The Canadian crossed the finish line with a comfortable margin of 23.9 seconds from Audi driver Jamie green.
Nuremberg. Mercedes-Benz driver Robert Wickens crowned a perfect weekend of racing at Norisring with his first victory of the season. In slippery conditions at the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit, the Canadian converted his pole position in an undisputed lights-to-flag victory. “I am overjoyed. I was able to fully concentrate on driving my own race and extend my lead. So far, it has been a craze season for us and because of that, this victory is all the more beautiful for me and my team. The Norisring has always been good to us,” the 25-year-old said after scoring the twelfth Norisring victory in a row for Mercedes-Benz. In total, 121,000 spectators attended the fourth race weekend of the most popular international touring car series in Nuremberg.
British driver Jamie Green, who already scored four DTM race wins at Norisring, crossed the finish line in second place. After a collision in the opening stage, the Audi driver was given a five-seconds penalty. “At the start, I collided with Paul Di Resta, for which I got a penalty. That I still managed to finish second is very nice. I am really happy that Audi was so competitive here today,” Green said. Fellow Audi driver Mattias Ekström completed the good performance by the team from Ingolstadt after making his way up from twelfth on the grid to finish third.
For Marco Wittmann, a sixth-place finish was enough to defend his lead in the drivers’ standings. After his home round, the 24-year-old remains in the lead with 58 points. “Scoring points was my goal and I succeeded. I had a good start and initially, it went really well for me. Unfortunately, the rain tyres degraded too much, so that I lost ground again mid-race. Sixth place still is a good result for me,” the best-placed driver of a BMW M4 DTM said. Edoardo Mortara moved up to second place in the drivers’ standings after an impressive recovery at Norisring from 20th place on the grid to fourth at the finish. After four of ten rounds, he is 19 points down on Wittmann.
The fourth season round at the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit required plenty of instinct feeling from the 23 drivers of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Prior to the start, a downpour had turned the track into a skid pad. As a result, the race director decided to let the drivers start the race behind the safety car. There was major disappointment for Christian Vietoris, who seemed to be on his way to a safe second place until just before the end. The 25-year-old’s car stopped on the track after a wheel had come off his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé.
The next race weekend takes place at Moscow Raceway near the Russian capital from July 11 till 13.
Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz: “We are more than happy. Robert Wickens has shown an impressive performance. In all conditions, he was very quick today. Unfortunately, Paul Di Resta wasn’t able to convert his second place on the grid into a good result. The collision at the start was really bad luck for him.”
Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “Congratulations to Robert Wickens and Mercedes-Benz, who have shown a top performance. Had it not been for Jamie Green’s penalty, we surely could have made life more difficult for them in the battle for victory. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well for our drivers in qualifying, which made it more difficult for us during the race. All the drivers deserve compliments for their fair conduct in these difficult conditions.”
Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director: “We can be happy with Marco Wittmann’s result. He has done everything right in staying out of all the battles. Conditions weren’t easy, but he got the best out of it. Now, we are totally confident as we are looking forward to the race in Moscow.”
The race in detail
Information: Due to the rain, the race will be started behind the safety car with a minimum of 3 laps to be completed behind the safety car.
Start The cars set off behind the safety car. The race is set for 83 laps and is declared a wet race, so that the use of rain tyres is permitted and there is no pit window for the mandatory pit stop.
Lap 1 Vitaly Petrov spins coming out of the Dutzendteich hairpin.
Lap 3 Di Resta collides with Green at Dutzendteich, spins.
Lap 4 Green flags, racing conditions apply.
Lap 6 Spengler and Farfus tangle. Juncadella tangles with Molina at Schöller-S, Jiuncadella spins. Farfus, Tomczyk, Molina, Félix da Costa into the pits. Green under investigation.
Lap 7 Wickens, Green, Paffett, Wehrlein, Vietoris, Wittmann, Tambay, Martin, Glock and Di Resta is the current race order in the top ten. Hand collides with Müller, the Swiss spins at Dutzendteich. Müller, Petrov into the pits.
Lap 8 Tambay and Martin overtake Wittmann, who is now eighth.
Lap 10 Martin and Tambay battle for sixth, Martin gets past. Di Resta into the pits.
Lap 16 Green gets a five seconds' pit stop penalty for the collision with Di Resta on lap three.
Lap 21 Wickens is leading with a 2.1 seconds' margin from Green, then Paffett, Wehrlein, Vietoris, Martin, Tambay, Wittmann, Ekström and Hand. Petrov and Müller tangle at Grundig hairpin, both continue.
Lap 22 Rockenfeller misses his braking point for Grundig and runs wide. Petrov under investigation.
Lap 26 Drive-through penalties for Vitaly Petrov and Nico Müller due to not respecting blue flags.
Lap 33 Vietoris overtakes Paffett for fourth in the Dutzendteich hairpin.
Lap 34 Paffett into the pits.
Lap 38 Vietoris increases the pressure on Wehrlein, who is third. Glock spins at Grundig and loses his twelfth place.
Lap 39 Vietoris has overtaken Wehrlein and is now third.
Lap 41 Ekström keeps Martin under pressure in the battle for fifth and gets past on the main straight. Mortara overtakes Spengler for tenth.
Lap 45 Wickens has extended his margin to 8.8 seconds. Tambay overtakes Martin under braking for Grundig and is now sixth. Lap 47 Martin into the pits.
Lap 50 Mortara overtakes Hand for seventh at Grundig. Spengler into the pits.
Lap 52 Rockenfeller, Farfus into the pits.
Lap 53 Wittmann, Scheider, Juncadella, Glock, Tomczyk, Molina into the pits.
Lap 54 Green, Wehrlein, Tambay, Hand, Petrov into the pits.
Lap 55 Vietoris, Ekström into the pits. Glock under investigation because of unsafe release.
Lap 56 Mortara, Di Resta into the pits. Glock gets a drive-through penalty for the unsafe release, he comes in at the end of the lap.
Lap 57 Wickens into the pits.
Lap 58 Tomczyk turns Paffett round at Grundig. Paffett, Félix da Costa, Tomczyk into the pits - Tomczyk retires.
Lap 60 Wickens is leading from Vietoris, Green, Ekström, Wehrlein, Tambay, Mortara, Hand, Rockenfeller, Wittmann.
Lap 67 Battle for eighth with Hand, Rockenfeller, Wittmann and Scheider.
Lap 69 Tambay and Wehrlein collide at Grundig, Wehrlein spins. The incident is being investigated by the stewards.
Lap 72 Molina into the pits, retires. DRS is now enabled.
Lap 74 Vietoris retires from second place. Right rear wheel has come loose. His car is stuck at Dutzendteich.
Lap 78 Rockenfeller attacks Hand for eighth. Vietoris has now made it into the pits. Félix da Costa is under investigation.
Lap 82 Tambay and Wehrlein battle for fifth. Final lap. Robert Wickens wins from Green, Ekström, Mortara, Tambay, Wehrlein, Wittmann, Hand, Rockenfeller and Scheider.