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Wittmann takes win as Wickens disqualified

Photo by BMW AGBMW’s Marco Wittmann further extended his Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters championship lead with victory at the Red Bull Ring, as early leaders Robert Wickens and Jamie Green were hit with penalties.

Wittmann had been amongst the leading group in the first half of the race, when his BMW stable-mates Augusto Farfus and Timo Glock were taking the fight to early leader Wickens.

However both Mercedes’ Wickens and Audi’s Green were hit with separate, race-defining controversial penalties. Wickens was adjudged to have been unsafely released into the path of Glock during the compulsory pitstops, and handed a drive-through penalty.

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Green, who emerged as the leader after the first round of pitstops, was then adjudged to have driven one lap too long on the option tyres and handed a drive-through. That dropped the Brit to seventh, and later eighth, after he served his penalty.

However Mercedes were resolute that Wickens had not been released in an unsafe manner, and Wickens failed to take his penalty in the required three-lap window. The Canadian was subsequently black-flagged from the race, leaving Wickens and Mercedes’ furious with the decision.

That left Wittmann, who had passed Glock on lap 29 and Farfus on lap 32, to take his third win of the season and extend his championship lead to a significant 39 points.

BMW went one better than in 2013, as the marque scored a 1-2-3-4 thanks to Farfus finishing in second, Glock in third and Martin Tomczyk in fourth, after the latter made a strong start to move up from 11th on the grid.

Phoenix Racing’s Timo Scheider finished as the best-placed Audi driver in fifth, ahead of Abt Audi’s Adrien Tambay, who had a strong drive from 20th on the grid.

Swede Mattias Ekström, the closes challenger to Wittmann in the title race, was seventh in his Abt Audi, ahead of early leader Green, who dropped down the order in the final ten laps of the race.

Christian Vietoris was the top Mercedes driver in ninth, with BMW’s Bruno Spengler completing the top ten after a relatively anonymous race for the former champion.

Failing to finish were the furious Wickens, fellow Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein and BMW’s António Félix da Costa. Wehrlein, who Mercedes believe was mistaken for Wickens in the pitlane, was later shown to have been unsafely released into the path of Wittmann during the pitstops. He later retired after contact with Tambay.

Da Costa retired on lap ten, with the Portugese driver pulling off the circuit with apparent mechanical problems on his BMW.

Top ten result

1 23 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 47 1:08:23.185 1:25.725 3
2 3 Augusto FARFUS BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 47 3.298 1:25.546 4
3 17 Timo GLOCK BMW Team MTEK BMW M4 DTM 47 5.391 1:25.552 2
4 10 Martin TOMCZYK BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M4 DTM 47 6.237 1:25.895 11
5 2 Timo SCHEIDER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 47 6.666 1:25.808 14
6 16 Adrien TAMBAY Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS5 DTM 47 12.213 1:25.933 20
7 7 Mattias EKSTRÖM Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 47 14.046 1:25.852 15
8 21 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 47 14.456 1:25.955 6
9 5 Christian VIETORIS Original-Teile AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 47 15.224 1:26.054 7
10 9 Bruno SPENGLER BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M4 DTM 47 15.782 1:25.727 10

Complete race results

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