2017 DTM – Norisring: Talking Points

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Credit: DTM Media

After the action from the fourth round of the 2017 DTM Series at the Norisring, we look back at what unfolded and the talking points that developed.

Championship Lead Changes Hands Once Again

Going into the Norisring round, Rene Rast was in top spot of the championship after taking both pole positions and a win at the Hungaroring. A difficult weekend at the Norisring saw him tumble down to fifth place after scoring just two points over the weekend.

Audi team-mate Mattias Ekström now heads the championship, meaning his decision to skip his home race in the FIA WorldRX seems to have paid off.

Lucas Auer still remains second in the championship just two points behind Ekström.

BMW Resurgence?

It has been a difficult start to the season thus far for BMW with a couple of second places for Timo Glock having been their best results.

The nature of the Norisring meant that the disadvantage they had been experiencing in previous rounds was eliminated allowing for a far more competitive weekend.

The Bavarian outfit secured five of the top six places at the finish on Saturday with Bruno Spengler claiming victory. A similar result was not seen in a far more chaotic second race, which saw the best placed BMWs as Maxime Martin in first and fifth for Marco Wittmann.

Martin has been catapulted into third in the championship following his victory on Sunday, as well as the second place and pole position he claimed on Saturday.

Paffett-Rockenfeller Crash

The main talking point of Sunday’s race was the crash between Mercedes‘ Gary Paffett and Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller.

Paffett had collected the wall whilst attempting to pass Jamie Green, though it is unclear whether the pair made contact.

Now just a passenger, his car went into the side of Rockenfeller’s resulting in the German fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Thankfully, it was not as serious as it could have been.

That Third Place Finish

The battle at the finish between Edoardo Mortara, Ekström and Wittmann was racing in its finest form – though not without controversy.

Having failed to get past Auer, Wittmann found himself overtaken by Ekström for third place – keen to get his first podium at his home race Wittmann attempted to come back at Ekström but the pair made slight contact which brought Mortara into the equation.

Rounding the final few turns the trio were side by side as they headed to the line, with Mortara coming out on top by 0.002 seconds over Ekström with just 0.027 seconds between the Italian and Wittmann in fifth.

The shot of the three cars crossing the line will be one immortalised in DTM history, as well as the perfect advertisement for all three manufacturers.

The fifth round of the season sees the drivers head to the second race outside of Germany as they take on the Moscow Raceway.

Robert Wickens and Wittmann claimed victories here last year as Mercedes and BMW stole the show.

Saturday saw Mercedes lock out the top four positions on the grid before retaining that at the finish. It was much the same on Sunday, though this time it was BMW claiming the top four spots on the grid and in the race.

The weekend takes place 21-23 July.


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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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