Six BMWs finish in the points
Marco Wittmann in his BMW Team RMG M4 DTM took the lead on the second lap of the DTM season opener in Hockenheim and never looked back. It was the first win for Wittman, Team RMG, and the new BMW M4 DTM.
Both Wittman, who started second on the grid, and pole sitter Adrien Tambay in an Audi, started on option tires. BMW Team MTEK’s Timo Glock, starting ninth on options, quickly gained four positions, blowing by competitors on standard tires. He went on to finish fifth.
Audi racers Mattias Ekstrom, Tambay, and Michaal Rockenfeller finished second through fourth.
BMW’s Bruno Spengler, Martin Tomczyk, and Augusto Farfus finished sixth through eighth, Audi’s Timo Scheider finished ninth and BMW’s Joey Hand finished tenth, moving up from his seventeenth place starting position on the grid.
Mercedes, coming off a difficult 2013 season, did not have the strong start it wanted in 2014. The marque’s best finishers were Pascal Wehrlein in eleventh and Gary Paffett in twelfth.
BMW rookie Antonio Felix da Costa ran in fourth for much of the race, but a collision between his car and Scheider’s Audi sent him to the pits for a drive-through penalty and multiple pit stops. He finished 21st. BMW’s other rookie driver, Maxime Martin, finished 20th after a problem with a loose wheel and an ensuing drive through penalty.
BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said, “What a dream debut weekend for the BMW M4 DTM. To return to Hockenheim with the brand-new BMW M4 DTM and win the first race, half a year after the last victory with the BMW M3 DTM – it doesn’t get much better. At the same time, it is also a great maiden win for BMW Team RMG and Marco Wittmann, who drove an absolutely incredible race and was in a league of his own today. He controlled the entire race magnificently. It was a joy to watch him. However, there is also a lot of work behind this win. On the one hand, our team at BMW Motorsport has been working hard on the BMW M4 DTM for over a year. You never know exactly how good you are compared to the opposition until the first race. Therefore, we are very happy today.”
Because of DTM’s new performance weight system, all of the BMWs finishing in the points will have to add 5 kilograms for the May 18 Oschersleben race, while Martin and Felix da Costa will have to add 2.5. All of the Mercedes cars will be allowed to run 5 kilograms lighter at Oschersleben while the Audis' weight will remain the same.—Brian S. Morgan