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300th podium for BMW in the DTM: Marco Wittmann takes third place at the Lausitzring.

Marco Wittmann (GER) claimed the 300th DTM podium for BMW in Sunday’s race at the Lausitzring (GER). In doing so, he achieved another milestone for BMW in the popular touring car series. From seventh on the grid, Wittmann started strongly in the Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM and pulled off a late overtaking manoeuvre to pass Robin Frijns (NED, Audi) and take third place.

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Lausitzring.  Marco Wittmann (GER) claimed the 300th DTM podium for BMW in Sunday’s race at the Lausitzring (GER). In doing so, he achieved another milestone for BMW in the popular touring car series. From seventh on the grid, Wittmann started strongly in the Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM and pulled off a late overtaking manoeuvre to pass Robin Frijns (NED, Audi) and take third place. Timo Glock (GER, iQOO BMW M4 DTM), Philipp Eng (AUT, ZF BMW M4 DTM) and Jonathan Aberdein (RSA, CATL BMW M4 DTM) also showed clear signs of improvement after a tough qualifying session, finishing sixth, seventh and ninth in the race itself.
 
In hot conditions, and with tyre wear a significant factor at the Lausitzring, the BMW DTM teams focussed on the race when setting up the BMW M4 DTM. The consequence of that was the inability to back up Saturday’s fine performance in qualifying, and thus had to start Sunday’s race from towards the back of the grid. However, the majority of the drivers fought back strongly to pick up valuable points, with Wittmann even claiming a well-earned podium.
 
Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) also found himself in the top five after his early pit stop, but then paid the price for this courageous strategy as his tyres suffered in the final few laps. He came home in 15th place, just behind Lucas Auer (AUT, BMW Bank M4 DTM). Victory went to René Rast (GER, Audi). This coming weekend, the Lausitzring is again the venue for the next round of the DTM, which will this time take place on a longer layout.
 
Reactions to the fourth DTM race of the 2020 season at the Lausitzring.
 
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director):
“Marco Wittmann’s podium is a real highlight, as it is the 300th podium for BMW in the DTM – another milestone in our long history in this racing series. Marco drove a superb race and pulled off a brilliant and intelligent overtaking manoeuvre shortly before the finish, which ultimately earned him third place. Compliments to everyone on landing four BMW M4 DTMs in third, sixth, seventh and ninth places after the tough qualifying session. We focussed on the race from the outset today, which meant making a compromise in qualifying. We must do a better job of coping with that compromise next week, as the race is obviously easier the further up the grid you start. I feel sorry for Sheldon van der Linde. We called him in early for his pit stop, which catapulted him up the field. Unfortunately, his tyres gave up in the end. On the whole, we have taken a big step forward compared to Spa-Francorchamps. We must back that up next week. Congratulations to René Rast on his win.”
 
Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 7th, Race: 3rd, Drivers’ standings: 6th, 28 points):
“I had an extremely good start and a super first lap, after which I was already up to third place. I then battled with Robin Frijns and René Rast for the lead. I finally got past Robin on the penultimate lap. Nonetheless, you have to say that the gap to the Audis is still very big in qualifying and in the race. Third place is a decent enough result. However, our goal is to challenge for titles, and we are a long way off doing that at the moment. We must work hard to close that gap.”
 
Timo Glock (#16 iQOO BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 12th, Race: 6th, Driver’s standings: 9th, 22 points):
“After today’s qualifying, in which all the BMW drivers had issues with the car, I am definitely in a more positive frame of mind. The balance was good again in the race. I really had a good first lap and climbed into the top ten. I then had good speed and we came into the pits too early. That made the second stint very long, which meant I had to look after my tyres carefully. I did that well, and managed the DRS well. Generally speaking, I can be happy with that.”
 
Lucas Auer (#22 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 15th, Race: 14th, Drivers’ standings: 11th, 10 points):
“That was a weekend to forget. We found a few things on the car after yesterday, but they did not really result in us making much progress. We have a few issues that need resolving in order to do better next weekend.”
 
Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 11th, Race: 7th, Drivers’ standings: 10th, 16 points):
“I did not have a good starting position – that was the main problem. The start was not very good. I was a bit unfortunate in the first two corners, in which I fell back through the field when Ferdinand Habsburg returned to the track. After that, it was a reasonable race with a lot of battles. The pit stop was perfect. I am pleased to see BMW on the podium again. That is a great sign and I hope I am up there next time.”
 
Jonathan Aberdein (#27 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 14th, Race: 9th, Drivers’ standings: 13th, 5 points):
“That was a tough day for me. I had a few problems with my car’s balance in qualifying. However, I fought back well in the race and came home ninth.”
 
Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 10th, Race: 15th, Drivers’ standings: 7th, 26 points):
“We went for a risky strategy today and came in for a tyre change on lap eight. That initially allowed me to gain a lot of positions, and may have looked really good from the outside. Ultimately, however, our risk did not pay off. In the final few laps, there was nothing I could do to hold off the cars behind me. These things happen sometimes. I will take the positives from yesterday into the next race weekend.”

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