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Marco Wittmann on course for title after eighth DTM win
Marco Wittmann produced a commanding performance at the Nürburgring on Saturday to win the 13th race of the 2016 DTM season. This result means that the BMW driver has extended his lead over Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz) in the Drivers’ Championship to 35 points. Coming into the last five races of the season, he is now favourite to claim the title in the world’s most popular international touring car series. The Ventus Race from premium tyre partner Hankook was a model of consistency, providing a reliable and responsive performance and meeting every challenge throughout the 40-minute race in the Eifel region of Germany. The spectators at this historic circuit in the Eifel enjoyed a thrilling race with plenty of overtaking manoeuvres and hard-fought battles.
Nürburgring/Germany, 10th September 2016 – Championship leader Marco Wittmann (BMW) started Saturday’s race in the Eifel from pole position. He had originally qualified second but profited from Lucas Auer’s misfortune, as the Mercedes-Benz driver was relegated five places on the grid after collecting his third warning in Moscow a fortnight ago. The 2014 champion defended his position from the start and celebrated his eighth DTM win after 30 laps, crossing the line more than seven seconds clear of fellow BMW driver Tom Blomqvist.
Behind them, Jamie Green claimed third place. This means that the Audi driver is third in the overall standings, 36 points behind Wittmann. He remains ahead of fellow Audi man Edoardo Mortara, who finished the first race of the DTM weekend at the Nürburgring in fourth position. The best Mercedes-Benz driver was Paul Di Resta in sixth, while pole sitter Lucas Auer ended the race in seventh place in his Mercedes AMG-C 63 DTM. Robert Wickens, second in the overall standings, started from 13th place and was able to finish in the points, coming home ninth.
Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “We all witnessed a thrilling and entertaining race at the Nürburgring. Marco Wittmann produced a great performance and there were some interesting goings-on behind him. There were some tough duels and a lot of overtaking manoeuvres, so you can see that the decisive phase of the championship is approaching. But that is how motorsport should be. The Hankook race tyre performed very well and supported all the drivers perfectly.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW): “We had a great day today. Things started well in qualifying. The Hankook race tyres gave me excellent grip at the start and I got away really well. That may have been my best ever start. I was able to maintain the pace and extend my lead. The Hankook slick performed very well for the whole race.”
Jamie Green (Audi): “The Hankook race tyre was very good in qualifying. It was easy to get it working in these temperatures. I came off the track during one manoeuvre in the race and picked up a lot of dirt. I wasn’t able to catch Blomqvist after that.”
Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz): “I don’t know what the problem was. Maybe something on the car was damaged or broken. I just didn’t have a chance today. We now have to analyse what the reason was and get back to our normal level of performance.”