Marco Wittmann was ecstatic after excelling in tricky conditions to take his third DTM Series victory of the season at Assen on Saturday afternoon.
The BMW Team RMG driver took pole position for the first race of the weekend on Saturday morning in the dry, but rain hit the Dutch circuit just prior to the race, with it beginning behind the safety car as a result.
Despite falling behind Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline’s Nico Muller during the pit stop cycle, Wittmann was unfazed and pulled off a strong move on the Swiss drive to retake the lead, a position he would not relinquish again despite pressure from behind from Muller and Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s Rene Rast, the current championship leader.
Wittmann admitted there were questions to be answered during the race to how the set-up of his BMW would work in the conditions, but he was confident enough to pull a gap on the pack in the closing laps to take the win and move up to fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship at the expense of team-mate Bruno Spengler.
“Coming back like this to claim pole position and the win after the difficult race weekend at the Norisring is just magnificent,” said Wittmann. “The conditions were anything but easy.
“We had plenty of question marks about how the set-up and the car would work in the wet but everything went just fine. The two Audis put me under pressure from time to time but I was able to build up a comfortable lead by the end.
“This victory is just great.”
Stefan Reinhold, the Team Principal of BMW Team RMG, was full of praise for the way Wittmann performed during the first race of the Assen weekend despite the tricky conditions, and coupled with the performance of Spengler, who he felt was unfortunate to take a drive-through penalty during the race, he is confident for the rest of the weekend.
“When you take the weather conditions into account, that is a fantastic result,” said Reinhold. “The team did a great job in qualifying this morning. Bruno Spengler was a bit unlucky. In my opinion, the drive-through penalty was not entirely justified.
“Marco Wittmann delivered another masterful performance. The entire crew deserves great credit for some superb pit stops and a top strategy. All in all, it was a good day and we are now doubly motivated for tomorrow.”