Hockenheim DTM: Mortara dominates, but Wittmann takes title

A spectacular charge to victory from Audi's Edoardo Mortara was not enough to deny BMW's Marco Wittmann his second DTM drivers' title.

Hockenheim DTM: Mortara dominates, but Wittmann takes title
Title contender Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG and Edoardo Mortara, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline
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
Edoardo Mortara, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS 5 DTM
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Paul Di Resta, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Paul Di Resta, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Christian Vietoris, Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Christian Vietoris, Mercedes-AMG Team Mücke, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Timo Glock, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Maxime Martin, BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM
Podium: second place Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM

Wittmann, champion in his sophomore campaign in the series back in 2014, needed to finish fifth to ensure he would repeat in 2016 and duly brought the car home in fourth to get the job done.

The German became the DTM's first repeat champion since the retiring Timo Scheider, who had doubled up with Audi back in 2009.

Mortara's chances of overhauling WIttmann for the championship took a hit in qualifying, the Audi driver struggling with a technical issue for much of the session and only recovering to line up sixth, one spot behind his rival.

From there, the Italian needed to finish first or second to have any chance at the title at all - and, less than six laps after the start, Mortara was already at the helm of the race.

Poleman Antonio Felix da Costa had led the way off the line his final DTM race, with Gary Paffett of Mercedes maintaining second.

Wittmann was off to a solid start and got up to fourth, while Mortara slumped from sixth to seventh - but the Italian floored the throttle on the outside line into Turn 2 and emerged from the corner right behind Wittmann.

The championship leader was soon waved through by BMW stablemate Tom Blomqvist, but Mortara forced his way past the Anglo-Swede a lap later.

Out front, Paffett was all over da Costa, hassling the Portuguese driver from Turn 10 to Sachs on lap two and then going side-by-side out of the hairpin on lap three, da Costa just hanging on to the lead.

Their battle allowed both Wittmann and Mortara to catch right up before Paffett punted da Costa out of the way at the Mercedes corner on lap four, with Wittmann clashing with the Briton on exit.

Despite that, the championship leader kept second, which soon turned into the lead when Paffett was assessed a drive-through.

But a lap after, Mortara pulled a switchback move on Wittmann in the hairpin, getting a better exit and moving ahead on approach to Turn 7. In the next 15 laps, the Italian would escape into the distance, establishing a seven-second lead over his rival.

On lap 23, Mortara and Wittmann made their mandatory stops, and the Italian was held in the pits after his tyre change was finished as Wittmann arrived into his box.

Despite that, Mortara maintained the lead even after pitting, whereas Wittmann slipped behind Christian Vietoris, Blomqvist and Paul di Resta, all of whom had stopped earlier.

Running right behind di Resta, Wittmann found himself in fifth - a position just good enough to give him the title - as the field completed their mandatory stops. Soon, Blomqvist ran wide at the hairpin and was passed by di Resta, with the Anglo-Swede then allowing Wittmann through for fourth.

Out front, Mortara saw out the race distance to win by three seconds over Vietoris, the Mercedes driver making the most of his early-stop strategy.

Di Resta, running on older tyres than Wittmann, completed the podium, as the German settled for fourth, preferring not to risk his title.

He was followed home by BMW trio Timo Glock, Maxime Martin and Blomqvist, with Jamie Green, Robert Wickens and Martin Tomczyk making up the points.

Tomczyk's fellow DTM retirees - Scheider and Felix da Costa - endured disappointing ends to their careers in the series.

Scheider tapped Augusto Farfus into a spin early on, his race undone by a subsequent drive-through penalty, while da Costa, running well down the order after the Paffett collision, lost a wheel after his mandatory stop.

The teams' championship went to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, with the Ingolstadt marque also securing the manufacturers' crown.

Race results

Pos.#DriverCarLapsTimeGap
1 48 Edoardo Mortara Audi RS5 DTM 39 1:02'52.131  
2 8 Christian Vietoris Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 39 1:02'55.171 3.040
3 3 Paul di Resta Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 39 1:02'56.425 4.294
4 11 Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM 39 1:02'57.161 5.030
5 16 Timo Glock BMW M4 DTM 39 1:02'58.234 6.103
6 36 Maxime Martin BMW M4 DTM 39 1:03'01.078 8.947
7 31 Tom Blomqvist BMW M4 DTM 39 1:03'05.988 13.857
8 53 Jamie Green Audi RS5 DTM 39 1:03'07.185 15.054
9 6 Robert Wickens Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 39 1:03'08.143 16.012
10 100 Martin Tomczyk BMW M4 DTM 39 1:03'13.444 21.313
11 99 Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 DTM 39 1:03'13.634 21.503
12 7 Bruno Spengler BMW M4 DTM 39 1:03'14.361 22.230
13 51 Nico Müller Audi RS5 DTM 39 1:03'17.093 24.962
14 17 Miguel Molina Audi RS5 DTM 39 1:03'18.110 25.979
15 2 Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 39 1:03'20.068 27.937
16 22 Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 39 1:03'21.429 29.298
17 72 René Rast Audi RS5 DTM 39 1:03'28.661 36.530
18 10 Timo Scheider Audi RS5 DTM 39 1:03'31.243 39.112
19 84 Maximilian Götz Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 39 1:03'48.103 55.972
Ret 12 Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 33 53'55.482 6 laps
Ret 88 Felix Rosenqvist Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 32 52'09.132 7 laps
Ret 18 Augusto Farfus BMW M4 DTM 29 47'59.892 10 laps
Ret 13 Antonio Felix da Costa BMW M4 DTM 21 34'23.890 18 laps
Ret 27 Adrien Tambay Audi RS5 DTM 15 25'12.574 24 laps

 

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