Wittmann wins DTM Race 2 in Russia and retakes the lead


Credit: BMW Motorsport

After a very wet Race 1 of the DTM in the Moscow Raceway, Race 2 started with a little surprise, as provisional polesitter Maxime Martin had a crash during the qualifying session that hampered his clear chances of victory in Russia. In the end, BMW fellow driver Marco Wittmann took pole, just ahead of Tom Blomqvist, Martin (who finally started from the pit lane) and Robert Wickens.

At the start, Wittmann just ran away in first, leaving Blomqvist behind to fight with Wickens. Both drivers got very close in certain moments of the first quarter of the race but the latter was unable to overtake his rival.

Wittmann was the very first to get in the pits for the mandatory tyre change, on lap 13, after which he consolidated his position at the front. The 2014 champion got his second victory of the season and completed the first weekend of this year’s series without a new winner.

Behind the winner, events were unfolding in a dramatic fashion. Blomqvist kept his second place throughout the race but Wickens, still in third place, reported problems with his power steering that, once completely broken, made him lap the track up to three seconds slower than the leader. To add salto to injury, he lost three seconds in the pit stop and had a clash with Martin Tomczyk when he was in his out lap. Spaniard Dani Juncadella was right behind the Canadian for most of the race and since he’s out of the title fight, he protected his teammate from the attacks of his rivals.

Motorsports: DTM race Moskau 2016
Dani Juncadella gave is best to help Robert Wickens. Credit: Daimler Media

Despite their best efforts, both Mercs couldn’t hold out BMW’s Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus for long – the first completed the rostrum, the other equalled his best result of 2016 in fourth position -. In the last laps of the race, even Audi’s Edoardo Mortara – who, helped by his teammates at Audi made an incredible recovery from the 17th position on the grid -, was threatening both Mercedes. In the final corner of the penultimate lap, he was finally able to overtake Juncadella for sixth, but he couldn’t do so with Wickens by a mere 0.067 seconds.

The Spanish driver, also overtaken by Nico Müller in the last lap, had it all in his hand to finish eighth, but at the last corner his gearbox failed and was overtaken by four other rivals, ending up in 12th position.

If the race to forget, on Saturday, was Wittmann’s, on Sunday it was Jamie Green’s. The Briton had a clash with António Félix da Costa, in the first quarter of the race, for which he received a Drive-Through penalty. But once Green entered the pits for the second time to go through the tyre change, he was fined a second DT for speeding in the pit lane, which left him dead last. Further penalties were handed to Paul Di Resta (a DT and also 30 seconds to be added to his final rtace time); Lucas Auer (a five-place grid drop for Race 1 at the Nürburgring); and Blomqvist (€1,500 fine).

Thus, the standings after the Russian round of the DTM 2016 see Marco Wittmann as the current runaway leader, with 130 points, followed by Wickens with 118. Green is third with 104 and is followed by Mortara with 100 and Di Resta with 92.

The Nürburgring will host the seventh meeting of the year, from 9-11th of September.