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Wittmann with one hand on title after win

Photo by ITR e.V.BMW’s Marco Wittmann extended his championship lead in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters with a convincing win at the Nürburgring, taking his fourth win of the season ahead of Audi’s Mike Rockenfeller.

Wittmann scored a lights-to-flag victory, despite the best efforts of reigning champion Rockenfeller in the closing laps of the race. When quizzed afterwards, Rockenfeller admits that he feels he could have taken the win with five more laps, after halving the gap to the BMW driver in the final five laps.

The victory means that Wittmann’s championship lead now stands at a massive 64 points over third-place finisher Edoardo Mortara – with Wittmann on 120 points having more than double that of his next-nearest challenger.

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Mortara, who started in second, finished in the final podium position after losing out to Rockenfeller at the very start of the race.

Fourth was Paul di Resta and the top Mercedes driver, with the Scot equalling his best result of the year so far. The former champion had pressured Mortara for third before the first round of pitstops, but was unable to find a way past, despite finishing just eight tenths behind the Italian at the end of the race.

Daniel Juncadella scored his first points of the season in fifth, ahead of fellow Mercedes driver Christian Vietoris in sixth.

BMW Team RMG’s Maxime Martin was seventh, ahead of BMW Team Schnitzer’s Martin Tomczyk in eighth. Tomczyk finished as the top driver who started the race on the hard tyre.

Completing the top ten were Mercedes duo Robert Wickens and Pascal Wehrlein, meaning that the manufacturer finished with five of its seven cars inside the points.

Audi’s Adrien Tambay just missed out on the points in 11th, ahead of BMW’s Bruno Spengler and António Félix da Costa.

Brits Jamie Green and Gary Paffett finished in 15th and 16th positions respectively. Green had been running in eighth position after the mandatory pitstop, despite earlier contact with BMW’s Augusto Farfus. The duo had been battling in the Mercedes Arena on lap 12 when they made contact, sending the Brazilian down the order. He later retired.

Green later dropped down the order when those behind him running the faster option tyres caught up and passed.

With only two Audi drivers in the points, albeit on the podium, it was a difficult race for the Ingolstadt marque. Four Audi drivers retired in the opening ten laps, including former championship contender Mattias Ekström after just three laps.

Miguel Molina was forced out of the race after contact at the start with Jamie Green gave him a puncture.

Timo Scheider retired when contact from Wickens from behind heading into turn one pitched him into the path of Audi stable-mate Nico Müller. The German retired at the end of the lap with damage to his front-left and the Swiss driver stopped just two laps later with damage to his steering.

Top ten result

1 23 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 49 1:09:42.802 1:23.175 1
2 1 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 49 1.286 1:23.273 3
3 15 Edoardo MORTARA Audi Sport Team Abt Audi RS5 DTM 49 12.019 1:23.362 2
4 6 Paul di RESTA AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 49 12.815 1:23.688 8
5 19 Daniel JUNCADELLA Petronas AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 49 13.717 1:23.697 7
6 5 Christian VIETORIS Original-Teile AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 49 24.918 1:23.835 9
7 24 Maxime MARTIN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 49 28.921 1:23.740 12
8 10 Martin TOMCZYK BMW Team Schnitzer BMW M4 DTM 49 38.521 1:23.743 18
9 12 Robert WICKENS FREE MAN’S WORLD AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 49 43.197 1:23.661 13
10 25 Pascal WEHRLEIN gooix AMG Mercedes DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé 49 45.377 1:23.800 15

Complete race results

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