2018 DTM Series: Norisring – Talking Points

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Credit: BMW Press Global

Round four of the DTM Series took place at the Norisring last weekend.

Coming into the race, Timo Glock was on top of the championship standings eleven points ahead of Gary Paffett.

BMW‘s Marco Wittmann was optimistic of achieving success in his home race and was able to get the results his fans would have been hoping for.

It was another difficult weekend for Audi who ended Saturday with no points to their name.

DTM and Super GT Finalise ‘Class One’

On Saturday Gerhard Berger and Masaaki Bandoh announced that the DTM and Super GT have reached the conclusions of their discussions for the planned ‘Class One’ regulations.

The talks have been on going since 2014 and aim to bring the two series’ together in measures intended to bring down costs.

Coming into force in the DTM from 2019, the new regulations will incorporate changes to the aerodynamics with the biggest changing being the switch from V8 engines to two litre 4-cylinder turbos.

For Super GT the regulations will be adopted in 2020.

Despite this there are plans for the two series’ to race against each other next year on two occasions – once in Europe and once in Asia.

Edo Dominates Saturday

After enduring a difficult transition year with Mercedes in 2017, 2018 has got off to a much better start for the Italian.

Saturday could not have gone any better for the Italian, ending the day with maximum points available.

To add he had bragging rights of being fastest in practice and qualifying before going on to win the race.

“That was a perfect day for me and for the team. My crew put in an incredibly strong performance today. Last year was a difficult one for me, but this season is going far better,” said Mortara. “I’ve already had one race win – that was at the Lausitzring – and in a couple of others, I was a bit unlucky, for example in the second race at Hockenheim and the other race at the Lausitzring. But things are going really well for me at the moment, and I’m obviously hoping for yet more wins to come.”

Mortara followed up his win with a second place on Sunday.

Home Success for Wittmann

In the sixth year if trying, Wittmann claimed his elusive podium finish at his home race.

Prior to this, two fourth place finishes where the German’s best results at the track.

But, as the saying goes, you wait for one to arrive and two come at once.

Having started in third on Saturday, the BMW driver finished the race in the same position behind race winner Mortara and championship leader Paffett.

It looked as though Sunday was not going to be as success for Wittmann after Mercedes dominated qualifying by locking out the first five positions on the grid.

This did not matter though as Wittmann managed to get ahead of them all, to win his home race for the first time.

“I think my heart is still racing. These emotions are just crazy. It’s not every day that you win your home race,” said Wittmann. “I have been trying here for so long and this is the first time it’s worked out. I would never have thought that I’d manage to move up from seventh to first. We had fantastic pace. I drove the race of my life – with some wild overtaking manoeuvres. My guys did an unbelievable job. The car was sensational. It is wonderful to be heading home from the Norisring with two trophies.”

Audi’s Woes Continue

The champions woes continued at the Norisring.

With Nico Müller, taking their best finish of the weekend with seventh ahead of team-mate Robin Frijns in eighth on Sunday.

The team had been hopeful of a better race on Sunday after they failed get to score a single point on Saturday, it looked like Sunday was headed for the same direction when all six drivers failed to qualify in the top ten.

As a result of their poor season thus far, Mike Rockenfeller is their best placed driver in the championship standings in tenth.

For the Teams’ Championship, Team PhoenixTeam Rosberg and Team ABT Sportsline trial their competitors.

Therefore, their issues are most abundant in the Manufacturers’ standings, as Audi have only 122 points to their name – 299 less than leaders Mercedes.

Paffett on top of the Championship

After a second place finish on Saturday, Paffett now sits atop the championship standings.

The Briton took 20 points from the weekend – 18 in Race 1 and a further two for qualifying second on Sunday.

With Glock, only managing to score two points all weekend he has fallen to fourth in the standings.

As has become expected this season, the pair once again endured a fierce battle in Race 2 with Paffett having complaints about defensive antics by the BMW driver.

Mortara is now second in the standings on 93 points, six behind Paffett, after a strong weekend at the Norisring.

Wittmann is third just one point behind on 92, Glock too has 92 points but Wittmann has one more win and is therefore ahead of him in the standings.

The DTM Series returns to action 13-15 July at Zandvoort.


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