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Jonathan Aberdein is the best-placed BMW driver in the first race of the final DTM weekend at the Hockenheimring.

Jonathan Aberdein was the best-placed BMW driver in the penultimate race of the current DTM season, finishing in fifth position at the Hockenheimring. The result saw the South African driver move up two places to eleventh in the drivers’ standings. Robert Kubica from the privateer BMW customer team ART Grand Prix in eighth place and Philipp Eng and Sheldon van der Linde in ninth and tenth were the other three BMW drivers to finish in the points.

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Hockenheim. Jonathan Aberdein (RSA, CATL BMW M4 DTM) was the best-placed BMW driver in the penultimate race of the current DTM season, finishing in fifth position at the Hockenheimring. The result saw the South African driver move up two places to eleventh in the drivers’ standings. Robert Kubica (POL) from the privateer BMW customer team ART Grand Prix in eighth place and Philipp Eng (AUT, ZF BMW M4 DTM) and Sheldon van der Linde (RSA, Shell BMW M4 DTM) in ninth and tenth were the other three BMW drivers to finish in the points.

 

Aberdein recorded the third-fastest time in qualifying but started from sixth position after the imposition of a grid penalty and was unable to break out of the back end of the field for a long period. However, a safety car period shortly before the end of the race gave him the opportunity to leap forward. He crossed the line in sixth position and then moved up once more to fifth after a penalty for Mike Rockenfeller (GER / Audi). Aberdein now has 56 points and moves up from 13th to eleventh place in the drivers’ standings.

 

Things looked promising for some time for van der Linde, who stayed in touch with the leaders after starting fourth on the grid, but fell back towards the end of the race. Eng defended his top-ten position for the duration of the race, crossing the finish line in ninth place. Lucas Auer (AUT, BMW Bank M4 DTM) took the chequered flag in twelfth. The race was over for Marco Wittmann (GER, Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM) after a collision at the very start. Timo Glock (GER) also suffered some bad luck: he was forced to retire his iQOO BMW M4 DTM just before the end.

 

 

Reactions to the 17th DTM race of the 2020 season.

 

Jens Marquardt:

“You have to say, that was an eventful race. After the cold temperatures in qualifying this morning, we were actually in a pretty good position with the cars in fourth, fifth and sixth. But you could see at the start of the race; we knew it would be a real battle to keep the tyres going. I feel really sorry for Jonathan Aberdein and Sheldon van der Linde, because they deserved a better result than finishing in fifth and tenth places. Of course, it’s positive that we were able to get Philipp Eng over the line in between them, but the safety car did shake things up. Put simply, you can see that it is difficult to keep the tyres warm when the temperatures are cold. That is why we did as well as we could here. We have to try to finish higher up in qualifying tomorrow. Then we’ll go full throttle again.”

 

Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 14th, Race: DNF, Drivers’ standings: 8th, 95 points):

“I had a good start and was able to move up by two or three places before turn one. Then I got hit on the left from behind. That spun me to the left and I smacked into the barrier with Harrison Newey. The contact was totally unexpected. I will have to take a look at the TV recording first to see what happened, but of course, it’s a real shame that my race finished so early.”

 

Timo Glock (#16 iQOO BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMG, Grid: 13th, Race: DNF, Driver’s standings: 5th, 116 points):

“The start went really well and I moved up two places. After the restart, I even made it to the top six. I was feeling good to start with, but then my tyres deteriorated pretty quickly. The tyres meant that my car just wasn’t really balanced. I had so much graining that I was unable to do anything and the second set of tyres didn’t make any difference at all. That was the same set of tyres we’d used in qualifying, which unfortunately just didn't work out at all. We had no grip at all for the whole stint. Then the car started to pull heavily to the left at the front and really didn't want to turn, especially going into the right-handers. Then the car was really pumping on the brakes, and at some point I was just unable to slow down in the Sachs turn, so I went straight into the gravel trap.”

 

Lucas Auer (#22 BMW Bank M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 16th, Race: 12th, Drivers’ standings: 12th, 51 points):

“In general, the last few races have been difficult. The balance was good in qualifying today, but we will have to take a close look at how we can improve overall. That was the penultimate DTM race with this generation of cars and I am trying to enjoy it all.”

 

Philipp Eng (#25 ZF BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 5th, Race: 9th, Drivers’ standings: 13th, 47 points):

“Qualifying was great, although I am easily the slowest car on the straights. We will really have to take a look at that for tomorrow, as the balance and setup of the car were perfect. I think that this was the best qualifying car I have had in this whole season. Of course, things were difficult in the race due to the top speed problems, even compared to my BMW team-mates. I think I did as well as I could have done. We made a superb strategy call at the end when I pitted during the safety car period – and we didn’t lose a single place.”

 

Jonathan Aberdein (#27 CATL BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RMR, Grid: 6th, Race: 5th, Drivers’ standings: 11th, 56 points):

“I have to say, that was a really interesting race. That grid penalty for me was very unfortunate and knocked me back to sixth position. There were a few tough moments in the race, which saw me lose a few places and I had to battle back. All in all, it was a strong performance. It was a shame that I lost two places at the end, as I think that a fourth-place finish would have been possible. Nonetheless, it was a good result overall.”

 

Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 DTM, BMW Team RBM, Grid: 4th, Race: 10th, Drivers’ standings: 6th, 106 points):

“There’s not much to be said about this race. The start went really well, as did the restart. I was in third place. Jamie Green then overtook me later in the race. Then the safety car made another appearance. After the second restart, it was like driving on ice. We will have to look at the data and I don't want to be too hasty in making any comments, but it is clear that something wasn't right. I had no grip at all. We fell back from fourth to tenth in two laps. In any case, we go on.”

 

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