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DTM Zandvoort: Marco Wittmann wins after a dramatic comeback – René Rast on the podium.

The spell is broken! Marco Wittmann (GER) celebrated his first victory since the season finale in 2022 at Hockenheim (GER) after a dramatic comeback in Sunday's DTM race at Zandvoort (NED). Wittmann fought his way from 14th on the grid to the front and defended his lead in spectacular fashion. It was also the first season win for Schubert Motorsport and the BMW M4 GT3.

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Zandvoort. The spell is broken! Marco Wittmann (GER) celebrated his first victory since the season finale in 2022 at Hockenheim (GER) after a dramatic comeback in Sunday's DTM race at Zandvoort (NED). Wittmann fought his way from 14th on the grid to the front and defended his lead in spectacular fashion. It was also the first season win for Schubert Motorsport and the BMW M4 GT3. In Saturday's race, René Rast (GER) secured the team's first podium of the year with a second-place finish. Wittmann's victory marked the crowning conclusion of an extraordinary weekend for the BMW M Motorsport DTM drivers .

 

Zandvoort, Le Mans, Zandvoort. For Wittmann, Rast, and Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), the race weekend was marked by two highlights: the DTM races in Zandvoort and the test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA). Immediately after the trio's return from France on Sunday, Wittmann clinched his 19th victory in the DTM. Rast stood on the podium for the 51st time in his DTM career on Saturday.

 

Wittmann started Sunday from position 14 but was able to use the strong performance of the BMW M4 GT3 to work his way forward. After his pit stop, he was in the lead, which he defended in a hard duel against Mirko Bortolotti (ITA, Lamborghini). His car’s left rear tyre was damaged and smoke developed. Fortunately, the tyre held up until the end of the race, and Wittmann was able to celebrate on the podium. In Saturday's race, the two-time DTM champion had driven from 17th on the grid to seventh.

 

Rast fought his way up from seventh position to second place on the podium on Saturday. A day later, he finished seventh from the last starting position. Van der Linde finished both races in sixth and eighth places. On Sunday, he made up nine places in his #31 BMW M4 GT3.

 

In the ADAC GT Masters, the FK Performance Motorsport duo of Maxime Oosten (NED) and Leon Köhler (GER) in the #54 BMW M4 GT3 celebrated their second season victory. On Sunday, they drove from fifth on the grid to the front and reduced their deficit in the overall standings to just eight points. In the first race on Saturday, Oosten and Köhler had fought their way forward from the last starting position to fifth after problems in qualifying. In the sister #10 car, Gregory de Sybourg (SUI) and Eduardo Coseteng (PHI) finished twelfth and ninth.

 

Comments after the races:

 

Björn Lellmann (Head of Customer Racing at BMW M Motorsport): “What an incredible weekend here at Zandvoort! Congratulations to Marco Wittmann and Schubert Motorsport on the long-awaited first season victory in the DTM. Congratulations also to René Rast, whose first podium on Saturday clearly broke the ice. The BMW M4 GT3 was very strong here. That certainly helped with the spectacular comebacks in both races. Nevertheless, it cannot be overstated how nerve-wracking and savvy all our BMW M works drivers fought through the field on both days. The team also did a perfect job with the strategy and pit stops. Equally thrilling was the second season victory for FK Performance Motorsport in the ADAC GT Masters. Maxime Oosten and Leon Köhler are doing a fantastic job!”

 

Torsten Schubert (Team Principal Schubert Motorsport): “I am pleased that we have all three cars in the top ten again. Of course, especially for Marco for the victory, after it unfortunately didn't work out at Oschersleben, but that's probably why the victory today is probably worth even more. He really fought for it. To drive from 14th to the front is unique, to pull out the victory in the process. It was a great team performance, the tactic to drive long with the new tyres and then to make the overcut on Mirko Bortolotti worked very well. It was exactly the right second, we couldn't have waited a minute longer. And if we now also get the qualifying right, then I think we can always be well up there.”

 

Marco Wittmann (#11 Schaeffler BMW M4 GT3): “I am, of course, overjoyed. What a race! This morning we were still at Le Mans, and now we have won here at Zandvoort from 14th place. What a story! When you start from P14, you don't expect to go all the way to the top. We knew we already had strong pace yesterday and of course hoped we could repeat that. But that it went so well! I already made up five positions in the starting phase. It was also a great duel with Mirko with several touches. My car was already very damaged. Due to the strong smoke development, I personally didn't think we could finish the race. The rear left tyre took a lot of damage. I basically waited every lap for us to have a tyre failure. Luckily the rear left corner fell off, which allowed us to finish the race. It's unbelievable.”

 

René Rast (#33 RoboMarkets BMW M4 GT3): “It was a bit of a damage limitation weekend. First, we got the first podium of the season with second place yesterday after starting from seventh so I was naturally happy about the podium. It was also a good points haul. Today we knew it would be difficult from the last place. But still, seventh place came out of it. That's good for the championship. Plus the first win for the team - I'm happy for the guys that they can celebrate a bit after the hard work.”

 

Sheldon van der Linde (#31 Shell BMW M4 GT3): “Unfortunately, it was a very difficult weekend for me, one to forget. I just couldn't get the car to work at all. René and Marco showed that the car can achieve good results but I just didn't get it together this weekend, so we have to analyse quite a bit before the Norisring. I would like to congratulate Marco and the team on winning from 14th place today. He gave a very strong performance throughout the weekend. We can always learn from each other, and this weekend I learned a lot from him. Now I'm looking forward to Le Mans; that's where the whole focus is now. But I can't wait to come back here next year, because Zandvoort is one of the coolest places and one of my favorite tracks.”

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