Hockenheim DTM: Molina dominates, Wittmann extends points lead

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Hockenheim DTM: Molina dominates, Wittmann extends points lead
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DTM championship leader Marco Wittmann extended his advantage at the top of the standings heading into the season finale, as Miguel Molina won the Saturday race at Hockenheim.

Miguel Molina, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS 5 DTM with his engineer
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Edoardo Mortara, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS 5 DTM
Edoardo Mortara, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS 5 DTM
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Timo Glock, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Rene Rast, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM

Wittmann entered the race with a 14-point lead over Mortara, needing to gain 12 points on his Italian rival to clinch the title with one race to spare.

At one point in the race, he was in position to do just that, but a heroic drive from Mortara kept the title battle alive heading into Sunday.

As Molina passed poleman Antonio Felix da Costa off the line, Wittmann just held on to fourth, with BMW stablemate Maxime Martin backing out of a move on the championship and losing a number of places.

Among those to pass Martin was Mortara, who moved up to seventh as a result, but the Italian was then demoted to eighth at Sachs with a forceful move from Timo Glock, the duo making contact on corner exit.

Wittmann, meanwhile, was waved through by Tom Blomqvist at the hairpin, settling into third place.

Da Costa, racing in his final weekend in DTM, tried to put pressure on race leader Molina during the opening stint, but eventually slowed up to allow Wittmann through into second.

At that point, even with Molina checking out up ahead, Wittmann was heading towards an early title confirmation - but a crucial four-lap stint from Mortara in the middle of the race kept his title hopes alive.

As Glock looked down the inside of fellow BMW driver Augusto Farfus into the hairpin and then ducked back in behind his teammate, Mortara divebombed Glock for P7 and emerged ahead.

He then eased past Farfus on the next lap and was through on Audi stablemate Mike Rockenfeller on lap 17 as Rockenfeller was battling Blomqvist.

The Anglo-Swede fell by the wayside on approach to the hairpin on lap 18, with Mortara taking over in fourth.

He then made massive inroads into da Costa's advantage, arriving at the back of the Portuguese driver in the closing stages, with Wittmann just ahead.

With a minute left on the clock, Mortara pulled off an audacious hairpin overtake on da Costa to step onto the podium.

But Wittmann remained ahead until the chequered flag, taking a 17-point lead into the Sunday race, with 25 points available.

Crossing the finish line, Mortara went on the radio to say: "We're the only ones who deserve this championship."

Behind him, da Costa took fourth in his penultimate DTM race, ahead of Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekstrom stand-in Rene Rast, the prototype ace banking his first points in the series in his second start.

Glock was seventh, ahead of Jamie Green, who had entered the round with an outside chance at the title and was duly eliminated from contention.

Blomqvist wound up ninth, while Paul di Resta scored Mercedes' only point of the day.

Race results

Pos.#DriverCarLapsTimeGap
1 17 Miguel Molina Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'02.346  
2 11 Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM 27 43'04.007 1.661
3 48 Edoardo Mortara Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'05.151 2.805
4 13 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW M4 DTM 27 43'07.216 4.870
5 99 Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'08.410 6.064
6 72 René Rast Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'10.338 7.992
7 16 Timo Glock BMW M4 DTM 27 43'14.204 11.858
8 53 Jamie Green Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'18.316 15.970
9 31 Tom Blomqvist BMW M4 DTM 27 43'19.534 17.188
10 3 Paul di Resta Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 27 43'21.394 19.048
11 18 Augusto Farfus BMW M4 DTM 27 43'23.554 21.208
12 27 Adrien Tambay Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'24.274 21.928
13 36 Maxime Martin BMW M4 DTM 27 43'24.817 22.471
14 7 Bruno Spengler BMW M4 DTM 27 43'25.579 23.233
15 51 Nico Müller Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'26.154 23.808
16 10 Timo Scheider Audi RS5 DTM 27 43'26.634 24.288
17 84 Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 27 43'27.058 24.712
18 22 Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 27 43'27.313 24.967
19 2 Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 27 43'32.930 30.584
20 100 Martin Tomczyk BMW M4 DTM 27 43'38.250 35.904
21 12 Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 27 43'39.718 37.372
22 8 Christian Vietoris Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 27 43'45.939 43.593
23 6 Robert Wickens Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 25 40'32.775 2 laps
24 88 Felix Rosenqvist Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 9 15'08.604 18 laps

 

Hockenheim DTM: Da Costa on pole, Wittmann beats Mortara

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