Wittmann regains #DTM championship lead as BMW reign supreme
Marco Wittmann took a lights to flag victory and retook the top spot in the championship in Race Two at Moscow.
Wittmann started on pole alongside teammate Tom Blomqvist. Behind Blomqvist was Robert Wickens. Blomqvist did his best to aid Wittmann at the start and was successful in his endeavor as the British driver immediately steered the car to the left as the lights went out and squeezed Wickens out and kept the Canadian behind him after turn one as the two brushed each other’s cars.
Wickens wasted no time in hassling Blomqvist for second but the BMW always had the advantage on the long back-straight before the final corner which rendered his attempts as useless as no matter how close he got Blomqvist always pulled out a gap on the aforementioned straight. Meanwhile Dani Juncadella and Bruno Spengler were coming to blows. The Spaniard attempted to pass the Canadian with a fairly aggressive move up the inside only for the Mercedes driver to be repelled.
Further down the field championship contender Edo Mortara was off to a flyer. He made up five places by the end of lap two although three of which where on Audi drivers who let him past without any hassle. Jamie Green was also making up ground at a rapid rate following his very disappointing qualifying. Wickens’ efforts were still fruitless out in front as Wittmann pulled out a very substantial lead to him and Blomqvist. Wickens got his closest when Blomqvist didn’t get a fantastic run out of the penultimate corner leading to Wickens getting a good opportunity coming out of the final one. Wickens pulled alongside but Blomqvist covered the inside line and held his nerve, keeping Wickens behind him.
Edo Mortara continued his charge up the field with a well calculated dive up the inside of a struggling Da Costa for 12th. However when Jamie Green attempted to go up the inside of Da Costa things went south very quickly. Green attempted his move from way too far back and in a ridiculous gung-ho attempt he drove straight into Da Costa spinning the Portuguese driver around. This entire situation led to Green getting a drive-through penalty effectively ending any chance of points for him.
Wittmann was the first man to pit in. His stop was standard and he rejoined the race in the midfield looking to pick his way through the pack of those of which who were yet to pit. Robert Wickens’ pitstop was abysmal. The Canadian was attempting the undercut on Blomqvist when his pitcrew produced a pitstop that lasted nearly six seconds. Blomqvist pitted on the next lap and his stop was good. At this stage he had a comfortable gap to Wickens. Meanwhile even more salt was rubbed into Jamie Green’s wounds as he picked up another drive-through. This time for speeding in the pitlane.
There was a bit of drama further down the field as Edo Mortara and Max Gotz banged wheels in an incident that resulted in the latter receiving a penalty. Mortara took a dive up the inside of Gotz at the last corner leading to the two banging wheels which forced Gotz to run wide and lose time. Gotz was penalised for not leaving the Italian enough room.
It was at this moment that Wickens started losing time on Blomqvist at an alarming rate. He reportedly had damage and said on the radio that his steering was “gone.” This led to Wickens attracting a huge queue behind him and for the final handful of laps an amazing battle ensued. First up to have a go was Spengler. He unlike others did not take overly long to pass his compatriot for the final podium position. Spengler tried a move on the long back straight, weaving and trying all he could to make a move but his success came at turns one and two. Spengler got a great run out of turn one and that enabled him to make a move up the inside at turn two. Just after this Mortara managed to sweep up the inside of Lucas Auer which lifted him up to ninth.
Drama then ensued when Paul Di Resta who was battling for seventh with Glock, locked up and hit the German spinning him into the gravel and out of the race. Di Resta got a drive through. This promoted Mortara up to seventh. Farfus passed Wickens for fourth. The Brazilian powered past Wickens on the back straight leaving him defenseless. On the penultimate lap, Mercedes driver Dani Juncadella who acted as a shield for the struggling Wickens got overtaken by Mortara at the final corner. Nico Mueller then took the chance for an overtake with two hands and passed Juncadella for seventh at the first corner. On the last lap Juncadella encountered a technical issue and he could only limp home in 12th as five cars passed him at the final corner and the start finish straight on the last lap. The exciting stuff was happening out in front as Mortara attempted to sweep around the outside of Wickens for fifth. A drag race to the line followed with Mortara just fell short of mugging the Canadian on the line.
The race was won by Wittmann elevating him to first again. His manufacturer BMW, locked out the first four place.
- Da Costa
- Di Resta
- Glock (DNF)
- Wittmann (130 points)
- Wickens (118 points)
- Green (104 points)
- Mortara (100 points)
- Di Resta (92 points)