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DTM: BMW M Motorsport teams in the points at the Lausitzring – 100th DTM race for René Rast.

Overall, the BMW M Motorsport teams endured a difficult DTM weekend of ups and downs at the Lausitzring (GER). In Saturday’s race, important points were claimed by defending champion Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) in fifth, his Schubert Motorsport team-mate René Rast (GER) in eighth and Marco Wittmann (GER) in tenth place.

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Lausitzring. Overall, the BMW M Motorsport teams endured a difficult DTM weekend of ups and downs at the Lausitzring (GER). In Saturday’s race, important points were claimed by defending champion Sheldon van der Linde (RSA) in fifth, his Schubert Motorsport team-mate René Rast (GER) in eighth and Marco Wittmann (GER) in tenth place. Problems in qualifying on Sunday pushed the BMW M Motorsport drivers to the back of the grid, but Wittmann in particular gave a superb recovery performance. There was another reason to celebrate for Rast as on Sunday, he completed the 100th DTM race of a career that has included three title wins.

 

Although the BMW M4 GT3 was generally unable to keep pace with the leaders at the Lausitzring, van der Linde, Rast and Wittmann coped pretty well in qualifying on Saturday and secured fifth, eighth and tenth positions in the race, having started from the middle of the pack.

 

They had worse luck in qualifying on Sunday with a red flag five minutes before the end of the session. It proved impossible for them to get their tyres to the right temperature after the restart, resulting in grid positions of 15th for Rast, 21st for van der Linde and 22nd for Wittmann. However, the trio of BMW M works drivers displayed plenty of fighting spirit in the race as they gave impressive recovery performances. Wittmann in particular had a sparkling drive to move up from 22nd to ninth place. He fell back to tenth place due to a post-race five-second time penalty. Rast finished eleventh, while van der Linde claimed 13th position. Sandro Holzem (GER) enjoyed two respectable finishes on his second DTM weekend, securing 17th and 18th places in the second BMW M4 GT3 from the Project 1 team.

 

Reactions to the DTM weekend at the Lausitzring:

 

Sheldon van der Linde (#1 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “I am particularly proud of the fifth place that we achieved on Saturday. I think that was the absolute maximum that we could have achieved, under the conditions that we had with the BMW M4 GT3. Unfortunately, we dropped a lot of points on Sunday due to qualifying and some minor incidents in the race. That is disappointing, but I am still very much in the title race – and now there are some circuits coming up that should suit our car better. We will continue to go full throttle.”

 

René Rast (#33 BMW M4 GT3, Schubert Motorsport): “I finished in the points in both races, but overall, the points gain is meager. I would have naturally expected something more for my 100th race. It was evident that we didn't have the prerequisites to be competitive this weekend. I was the highest-placed BMW driver with P15 in qualifying on Sunday – I think that says it all. In the race, I gained a few positions, but more wasn't possible.”

 

Marco Wittmann (#11 BMW M4 GT3, Project 1): “I view the weekend with mixed feelings. I scored points in both races and my race pace was really very good, especially on Sunday. But, of course, my aspiration is to be competing at the front. We aren’t managing that right now. As a team, we just don’t have the experience of the individual circuits. That is particularly noticeable in the practice sessions, as we spend longer searching for the right set-up than the more experienced teams. In the meantime, we are really good at reaching the level of the others for the race and gave good performances, but overall we still have room for improvement as we look ahead to the upcoming races.”

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