Norisring DTM: Wittmann wins, Glock and Paffett clash again

BMW's Marco Wittmann won the DTM's second race at Norisring, as the battle between title rivals Timo Glock and Gary Paffett burst back into life.

Norisring DTM: Wittmann wins, Glock and Paffett clash again
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG
Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Gary Paffett, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Edoardo Mortara, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Edoardo Mortara, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Gary Paffett, Mercedes-AMG Team HWA, Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM
Timo Glock, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM

Wittmann was able to build an initial 2.5-second lead in the final quarter of the race that allowed him to see out the task at hand, the two-time champion having used the early stages to build a platform for victory.

Starting seventh on the grid, the BMW driver quickly made his way onto the rear of the fifth-placed Mercedes of Paul di Resta but was initially unable to find his way past.

A lap later di Resta opted to go for an early stop from fourth, releasing Wittmann into the position and clear air.

Wittmann himself stopped on the 12th lap of 68 and returned in the midfield pack, quickly using Bruno Spengler to his advantage as Wittmann's BMW team-mate held up a convoy of runners in eighth.

Edoardo Mortara had stopped on the opening lap in his Mercedes from fifth place and had rejoined the track first of the five stoppers, before quickly working his way up through those who took their pitstops on the following laps to run 10th.

Wittmann squeezed past Spengler to go seventh and put several positions between himself and Mortara.

He then made the crucial pass for the net lead on Dani Juncadella, putting Wittmann fifth behind those yet to stop.

Once the pitstops had cycled out, Wittmann stormed to a comfortable victory over Mortara, Juncadella and Spengler.

Further down the field, the title race resumed between Paffett and Glock, evoking memories of their battle for the race win at Hockenheim.

Paffett had been second on the grid before his pitstop on lap 11 proved slow, taking 8.5s, and dropped him down the order into the clutches of Glock for 14th and 15th.

Just as it was at Hockenheim, Paffett's Mercedes had the speed advantage on the straights with Glock's BMW holding the edge on the tight corners of the Norisring.

They would battle for almost 20 laps, with the first significant bout coming when Paffett locked up into the hairpin and rear-ended Glock, requiring the BMW driver to make a sharp save.

They continued to bang doors through that corner, with one particular stern block from Glock causing Paffett to shout "he has to give the place back" over the radio, before later calling Glock's defensive driving "ridiculous."

For all Paffett continually drew alongside Glock, he was unable to find the decisive pass and the battle ended when Paffett's strong run into the Scholler S preempted a lurid slide that cost him two places.

That proved decisive as Glock remained in 10th - the first points scoring position - over Paffett, narrowing the Mercedes' driver lead in the standings to just five points.

Glock had been unable to overtake Pascal Wehrlein for ninth, with the former Formula 1 driver running a lengthy opening stint of 40 laps.

He ended up behind the two Audis of Nico Muller - who made up several places in a blistering start to the race - and Robin Frijns, who also ran a long first stint for eighth.

Neither had an answer to the leading pace of Mercedes and BMW, with the pair finishing behind Mercedes duo Lucas Auer and Di Resta in fifth and sixth respectively.

Audi's woeful 2018 season continued when defending champion Rene Rast's pitstop took over 15s following a left-rear jack problem that dropped him to 14th ahead of Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller.

Loic Duval was the final Audi in 18th, behind Augusto Farfus's 17th-placed BMW.

Race results

Cla#DriverCarLapsTimeGap
1 11 germany Marco Wittmann BMW M4 DTM 68 56'13.000  
2 48 italy Edoardo Mortara Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 68 56'13.450 0.450
3 23 spain Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 68 56'13.860 0.860
4 7 canada Bruno Spengler BMW M4 DTM 68 56'18.497 5.497
5 22 austria Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 68 56'19.062 6.062
6 3 united_kingdom Paul di Resta Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 68 56'24.707 11.707
7 51 switzerland Nico Müller Audi RS5 DTM 68 56'25.724 12.724
8 4 netherlands Robin Frijns Audi RS5 DTM 68 56'26.748 13.748
9 94 germany Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 68 56'30.917 17.917
10 16 germany Timo Glock BMW M4 DTM 68 56'42.239 29.239
11 25 austria Philipp Eng BMW M4 DTM 68 56'42.559 29.559
12 47 sweden Joel Eriksson BMW M4 DTM 68 56'44.139 31.139
13 2 united_kingdom Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM 68 56'45.071 32.071
14 33 germany René Rast Audi RS5 DTM 68 56'46.201 33.201
15 53 united_kingdom Jamie Green Audi RS5 DTM 68 56'48.547 35.547
16 99 germany Mike Rockenfeller Audi RS5 DTM 68 56'50.893 37.893
17 15 brazil Augusto Farfus BMW M4 DTM 68 57'00.521 47.521
18 28 france Loic Duval Audi RS5 DTM 67 56'33.919 1 lap

 

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