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Consistent, clever and incredibly cool: Marco Wittmann’s road to his second DTM title with BMW Motorsport.
Mon Oct 17 09:37:00 CEST 2016 Press Release
Join us, as we look back at Marco Wittmann’s route to the 2016 DTM Drivers’ Championship.
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Hockenheim (DE), 16th October 2016. Marco Wittmann (DE) has become the first BMW driver in the history of the DTM to win two Drivers’ Championships. Having won the title in 2014, he was again crowned champion on Sunday, after finishing fourth in the final race of the year at the Hockenheimring (DE).
The 26-year-old BMW Team RMG driver won four races in the 2016 DTM season. His first victory of the year in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM came in the third race of the season in Spielberg (AT). He went on to add a further two wins in Moscow (RU) and at the Nürburgring (DE).
Wittmann moved to the top of the Drivers’ Championship for the first time at the Lausitzring (DE), after which he was embroiled in a thrilling battle for the lead with Robert Wickens (CA, Mercedes), Jamie Green (GB, Audi) and Edoardo Mortara (IT, Audi). He then wrapped up the title in the second race in Hockenheim.
Join us, as we look back at Marco Wittmann’s route to the 2016 DTM Drivers’ Championship.
Hockenheim (DE), 7th/8th May – Not an ideal start.
The start of the 2016 DTM season by no means goes to plan for Marco Wittmann. At the wheel of the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM, he is initially the best-placed BMW driver after the opening laps. However, the driver from Fürth is then involved in a collision, through no fault of his own, and consequently drops well back through the field. Wittmann crosses the finish line in 16th place – well outside the points. Wittmann finishes eighth in Sunday’s race to score his first four points of the season. Augusto Farfus (BR) in the Shell BMW M4 DTM and Maxime Martin (BE) in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM come home second and third to claim the first two podium finishes of the 2016 season for BMW.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after two of 18 races: 12th place – 4 points
Spielberg (AT), 21st/22nd May – Start-finish victory in the Alps.
BMW’s 250th race in the history of the DTM is a successful one for BMW: Marco Wittmann converts pole position into a commanding victory in Saturday’s race at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg (AT). Tom Blomqvist (GB) follows him over the line in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM to complete the first BMW one-two of the year. Wittmann remains the man for the big occasion: his triumph is the 70th victory for BMW in the DTM. In 2014 he claimed the first victory with the BMW M4 DTM, which also marked the 60th success for BMW in the DTM. Wittmann’s team-mate Timo Glock (DE) has cause for celebration in Spielberg on the Sunday, claiming the third DTM win of his career. Wittmann is seventh.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after four of 18 races: 5th place – 35 points
Lausitzring (DE), 4th/5th June – A taste of the lead.
Marco Wittmann takes the lead in the DTM Drivers’ Championship for the first time after race five of the year at the Lausitzring (DE). The BMW Team RMG driver starts Saturday’s race from third on the grid and goes on to cross the finish line in fourth place in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM, after 32 flawless laps and a fierce battle with the drivers behind him. Wittmann’s tally of 47 points is enough to see him top the overall standings. He produces another impressive display on Sunday, coming home sixth to claim another top-ten finish. He is joined in the top ten by another two BMW drivers, in the form of Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock. However, Wittmann is unable to hang on to the lead in the Drivers’ Championship. Now with 55 points to his name, he trails the new leader – Mercedes driver Robert Wickens – by three points.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after six of 18 races: 2nd place – 55 points
Norisring (DE), 25th/26th June – Cool and consistent on home soil.
The streets of Nürnberg (DE) are a happy stomping ground this year for Marco Wittmann at his home race weekend. Fourth place is the best result of his DTM career on the tight street circuit. Starting from 13th, he fights back strongly to cross the finish line ahead of Bruno Spengler (CA) as the best-placed BMW driver after 49 laps of racing. Wittmann adds a sixth place in Saturday’s race, proving once again that he is among the most consistent scorers in the series. His reward: the local favourite moves back to the top of the Drivers’ Championship with 75 points to his name. The Sunday at the Norisring is even more successful for Wittmann’s fellow BMW drivers from BMW Team RBM: Tom Blomqvist finishes runner-up in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM, having started from pole position for the first time in his DTM career. He is followed over the line by Maxime Martin (BE) in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM, who fights his way through from sixth on the grid to finish third.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after eight of 18 races: 1st place – 75 points
Zandvoort (NL), 16th/17th July – All change in the chasing pack.
Marco Wittmann has very fond memories of the spectacular dune circuit in Zandvoort (NL): it was here that he secured his first pole position in the DTM in 2013. He once again has cause for celebration this season, as he extends his lead in the Drivers’ Championship on the Saturday. Wittmann starts from second on the grid, and finishes in the same position to add a further 18 points to his tally for the year. However, there is no let-up from the opposition: Mercedes driver Wickens wins the ninth race of the season to pick up 25 points. This is enough to make him Wittmann’s closest rival, briefly. A further two BMW drivers finish in the points: António Félix da Costa (PT) is sixth in the BMW M4 DTM, while Maxime Martin completed the top ten. Wittmann comes home fourth in race two in Zandvoort, and sees the new second-placed man in the Drivers’ Championship on the top of the podium: Audi driver Jamie Green. However, the BMW Team RMG driver retains his overall lead, now with 105 points. Green is lurking seven points back in second place.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after ten of 18 races: 1st place – 105 points
Moscow (RU), 20th/21st August – Disappointment and winning joy.
The “Moscow Raceway” throws up a special challenge: on the Saturday, the eight BMW riders and their rivals are faced with the first wet race of the season. Torrential rain makes the track so wet that the first eight laps must be completed behind the safety car for safety reasons. Wittmann finishes 19th in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM and surrenders the lead in the Drivers’ Championship to Wickens, who wins the race. Martin is the best-placed BMW driver in sixth place in the SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM. After the water fight on Saturday, everyone starts from scratch again in dry conditions on the Sunday – and Wittmann comes up trumps: after impressing on his way to pole position in qualifying, the German claims his second win of the season in race 12 of the year, regaining the championship lead in the process. It is Wittmann’s seventh victory in the 50th DTM race of his career. It also represents the tenth win for BMW Team RMG in its 60th DTM race. Blomqvist, Spengler and Farfus follow him home in second, third and fourth to complete the sixth top-four lock-out for BMW in the DTM.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 12 of 18 races: 1st place – 130 points
Nürburgring (DE), 10th/11th September – The Nürburg in view, sights set on the title.
Whenever Wittmann has won at the Nürburgring (DE), he has gone on to be crowned the DTM champion: when he won his first title back in 2014, he also took his place on the top step of the podium in the Eifel Mountains. This season, he once again represents BMW Team RMG, which is based in nearby Andernach (DE), with a home win. The celebrations know no bounds. Starting from pole for the third time this year, he produces a commanding performance to defends his lead throughout the Saturday race. Blomqvist does a great job of fending off the chasing pack and comes home second in the Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM to complete BMW’s 19th one-two in the DTM. Wittmann ensures BMW has another milestone to celebrate after Sunday’s race: he finishes third in the Red Bull BMW M4 DTM to claim the 250th podium result for BMW in the DTM. Thanks to the most successful race weekend of the year so far, which yields 40 points, Wittmann goes into the final four races of the season with 170 points to his name – 33 more than Edoardo Mortara, who won on Sunday in the “Green Hell”.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 14 of 18 races: 1st place – 170 points
Budapest (HU), 24th/25th September – The lead is diminishing.
Initially everything is going to plan for Wittmann in Budapest (HU) at the penultimate DTM weekend of the year. First, he picks up points for finishing seventh in race one, then he crosses the finish line in fourth place on Sunday, after an action-packed race. However, during scrutineering after the 16th race of the season, the stewards come to the conclusion that the underbody of Wittmann’s car did not meet the specified dimensions. The overall leader is excluded from the results. This moves António Félix da Costa (PT) up into third place retrospectively and makes him the best-placed BMW driver on Sunday. Wittmann’s lead over Mortara, who wins the Saturday race in Hungary, but fails to pick up any points in the second race, is 14 points heading into the finale in Hockenheim.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 16 of 18 races: 1st place – 176 points
Hockenheim (DE), 15th/16th September – A tough fight with happy ending.
The grand DTM finale in Hockenheim turns into a thriller. Alongside Marco Wittmann, the focus is on the two BMW drivers Martin Tomczyk and António Félix da Costa, whose DTM careers come to an end this weekend. Félix da Costa bids a splendid farewell – and claims pole position for both races. But while the man from Portugal is denied a top result, Wittmann makes his dreams of winning the title come true. He picks up an additional 18 points for finishing second on Saturday, so fourth place on Sunday is enough for him to clinch the glass champion's trophy for the second time after 2014. The big party is underway.
Position in the Drivers’ Championship after 18 of 18 races: 1st place – 206 points
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