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DTM Hockenheimring

BMW team's mid-weekend BoP test request turned down

The Walkenhorst BMW team approached the DTM about conducting a Balance of Performance test after a tough showing in Saturday's first Hockenheim race, but its request was vetoed by rival squads.

Marco Wittmann, Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3

Ahead of the penultimate round of the season last weekend, Walkenhorst driver Marco Wittmann had been sitting second in the championship behind Liam Lawson with two victories and five podium finishes, and an unbroken run of points finishes since Race 1 at Monza.

But the German driver’s hopes of adding a third title to his impressive CV took a big hit when he qualified a distant 12th on Saturday at Hockenheim - having been on the front row both times at Assen a fortnight ago - before retiring from the race with accident damage.

This followed a pre-weekend Balance of Performance change announced by AVL Racing, which mandated the boost pressure on all BMW M6 GT3s on the grid to be reduced by 0.02 bar.

Having felt the BoP adjustment had unfairly impacted the BMWs, Walkenhorst approached the DTM to conduct a side-by-side test with boost pressure settings from Assen and Hockenheim on Sunday morning.

It is understood that the DTM would have agreed to the test, which would have likely taken place between 9:05am and 9:35am before qualifying and featured a second BMW supplied by the Rowe Racing team.

However, with the regulations prohibiting any mid-weekend BoP adjustments after the third round of the season, DTM required unanimous approval from other teams to conduct a test and thus make any changes in time for Sunday qualifying.

Walkenhorst and Rowe’s rival outfits chose to veto the test, and both teams had to take part in the second half of the weekend with the same BoP settings as before.

Wittmann could qualify only 10th and six tenths off the pace on Sunday, before finishing outside the points in 12th - three places ahead of the only other surviving BMW of Rowe Racing driver Timo Glock.

Having failed to muster a single point all weekend, Wittmann has now slipped 41 points behind Lawson and is essentially out of the title fight ahead of the final round of the championship at the Norisring, where the BMWs will have to deal with a further 0.024 bar reduction in boost pressure.

"The gap to the front is super disappointing," Wittmann told ran.de. "We got a BoP adjustment. On the turbo engines, the boost pressure was constantly reduced, and now it's hit us really hard.

“We are not talking about two tenths that we are missing, but more than a second. That's a world away in the DTM.

"It's really incredible that we will get an additional reduction for the Norisring.”

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