance as BMW.”
Audi Sport Team Abt performed the fastest pit stop in a time of 22.230 seconds in lap 22. As a reward, the winning crew will receive three crates of beer at the next race weekend at the Nürburgring (Germany). Moreover, 25 points are awarded for the overall classification for the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award. At the end of the season the exclusive DTM tyre partner presents the fastest pit crew of the season with a trophy and treats the squad to a large team barbecue.