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Marco Wittmann remains on course for the title after penultimate DTM weekend in Hungary
Marco Wittmann took a big step towards the DTM title in the second race at the Hungaroring on Sunday. Finishing in fourth place, the BMW driver extended his lead over Edoardo Mortara (Audi), who did not finish in the points, in the overall standings to 26 points. After 36 laps, his Audi brand mate Mattias Ekström crossed the finish line in first place, celebrating his 22nd win overall in the most popular international touring car series. The racing tyres of premium tyre maker Hankook provided all of the drivers with plenty of traction during the numerous braking and accelerating manoeuvres on the winding track.
Budapest/Hungary, 25th September 2016 – The numerous spectators at the Hungaroring witnessed a turbulent start to the third from last race of the 2016 DTM season. The pole sitter and second-placed driver overall, Edoardo Mortara (Audi), started badly and was immediately attacked by championship leader Marco Wittmann (BMW) and Jamie Green (Audi), who were in third and fourth place. All three cars came into contact with each other, which resulted in Edoardo Mortara and Jamie Green having to return to the pit lane. While the Brit was unable to continue, Mortara returned to the race, but was forced to retire his racer on lap 34.
Mattias Ekström (Audi) was the main benefactor of the collisions at the start. The second-fastest driver in qualifying immediately took the lead and brought home a commanding win ahead of his brand mate Adrien Tambay, who started the race from tenth on the grid. Finishing in third place, Mercedes-Benz driver Daniel Juncadella celebrated the first podium position of his DTM career. Front-runner Marco Wittmann was able to avoid an accident in the turbulence at the start and picked up a valuable twelve points for finishing fourth in his badly damaged BMW M4 DTM. This sees the 26-year-old head to the finale in Hockenheim with good prospects of claiming his second DTM title after winning in 2014. Edoardo Mortara is his only remaining challenger for the title.
"We are in the business end of the DTM, everything was at stake for the title contenders Edoardo Mortara, Jamie Green and Marco Wittmann. They drove with their gloves off and battled for every centimetre right from the start. Naturally it was unfortunate that Jamie Green retired and Edoardo Mortara was also unable to finish the race. But the championship hasn't been decided yet, everything could change at the finale in Hockenheim," said Manfred Sandbichler, Hankook Motorsport Director in Europe.
The Mercedes-AMG team had the fastest pit stop at the Hungaroring with a time of 27.145 seconds; which receives 25 points in the overall standings of Hankook's Best Pit Stop Award. The winning crew will also receive the traditional prize for their performance at the next race weekend in Hockenheim. The exclusive tyre partner of the DTM rewards the team with the most points, and thereby the fastest team, with a challenge cup that has been coveted for many years.
Mattias Ekström (Audi): "Naturally I am pleased with this win, but I was a bit bored up there at the front. But after the start there was a lot of entertainment behind me; unfortunately, Edo and Jamie weren't able to finish the race."
Adrien Tambay (Audi): "I got away well at the start and had a very good first stint with the Hankook race tyres, although I put my front tyres under a lot of stress behind Eki. After that I tried to avoid making any mistakes, which fortunately I managed."
Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-Benz): "I managed really well with the Hankook race tyres. They were very consistent throughout the entire race and there weren't any problems. I'm delighted with my first podium position."
Marco Wittmann (BMW): "I had a really good start, great acceleration and momentum was on my side. Everyone saw what happened next. My car was pretty badly damaged after the accident and the balance wasn't very good. But despite that, the Hankook race tyres only showed very slight wear and tear."