42 laps of racing around the legendary Hockenheim circuit opened the scoring books for the 2014 DTM title race, with action from the start making it an exciting affair. Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann took the lead of the race from pole sitter Adrien Tambay at the hairpin on Lap 3 and never looked back to take the flag after a comfortable drive to victory.
Tambay would eventually finish on the last step of the podium behind a determined Mattias Ekström, who charged his way back up the field and take second place as the highest placed Audi Sport driver. Defending champion Mike Rockenfeller fought his way back to fourth after stating tenth, as there were plenty of battles up and down the grid.
Jamie Green was the first of three drivers that retired from the race, as “Mr. Norisring” collided with Augusto Farfus on Lap 2, going into the braking zone at the Hockenheim Arena and parked his RS5 DTM in the garage. Edoardo Mortara was on course for a potential podium himself, before suffering a left front puncture which forced him to pull off track with just ten laps left.
Rookie sensation Antonio Felix da Costa had been running in the top five for the majority of the race, before contact with ninth-placed Timo Scheider at the hairpin meant the Portuguese driver was given a drive-through penalty as a result of his actions. He eventually retired just a few laps from the end.
A sea of BMW drivers in the form of Timo Glock, Bruno Spengler, Martin Tomczyk, Farfus and Joey Hand closed off the top ten, in a race where Mercedes-Benz Motorsport could not close the gap to their rival manufacturers.
Robert Wickens and Christian Vietoris were making significant inroads in the first half of the race on the option tyres, but the pair were found to be on the back foot from the minute they swapped to the primes. Pascal Wehrlein was the best placed of the Stuttgart ranks, finishing in 11th place, with Gary Paffett and the returning Paul di Resta finishing in 12th and 14th respectively.
There was also drama in the pit lane, as Maxime Martin‘s left front wheel was not secured on his M4 DTM, before being released early into the path of the C-Class AMG Coupe of Daniel Juncadella, who managed to avoid contact in the process.
The series now goes to Oschersleben in a fortnight’s time, as Wittmann now leads the series ahead of Ekström and Tambay, with Mercedes still needing to do a lot of work ahead of the next race weekend.